Inspirations, new projects and fun adventures along the coast....
Weekend Adventure Downeast & The Hunt For the Season's Best Lobster Roll July 27 2017, 0 Comments
Summer in Maine is one of the best times to get outside and explore more of what Vacationland has to offer. If you’re a local and the tourist traffic feels stale, or if you’re looking for something new and different, you can catch a few rays, go for a hike, and grab a bite to eat without the crowds of summertime tourists by taking a trip Downeast. Farrrrr Downeast. Like to Lubec. Have you been there yet?
The south usually gets all the glory and it can be easy to forget about the part of Maine that stretches northeast from Mt. Desert Island to Canada. But we think it’s worth it to visit the places in Maine that still feel quiet, a bit old-fashioned, and pre-yuppified quaint. And while you're at it, stop along the road for a taste of Maine.
Lubec, Maine is the little historic last stand of land before the border of Canada along the Bay of Fundy. These days it's a quiet village but has an interesting history while offering authentic Maine personality and the famous livelihood that keeps people committed to living on this far away, isolated outpost: fisheries and lobster.
Becky’s seafood shack camps out along Johnson Bay on the main road into the village. This year, on our annual “Best Lobster Roll” quest, Becky's won our vote. Becky offers the freshest seafood this side of Maine, without the frenetic traffic jams and happy madness that accompany summer here! Plus, your picnic table overlooks the iconic bay, just past all the lobster traps and gear in Becky’s yard.
You can easily make a weekend of exploring the Downeast Coast and check out Machias, Cutler, and Eastport along with a stopover in Lubec for a lobster roll and a look around. The Bold Coast Hiking Trail in Cutler is worth the drive for a stunning hike along miles of headlands overlooking the Bay of Fundy. You won't regret it.
*Fun Fact: Though small and often overlooked, Lubec was once a happening place and the site of an investment fraud by two men from Martha’s Vinyard in the late 1800’s. The Reverend Prescott Jernegan and his business partner, Charles Fisher, devised a scam claiming they could extract gold from seawater. They created the Electrolytic Marine Salts Company in 1897 and built a plant for their gold-producing activities in Lubec, Maine. They took hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors and were ultimately exposed, fleeing to the South Pacific and New Zealand without ever being tried for their crime.
Truth be told, Lubec is still a gold mine to be discovered, and a fun stop on your Downeast weekend adventure away.
Locally Grown: Why American-Made Brands Are Making a Comeback July 12 2017, 0 Comments
This beautiful and diverse world offers an assortment of flavors to excite makers and consumers everywhere. Home decor, clothing, and accessories are hot commodities now featuring an array of styles, threads, and materials. In many cases, we browse popular stores and fall in love with a specific item, but give little attention to where it came from or who made it. Before you grab that next special gift from a big department store, here are some reasons you may consider reaching for a product that is made right here in America instead.
Quality versus Quantity
When you buy goods made overseas, especially third world countries, you’ll probably notice the product costs less than a similar item made in America. You may assume this is a great deal but it's important to know that imported items aren’t created to the same standard and because our government cannot control foreign manufacturing standards, there are no guarantees on quality or longevity. For example, toys made overseas usually contain high levels of lead because of heavy pollutants used during the manufacturing process. American-made toys may cost slightly more, but it’s easier to discern how they were made and what materials were used in order to produce them. They also need to uphold manufacturing standards set in place by the US government.
To say domestic makers face stiff competition from lower priced imported goods is an understatement. But, most of them focus on staying competitive by focusing on unrivaled, superior craftsmanship designed to last.
Growing our own Economy
When you buy American-made products, you are supporting the growth and sustainability of our economy by providing jobs for American workers. The one, two or ten products you decide to buy are actually supporting not only the makers but also the writers, photographers, technicians, materials suppliers, printers, web designers and so many more people behind the scenes who help that item come to life. They all participate in getting those products created and delivered to your doorstep or favorite downtown boutique.
