Sea Salt + Chambray Coastal Inspired Food, Fashion, Design and Lifestyle Fri, 28 Jul 2017 16:05:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Shop Spotlight… k colette Fri, 28 Jul 2017 15:20:47 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

Pictured left to right: Sarah creative director, Megan e-commerce manager/photographer + Karen owner/founder

You don’t have to be a Reiki healer to pick up on the amazing energy of k colette. As a team, as a store, and as a brand, k colette sets the bar high.

The moment you pass through the door of this home design boutique you’re compelled to slow down. Everything about the space begs you to indulge your senses, relax, and take pleasure in the expertly curated collections of carefully and beautifully made things from near and far.

We frequently pinch ourselves because we live in an extraordinary place (thank you, Vacationland) and are surrounded by such a warm and amazingly talented community. Since before we had even launched Eklund Griffin (and still today!), the team at k colette has provided us with vital feedback on all aspects of our startup adventure and product development- our brand is stronger because of our relationship with these wonderful visionary women.

When you come to visit Portland, Maine be sure to stop by and experience k colette for yourself at 100 Commercial Street – you can also shop their website!

Here’s what they have to say about starting the store, creativity, and what’s next!

Read on! Blair + Hayley

K. Colette Shop

SS+C: What was the spark that started k colette?
After years of being a teacher, a hands-on mom, and an active member of the local community, I was ready for a total change of pace. I’ve always been drawn to artful, one-of- a-kind products like textiles and ceramics, and I grew up with artists in my own family who gave me a special appreciation for craft. It felt like a natural extension to support the work of a wider community of creatives by opening this type of store, dedicated not only to supporting our local artisans and makers but bringing the work of lesser known makers from across the country—and world—into the mix.

Eklund Griffin Collection

SS+C: How do you go about choosing the designers and artisans to carry in your store?
So much of what we carry in the store is dictated by the feeling we get when we meet a vendor and hear their story. Whether that’s at a trade show in Paris, through a mutual friend in Maine, or over email with an artisan we’ve fallen in love with via their Instagram account, we hand select the products that go into the store not only for their beauty and craftsmanship but because of the relationship we have with the person or people that make it. Our eyes are always open to new discoveries, whether on our travels or in our inboxes—we’re lucky to say that many talented vendors reach out to us with product submissions, which is how we’ve come to sell many of our favorite things in the store.

Buoy Block Clutch

SS+C: How has your style, aesthetic, and/or business changed/evolved since you first started?
The mission has always been to represent not only the wonderful makers and artisans from our own state and region, but to bring in vendors from all over the country and world. We continue to put an even greater emphasis on sourcing designs from lesser- known places, whether that’s a small town in the South of France, an Indian village known for its block-printing, or as far afield as South Africa.

SS+C: What is the best piece of business/life advice you’ve ever received?
Do your due diligence before engaging in an entrepreneurial enterprise, but balance that with a healthy willingness to take a leap of faith.

Dory Clutch

SS+C: How do you ensure that k colette is different than other stores of its kind?
We put a real emphasis on the customer. From the moment you walk into the store, we want it to feel like you’ve entered a sanctuary of sorts, one that smells good, always looks interesting, has fresh flowers, where we welcome you warmly and help you find what you’re looking for like a friend might. K colette has always been a deeply personal endeavor for me, and I hope that as a result the store feels personal, too. We truly believe in shopping as a kind of discovery—if you come into the store and learn something new about a glassblowing technique, smell a combination of scents in a candle you’ve never smelled before, or find inspiration in one of our homey displays, we consider that a success.

Wary Meyers Soap

SS+C: What is your connection to the local community?
We are passionate about not only engaging the local customers who come into our store every day, but also bringing in customers from around the country and world who come to visit our beautiful city and want to support locally-owned businesses while they’re here. We provide locals with essentials for their home that they have come to count on us for, but we also represent Maine to a wider audience by selling pieces by many of our state’s talented artists and artisans. We like to think of it as a symbiotic relationship.

Buoy Block Clutch

SS+C: What’s next for k colette?
We hope to continue on in the spirit in which we were founded five years ago: to provide joy, inspiration, quality, and beauty to our customers, and to support artists in their creative endeavors. We’ll continue to focus our energies on bringing the store experience online to, which means a greater focus on editorial content to tell our vendors’ stories, a more comprehensive selection of products, and an increasingly user-friendly interface. We’re also excited about continuing to evolve our product offerings. After years of seeing so many products, selling them, and comparing them, we have become deeply knowledgeable about which kind of things work for our store and which don’t. As a result, k colette is going to begin introducing more exclusive collaborations in which we work hand in hand with our beloved artists to create products just for us—so keep your eyes peeled for exciting introductions in the months to come.

