If you want to understand Maine, consider a lesson in Beachology.
After all, Beachology is the result of thorough research in and around this New England town. And by research, we mean shopping and talking.
In 2007 Maili Lafayette was a Los Angeles transplant who wanted to immerse herself in the local culture. What better way to learn more, she thought, than to turn to local artists, residents and frequent visitors to the area.
Maili had another reason for doing so: She envisioned a store that would represent the heart of this popular coastal destination. Two years later she opened Beachology on Old Orchard Street, perched atop a hill overlooking the ocean.
“Old Orchard Beach is a place like no other in Maine and now most of the country,” Maili says. “It's a throwback to a childhood's fondest memories hanging out at the beach with the famous pier, cotton candy, Ferris wheel, amusement park, arcade, miniature golf and tons of people watching. It's an amazing and exciting summer experience.”
At Beachology you’ll find unique crafts and home décor items. Lobster claws are hand-painted with a scene from the local shores, a gilded bulldog is fitted with a red and white bowtie and hanging glass terrariums dazzle with colorful starfish.
There’s also a hint of humor, like the “Soap for Geeks: WiFi Scented” and “Soap for Hipsters: Coffee, Bacon & Craft Beer.”
Tourists love the Made in Maine gifts—everything from coffee cups and wall art to decorative bowls and clothing. The shop is a favorite with the locals, too, many whose work line the shelves.
Beachology focuses on the art of gift giving with favorites like books dedicated to dear old Dad, sea glass jewelry and a box titled Bucket List to hold your list of accomplishments. Repurposed Seabags that have been embellished and now serve as wine totes and sail bags are ideal for the environmentally conscious as are the recycled rope wreaths, placemats and totes. For the Maine man in your life, cuff links fashioned from recycled lobster traps are downright clever.
When Maili came across LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls earlier this, she knew they’d be a great fit.
“I was interested in them because they are locally made in Maine, they are reusable and it’s a product line that I had not seen before,” Maili says. “The LooHoo balls are so beautiful-looking as well. I knew it would draw customers to look at them and touch them. They have been a great new product for us.”
Beachology has done so well that when their next-door neighbors moved out three years ago they decided to expand the store and name the space the Happynest Collection to “spread happiness and things that would remind you of things that make you happy for your home and spirit,” Maili says.
“Maine is an amazing state that values tradition, family, history and the way life should be,” Maili says. “Mainers are strong, hearty and loyal. I'm happy to live in a place and raise my children to appreciate the beautiful landscape of Maine and the people that make it so special.”
You can find out more about Beachology at www.BeachologyStore.com.
CAPTION: OWNER ON BIKE PHOTO
Proprietress Maili Lafayette opened Beachology in conjunction with
Lafayette Hotels (her husband’s family business) in May 2009.
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