Labor with Love
Unfortunately, many countries do not have a minimum wage requirment, which means that their workers are being paid a very low hourly wage, and in many cases could include children or people who live at factories in conditions we don't get to monitor or see. No matter how you feel about that, you can know with certainty, that investing in American-made goods like decorative throw pillows, or an exquisite handmade mirror, or that one-of-a-kind gift, means supporting businesses that adhere to the ethics and labor standards of the United States.
At Coastline By Anne Zimmerman, our products are made in America. From handbags to custom wall art, "handpicked item” to us means more than what you see at the mall. The care and commitment-to-quality-philosophy of our behind-the-scenes team provide you with beautiful and unique items that will leave a lasting impression for years to come.
Behind the Scenes at our Latest Photoshoot with Foreside Photography! June 28 2017, 0 Comments
Kevin from Foreside Photography and I have been working together on and off now for over 10 years. He's done photo shoots of friends children, weddings, various corporate events and product photography. We can go for months without crossing paths and then along comes another project and it's like no time passed, the jokes start flying, the ideas start flowing and we're rolling. Which is about what happened at his photo studio on exchange street a few weeks ago.
It's amazing how much goes in to getting the perfect shot.
After all, you can't have a slouching product pic on your website! We scrambled around the studio making various things to stuff into the totes to create the perfectly posed bag. At one point Kevin handed me an object that looked like a piece of 2x4 with some fabric bunched up and masking-taped on- he said, "Oh yah, we made this one up for one of the last shoots. it's always so challenging to get the right LOOK, the bag has to stand up straight and the handles can't flop over."
You know those photos of supermodels without makeup on? Mastering product photography is like shooting supermodels. The products are the models and they have to look perfect from the perspective of the person who is shopping for them.
In the end, we settled on some makeshift weights and rolled nylon, and some fluffy sweatpants. Totally pro sounding photo shoot props right? Sometimes, you just gotta do what works. For the record, small pillows, folded towels, sheets and general poly-fill for quilting or pillow fill is always a good option too.
So, the next time you look at the pics on my website, try to guess which secret props are keeping them standing and looking exactly as we want them! I can almost guarantee it involves several hidden items you would never think belong in a bag :)
// For more information on Foreside Photography services or prices, check their website here.
Seaside Cottage: Custom Canvas Pillow Set For Long Beach Island, New Jersey June 19 2017, 0 Comments
This custom fresh pair of pillows was designed for a beach house in Long Beach Island, NJ. We enjoyed finding the sweet spot between modern and coastal for the architect and artist couple who called on us to make a set of custom pillows for the guest room. They requested a custom location featuring custom text, and the nautical coordinates for their home, as well as colors that matched their interior decor.
15 Fantastic Weekend Things to do Around Maine May 30 2017, 0 Comments
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are 15 weekends available for exploration, adventure, and excitement. Bring the family or hike solo, here's our list of 15 fun weekend adventures in Maine.
1. Go to Monhegan Island for the Day.
Pack a picnic lunch, take the ferry from Boothbay Harbor or Port Clyde, and wander along the coastline. Among the fascinating things to do in Maine, Monhegan enticed the likes of the great painters such as Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth and NC Wyeth. Did you know Monhegan was an artist’s colony dating back to the late 19th century? When you gaze upon the Blackhead Cliffs and take in the horizon, just think, the lobster season here begins in October and goes through Winter! Brrrrr...!
Oil painting above by Rockwell Kent: Monhegan Maine 1950.
(You can also see this painting at the Colby Museum of Art.)
2. Hike the Hills to the Sea Trail.
Strap on your pack and check out this brand new 47-mile trail from Unity to Belfast as one of the most serene things to do in Maine. Wear sunscreen and don’t forget the bug repellent!
3. Take a Cessna 172 tour
Above Acadia and Mt. Desert Island, you will spot breathtaking corners and pockets in Maine. When looking for things to do in Maine this summer, Cessna 172 tour should be on your list. The pilot might even let you fly for a minute!
