When we saw Bell Farm Shops was for sale and we began dreaming about what that would mean for us, a huge draw was the sense of community it would provide. I have not been one to stay put for awhile. I grew up on Long Island, went to school and lived in NYC and after college lived in Jersey. All densely populated places where it was hard to really find your place. As much as I am so thankful for the experiences I have had and the people I have met, I always craved more of a community. Although York is pretty big itself, Bell Farm is a place where regulars come in and enjoy their surroundings and the company.
As we continue to grow and as I continue to make more connections, I am doing all I can to make Bell Farm more of a community for others. Here are some examples of some community events and activities:
Outdoor Yoga with Yoga on York
Last year in 2018, we connected with Yoga on York to offer Yoga on the green over the summer. The classes are offered every Saturday over the summer beginning on May 25th, weather permitting. It is a great way to connect with the outdoors while getting a nice workout in. It is an all levels class that I took myself and enjoyed very much! After the class we offer 10% off to anyone who took the class with a few exclusions. Yoga on York also offers beach yoga, hiking yoga & of course yoga in their own studio. Visit www.yogaonyork.com to sign up for any of these classes!
Jewelry Classes with Autumn Hampshire of Autumn Designs
Autumn was one of our first suppliers at Bell Farm Shops! We carry her beautifully made, sterling silver jewelry. She lives in York, Maine and has been creating jewelry for over 20 years! She has hosted a few classes at the shop and we hope to do more together in the future! In this photo, students were learning to drill through sea glass to make their own sea glass necklace. In the second class she taught students how tot make sterling silver hammered earrings!
Print & Sip by Rhonda Lynch
Rhonda Lynch, an accomplished artist and printmaker who lives in Eliot, Maine taught this fun botanical print making class! Student learned simple botanical printing techniques and created beautiful one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day cards while enjoying some wine and snacks! Everyone had their own unique style and it was fun to see how everyone’s cards turned out!
We love carrying locally made products and we love it even more when our customers get to meet the people behind the products they are buying. We are so grateful for all the work these talented artists do and for the time they have spent to come to our events! Below are some of the amazing local talents who have come to events at the shop and a little bit about each of them.
Cape Porpoise Trading Co makes rugs that are made with recycled rope that comes directly from the lobstermen fishing on the coast of Maine. We love that they are made from recycled materials. We also love the awesome color combinations. They lack the sheen other rope mats have, having a more elevated matte look (no pun intended) that I love! Kerin came and did a demo at the shop to show just how she weaves these beautiful mats! Make sure you come to the shop to check out the rugs we have in stock!
Seagate Studio was created by a mother-daughter duo and they make gorgeous home decor items that are made with traditional materials and have a relaxed, classic design that reflect New England. They are based in Portsmouth, NH. We stock their Maine “HOME” trays, York Beach coordinate pillows, & York Beach tea towels! Sam helped customers make custom pillows at the shop. :)
Sunlit Lupine Designs was created by Kelsey and she is all about reducing plastic usage! Her beeswax wraps are an amazing product that are reusable and help make a difference! She brought an expanded selection of prints and patterns. Find her wraps at the shop. They are great for personal use or for a sweet, locally made housewarming present.
Danielle Lehoux is an amazing artist who makes the most unique bird print cards, posters and magnets. She was born and raised in Cape Neddick, Maine. Danielle creates each piece by first visiting the location and taking several photos of the subject. She utilizes these photos as a reference for both perspective and color palette while painting the scene, using a mouse or stylus as her “paintbrush” and her monitor screen as her “canvas”. She has attended shop events to sign her artwork!
Nick and Jennifer of Hilton Gifts & Decor live right down the road from the shop in York, ME! They make a variety of wood signs. We love that they use reclaimed and repurposed materials as much as possible. We carry their Maine “Home” shelf toppers. They also do custom work as well!
Old Firehouse Farm did a clay wheel demo at the shop! Their pottery is made with locally sourced glacial marine “blue” clay, that was dug near their homestead at Wayne Village Pottery and was created over 15,000 years ago when Central Maine was the floor of the ocean. They are busy with their own gift shop so unfortunately they no longer regularly supply items to us, but we do have a couple of their products left at this time!
Molly O. Fedarko lives in Camden, Maine with her husband and two sons, and created her line of paper goods and baby rompers with a sense of fine design and light-hearted silliness, in equal measure. We do always laugh or smile when we look at each Molly O card! At this event she brought an expanded assortment. We loved the cards so much and so did our customers, that we decided to keep them all! :)
Belted Cow Company started in Maine in 2004. Their products are meticulously made with first-quality materials. They offered an expanded assortment at our event showcasing all of their product categories. We carry their keychains, hats and wallets. They also sell belts, dog collars & more! We love the the classic New England design of their products!
Beautycounter launched in 2013 and they’ve created their own high standards in pursuit of clean beauty. They advocate for stricter guidelines and regulations to shift the personal-care industry away from using harmful and questionable ingredients. We don’t carry Beautycounter products, but Wendy Smit, a local rep held a popup at the shop! Shop their products at www.beautycounter.com/wendysmit1
Owlive Oil is made in Maine and they only use the finest ingredients for their product. Their organic infused olive oils are highly concentrated to provide maximum flavor. I personally love cooking with this product! It adds so much flavor to my food. It’s also great for garlic bread or just plain French bread. They came to do a tasting for us!
Speaking of garlic..Backyard garlic is grown and processed in New Hampshire. They dehydrate their garlic in small batches to preserve the crisp, robust and welcoming flavors. Once you try this, you will be hooked and your salt and pepper shaker will have a new companion! They did a tasting for us for our customers to try.
Duane Bean is a pen & ink artist who loves to bring his passion to others though his depiction of New England archtecture, landscapes and seascapes. Our favorite is the card he made of Bell Farm Shops that you can pick up right in the store! We carry their cards. They brought additional cards & bags to our event.
Fiber and Water is a husband and wife team that started in 2012. They create awesome framed burlap silk screens! They make great gifts and a great way to decorate your house with some locally made unique wall art. We carry select print, but they brought with them a variety of prints!
Homemade by Rivka is a small batch producer of jams and jellies. Rivka picks every bit of produce, chops every berry, ladle fills every jar, and twists every lid myself. They have such unique flavors you just have to try them all! Rivka has provided samples for many of our events for our customers to try!
We hope to continue offering classes and events as long as the interest continues! Know that if you are attending one of our classes/events or deciding to purchase a locally made item at our shop you are helping us help the people of our community. The small choices you make can make a huge difference! Please ask us when you are shopping with us to point out our local products.
We are so excited for the terrarium building workshop coming up on May 8th at 6pm!
If you attend you can enjoy a wide assortment of materials to work with that guarantee each terrarium is unique and special. Small treasures, like darling little shells and other beachy mementos will adorn your miniature garden— but save room to add something special of your own to personalize it!
Go home feeling confident and equipped to care for (and keep alive!) your living succulent terrarium. A true living work of art! Keep for yourself or give as a Mother’s Day gift!
The class will be taught by Cori of Living Arrangements. Pre-registering is not required but definitely appreciated! Register at this link.