4. Explore Blue Hill, Castine and Deer Isle.
Blue Hill is a smaller town in Hancock County resting on the fingers of Blue Hill Bay and is permeating with rich historic artsy hotspots. Castine is another smaller town near Penobscot Bay and features breathtaking sights such as the Dyce Head Lighthouse and Fort Madison and Fort Knox. Deer Isle, located off of the Blue Hill Peninsula, is a must-see that brings you that quintessential Maine feel. All three of these fascinating places share the same county.
Finish up your exploration of things to do in Maine by staying in the room with the charming ceiling at the Barncastle Hotel in Blue Hill.
5. Have dinner at Primo in Rockland, Maine.All you have to do is watch the video on their homepage (http://www.primorestaurant.
6. Catch a musical at Maine State Music Theater!
In Brunswick, Maine. Maine is surrounded by a plethora of talented individuals from novelists to artists. The theater is no different here. This year's lineup includes Grease and Guys and Dolls!
7. Go to Splash Town for the day.
Ride waterslides until you skin shrivels up. You will have a smile on your face, guaranteed!
8. Camp at Lamoine State Park, Lamoine Maine
Take time out of the tourist action to get away from all the hustle and bustle. This stunning land offers plenty for hungry foragers, hikers, and photographers. You will be enthralled by the endless serene terrain that overlooks the hills of Mt. Desert Island.
9. Go on a tasting mission to find the best Lobster Roll in Maine.
You can’t go home without having one (or many) of the most sought-after things to do in Maine-eat fresh lobster! Along the coast, you will find many seafood joints that specialize in hearty Maine lobster dishes, such as the famous lobster roll!
10. Hike Morse Mountain, Nature Preserve in Phippsburg, Maine.Surrounded by a breathtaking nature preserve, this leisurely 3.8-mile hike to the beach and back is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Bring bug spray and sunscreen (you can pack it in our zip pouch)! And, if the Morse Mountain lot is full (they will turn you away once the parking lot is full), there is Thorne Head Preserve in Bath. It's dog-friendly (Morse Mountain is not). Don't forget to stop in to pick up a picnic lunch at Wild Oats Bakery in Brunswick on the way!
11. Go to the Moxie Festival, July 7-9 in Lisbon Falls
If you want to be a part of the local scene for a day, add this exciting festival to your list of things to do in Maine. From July 7th to the 9th in Lisbon Falls, you can drink, eat, parade, and celebrate all things Moxie, a popular New England soft drink!
12. Cheer on the runners of the Beach to Beacon.
Hit up Cape Elizabeth for a charity and well-known cause at Beacon to Beach 10k, even if you didn't make it into run yourself. This year's date is August 5 at 8:00 am. Bring a cowbell or a pan to bang with a spoon and cheer like you're still in high school. It's a great day, whether you plan to run or support.
13. Take a Damariscotta River Cruise for a chance to see the river and try local oysters! The river is tidal and the name comes from the Abenaki word for "River of Many Fishes."
14. Attend the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston
On August 18-20, check out another popular local treat, the Great Falls Balloon Festival! While you’re enjoying this summer treat, get a famous red hot dog from Simone's.
15. Hop between mini-golf courses in Naples, Windham, OOB and Saco.
Lastly, add a game of golf, go on a quest, and enjoy the marine life to your exciting list of things to do in Maine. Spend a day on a mini-PGA tour at Steamboat Landing Mini Golf in Naples, Seacoast Adventure in Windham, Pirates Cove in Old Orchard, and Schooner Mini Golf in Saco.
Mother's Day Gift Guide: 5 Awesome Last Minute Gifts for your favorite Mom! May 06 2017, 0 Comments
With Mother's Day just around the corner, we want you to celebrate mom in her own words. Our personalized gifts will make her feel special every day and we've got your last minute gift needs covered. As of late, we have all 5 hand-picked, customer favorites still in stock (though, no promises on that as we get closer to the big day)
5 Awesome Last Minute Gifts for your favorite Mom :)
1. The Weekender Tote: Our new tote designed to help you celebrate Mother’s Day, summer, and everything in between. This heavy-duty tote is versatile and provides roomy pockets for her favorite lipstick, making the perfect last-minute gift. It can be used as an all-occasion accessory, whether a peaceful outing at the beach or that Mother’s Day brunch.
2. Casco Bay Indoor/Outdoor Pillow: This beautiful, universal pillow brings your favorite place to life wherever you are. This classic, sturdy throw pillow is American made with handcrafted detail and soft blue hues that accentuate any room mom’s home.
3. The Ever-Classic Everyday Handbag: Whether she’s at work or shopping, she’ll find this light-weight handbag a complimentary treat this Mother’s Day! Plus, the novelty of the design will have people commenting. If they don't know what they are looking at, here's your chance to offer some insight! It's a welcoming surprise and they'll be happy to be in on the "secret".
4. Rugosa Rosa Zip Pouch: Give mom the ultimate bouquet this Mother’s Day. Named after the popular and oh-so fragrant beach rose, the Rugosa Rosa Weekend Getaway zip pouch is among the many assortments of flavorful custom-made zip pouches that complement any handbag. Mom would appreciate a sturdy zip pouch in her favorite custom design.
5. For when you just can't make the decision, our new GIFT CARDS make it easy and fast! The best part of the gift card is that she gets to make a choice and she'll get a beautifully packaged item that still feels like a unique gift on her special day.
One of our biggest pleasures is packaging our items to send off to their new owner. Each item we mail has been carefully handled and packed so that whether they are a gift to yourself or a gift to a loved one, it will be a joy to open and receive. Have a look at these really wonderful last minute gifts and send us an email if you have a special request or question.
Happy Shopping and Happy Mother's Day!
How The Shipping Channels, Ports and Bridges of NYC Inspired Our Abstract New York Patterns January 13 2017, 0 Comments
We celebrate New York with our ode to the Coastline that boasts the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and one of the biggest working harbors in the world. With a Coastline reflecting it’s angular skyline, our New York creations have a cool, abstract urban look that will fit nicely into any New York lovers abode. The metal zippers feel contemporary and industrial and the tarnished brass offers a throwback to the maritime fleets and the brass fixtures that adorned them…So while you may not be exploring the coastline this frosty season, the coastline can be with you on your couch while you binge over your latest Netflix obsession..... cheers, all you Big-Apple Lovers.
Gleaning Inspiration from Paradise----and Family Reunion November 14 2016, 0 Comments
When was the last time you went on a good old fashioned family reunion? For me, it was last week when we all (sister, brother, respective spouses and our parents) went on a week vacation together in the Florida keys. It was our parents' 50th wedding anniversary and we decided to meet in a place we'd never been. So we rented a house in Tavernier. We realized on our trip that the last time all of us (all siblings together at the same time and parents) were together in a vacation setting was 1987. 1987!!!
It was truly awesome for all the right reasons: relaxation, no busy schedules or deadlines to meet, good laughs with loved ones, good bonding time, great home cooked meals and the ever popular morning coffee on the terrace overlooking the water. We all need a break sometimes. The butterfly garden I was lucky enough to hear about and visit while in Key West totally blew me away -- exotic species of butterflies the size of my hand flying all around me in a giant domed conservatory with soothing zen music that made me want to lay down and melt. I was scheming ways to build this place in my back yard. The best part of coming unplugged is that objectivity comes back into play so much more easily and you can see clearly the things you want to do more of or the things you want to change in your routine. For me, the ideas start popping around and I get overwhelmed with all the things I want to do....but that's ok. I highly recommend a solid vacation at least one time per year (preferably more!). As I look back on the years that went by and we chained ourselves to our desks feeling guilty about leaving work, I realize that was a bad choice. Everyone needs a break to recharge and regroup. Just like powering off your computer every now and then. So for YOUR next vacation? Go for Paradise, maybe even with some people who knew you best when you were 16. The late night stories get pretty hilarious, it's very easy to come unplugged and find inspiration in things completely unrelated to your normal routine. Dream a little!
And, if you need a recommendation for a stunning rental home perched on a beautiful Tavernier canal, give Mrs. Martinez a shout at La Isla del Sueno. Weekly rates are fantastic if you have a full house and split the rate with others. It has all the amenities perfect for a group of great friends or a family of 8-10 including pool, dock, kayaks, snorkel equipment, ice machine, tiki hut and outdoor kitchen. With parrot fish and sergeant majors swimming right off the dock and lobsters within eyesight below, you can snorkel right off the dock. The only thing she might want to add to this house is one of my pillows, but other than that, this place is spectacular!
Shown at the top, the sunset view from dining at Marker 88. Another highlight!
What are the things that inspire you? I'm on instagram to capture the things that fascinate and inspire me. Hope to see you there!
Yes, they’re washable! December 04 2015, 0 Comments
Mary received a Casco Bay Tote as a gift. When she emailed us asking if it was safe to wash, we responded with washing instructions—and we were so happy to hear (and see!) the sparkling outcome:
“I apologize for the lousy photography, but I wanted you to see my beautifully clean bag! This was a Christmas gift last year, and although I initially hesitated to use it because there was so much white material, I liked it so much I couldn't resist. It has had almost a year of heavy use, bottom and sides had picked up dirt and a few stains from car/house floors and the handles were soiled from being carried so much. I followed your care directions, (also gave the handles a couple of shots of Shout), and you can see the results - Excellent!” -Sincerely - Mary - one very happy customer!
Mary, thank you for the tip—Shout for the handles! We are going to include this tip in our washing instructions in the future. Hope you get many more years of enjoyment from your tote.
We Made it into the Down East Magazine Holiday Gift Guide! December 02 2015, 0 Comments
Check out page 64 in the latest issue of Down East Magazine or check out their website feature on 40 Maine Made Gifts here! Their annual gift guide, written by Laura Serino, is “your ticket to stylish, creative, and thoughtful gift-giving — all while supporting Maine’s small businesses and artisans.”
We are honored to have our product featured among other incredible Maine-made gifts. Thanks to everyone who voted for us!
And we can’t help but mention another fabulous Maine-made gift (for yourself or a Maine-adoring friend)—a (print or digital) subscription to Down East Magazine. Get yours here.
How To Use Our Iconic Silk Scarves As A Statement Piece November 13 2015, 0 Comments
“I love your scarf. Where did you get it?”
A receptionist asked me that when I signed in at the doc.
When I told her I had made it, she said I should go into business. LOL.
I’ve noticed, when I wear my blue Maine Coast Scarf, someone comments on it and it sparks a conversation. Like yesterday, I popped into my favorite cafe for soup. The owner looked up at me and said, "Hi there! You look nice today, I love that scarf you have on." I'm not quite bold enough to be like, "Thanks! You know, you can have one too if you just go to my website at Coastlinebyannezimmerman.com…" But it's always great to get that kind of validation.
That salesy but TRUE intro aside, the Maine Coast Scarf is available now in new colors just in time for the holidays. Our festive new color palettes include Wintermint and Campari (shown above). They are pure silk with a really pretty, liquidy drape, and classy lines. The versatility or our scarves are magic because they look great with everything from t-shirt and jeans to blazer or blouse - or dress. They can also be worn in many different ways, from a double wrap around the neck to a single wrap with a loose and long tie. >>>Here is a great video showing several different ways to wear a silk scarf. <<<<
…..So, in wrapping this up (wink wink) we think our scarves are a fabulous conversation starter!
Let me know who you meet because of them.
Casco Bay Tote—special stock-up sale October 21 2015, 0 Comments
If you’ve been to Casco Bay, you already know it’s one of the most beautiful places. A boater's paradise. From hundreds of islands and secret coves to explore, you almost feel like you have it all to yourself. An undiscovered, wild treasure. If you haven’t been there, I truly recommend you visit.
Whether you’re a longtime resident, your love affair with Casco Bay is new, or you plan to visit someday—here is a super-special (and super-rare!) sale:
Save 40% off the Casco Bay Tote – Quantities are limited.
(Use coupon code CASCOBAY at checkout.)
Whether you’d like one for yourself, or many as gifts, take 40% off (while quantities last) with the coupon code CASCOBAY at checkout. Shop the Casco Bay contenders here or check them out in our Maine Coast collection.
And here’s a little holiday plug! Stock up for the special people in your life who love Casco Bay. Whether it’s for December, or a birthday or special occasion next year, Casco Bay never goes out of style.
Custom Designed Hunter Sailing Association Gift Bags September 01 2015, 0 Comments
We are so pleased to have provided the custom gift bag design for the Maine Hunter Sailing Association Annual Cruise. The Association selected one of our Maine Coast Wine bags and added their logo to the design. I hear the bags were filled with cookies and presented to the sailors as they embarked on their annual cruise Downeast. Cookies and sailing? YES PLEASE.
Custom Designed Nautical Chart Wall Art July 30 2015, 0 Comments
The idea for Coastline began when I was looking at my Casco Bay NOAA chart hanging in the living room. It had always been a staple in my home and I love looking around at all the islands and tracing the lines up the coast. I remember wondering if the same map existed somewhere in brighter, punchier colors--something more unique and stylish. When I couldn't find what I was looking for, I wanted to try to create what I was envisioning.
Everyone has their "place", their home, their favorite spot. I began developing products that offer people the opportunity to surround themselves with memorable decor representing their favorite places and their homes. In this custom piece, Kathy requested a special Coastline made for her living room, in the color scheme of her home. She wanted it to be a statement piece above the mantle, with the name of her home marked on the chart in it's location. It was such an honor to create this piece with her! Introducing "Seascape, Bunganuc Landing".
Hot and Pop: Jupiter Island Florida Anniversary Gift Custom Pillow June 19 2015, 0 Comments
Custom Corporate Gifts for the San Diego Sales Summit! June 05 2015, 0 CommentsThe development of a custom tote for UNUM has been a lot of fun. We used our teal and navy color palette and added navy handles and a custom design with a logo and city streets on this one of a kind bag.
Introducing Silk Scarves April 13 2015, 0 Comments
I love scarves. Being from New England, the scarf will probably always be a staple in my wardrobe. I had a scarf design in mind and when I found the silk, we couldn't resist. Check out of our latest creation inspired by the paintings of abstract artist Mark Rothko. The Summer 2015 Silk Crepe De Chine scarves are part of our Artist Series, all of which were inspired by artists who captured our attention with color (our favorite topic!) To see more scroll down in the Maine section of our website: http://www.coastlinebyannezimmerman.com/collections/the-maine-coast-collection
Collaborating with Roxanne York Real Estate on Custom Harpswell Maine Co-Branded Totes April 07 2015, 0 Comments
Roxanne York is my friend Darcy's mom. Darcy and I met when we had condos next door to each other on the West End in Portland. Darcy moved on to bigger dreams in Barcelona, Spain and we catch up via Skype now, instead of on our balconies. I think the small world story goes like this: a friend of Darcy and Roxanne's from Harpswell, ME visited Darcy in Barcelona shortly after buying a pillow from me, and at the same time Roxanne was visiting too. They must have talked about Maine pillows while sightseeing in Barcelona, but it was the best call ever when Roxanne called me to ask if I could make her some totes for her Real Estate business in Harpswell Maine. We sewed a label for her business to the inside pocket and I'm so pleased her customers will receive such a fantastic gift. Thanks, Roxanne! So if you would like to buy a home from Roxanne, so you don't have to buy a tote from me, visit http://www.roxanneyorkrealestate.com to view her listings! :)
The View From Above: A Cessna 172 Tour Above Acadia National Park August 22 2014, 0 Comments
I don't always get the opportunity to fly a plane and take pictures of my latest subject for tote designs, but when my husband and I were vacationing at Acadia, we took a scenic tour (from Scenic Flights of Acadia) over Lamoine, Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island and the Cranberry Islands. How pretty and mountainous! It's easy to forget how rugged the land is if you don't see that perspective too often. I'm sure the pilot who was half my age got a kick of how EXCITED I was to fly the plane for 5 minutes…. a very good day.
NEW! Wedding Favor Totes July 25 2014, 0 Comments
Thanks to Sage Innovations in Charleston SC for the call for custom favor totes for a glorious summer wedding in Charleston.