K. Colette Sign


Beach Day Round Up Fri, 14 Jul 2017 13:38:23 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

If there is anything that goes with a New England summer better than a beach day, we don’t know what it is. One of the hardest parts of being adults, we’ve come to discover, is not having summer vacation for two and a half months. So, when we do get the opportunity, we toss all of our favorite beach things in a bag, like a Wave Weekender :), and hit the seaside!

Like with all things, being prepared is the key to enjoyment. Just as a snowstorm is less fun in flip flops and a tank top, the beach can be pretty rough without proper sun protection, hydration and snacks. Always snacks!!! There are times in life to push your comfort zone and times to embrace it, the beach is a place we consider the latter. With a nice reclining chair, a Fair Sea Supply Co. round Turkis towel (that you will want to wrap around you for life!!!), and some refreshing bubbles how can the day go wrong? Oh, and if we don’t have a cooler and sufficient ice packs we make sure to bring a few bucks for a cold indulgence. Usually there is some kind of ice creamy place near the beach- thank goodness!

Happy weekend! Blair + Hayley

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Interview… Roula of Sewcialite Fri, 09 Jun 2017 17:21:27 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

Sometimes life happens, I think we can all relate to that. But the call to be creative doesn’t really go away. If being around Hayley has taught me anything it’s that creativity is like steam and if you don’t let it off here and there you’ll practically explode like a confetti-filled piñata. This is similar to the experience of Roula, the founder and maker of Sewcialite, a beautiful collection of handstitched rope baskets available on Etsy. Her creativity effervesces as much as the radiance behind her smile. I’m not sure you will ever meet a more upbeat go-getter with such a zest for life, her family, and her craft. Currently, and for the near future, a one-woman show, each and every rope creation she stitches is uniquely individual and made with so. much. love! We adore our Sewcialite baskets and use them, literally, all around the house. We had the great pleasure of meeting Roula for coffee (and cheese danish for Blair, because, snacks always!) and as the minutes wizzed by we were so inspired by her passion and drive.

See our interview with her below!

Happy weekend! Blair + Hayley

sewcialite nh basket at entry

sewcialite nh basket detail

sewcialite nh rope basket

SS+C: What was the spark that started Sewcialite?

Sewcialite began in 2010. I was working full time, and decided to enroll in pattern design classes. I met an amazing woman (my mentor) Janith Bergeron (Designs by Janith). She taught me the fundamentals and fueled my passion for design. I am so grateful to have met her and to have had the opportunity to learn from her. At the time my focus was on designing women’s clothing. I was selling my designs on Etsy and blogging about my experience. I coerced my good friends to model my designs and we did a photo shoot in Portsmouth.

With the birth of my first child in 2011 I put Sewcialite on hold to focus on my family. Honestly, I had not seen my sewing machine since then, but 2 months ago I realized I desperately needed a creative outlet, something just for me. So I decided to make a rope basket and I haven’t been able to stop since.

SS+C: What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting/owning your own business?

I have been working in corporate settings as a business analyst/project lead for the past 13+ years. I am still working full time as I try and grow my business. It’s been amazing to have the opportunity to be my own boss. I love the freedom of calling the shots and setting and achieving my own business goals.

SS+C: What were/are the most important elements to you when you set up your creative environment?

Complete chaos! My creative environment typically involves breaking up fights with my 2.5 year old and 5.5 year old, or having my 2.5 year old sit on my lap while I sew. There is a lot of stop and go, disruption, and multitasking that occurs as I design, photograph and post my pieces. Sometimes I think to myself if people could only see what is going on behind the scenes they would laugh hysterically!

SS+C: Where is the most exciting place Sewcialite has taken you?

Social Media, especially Instagram has been such an amazing space. I feel so fortunate to have met so many talented and awe inspiring artists and entrepreneurs. Including Eklund Griffin! Instagram is an awesome community that I am proud to be a part of.

SS+C: How do you gather and process inspiration?

I grew up on the southern coast of Maine and NH. Having always lived near the water I feel it has truly shaped my modern coastal aesthetic. It’s very fitting since my medium is rope and it’s a natural material. Growing up in Maine and NH allowed me opportunities to enjoy nature, the outdoors and all 4 seasons.

SS+C: How has your style, aesthetic, and/or business changed/evolved since you first started?

When I first began designing my aesthetic was very trendy. Today, I am much more classic but with a modern twist. My lifestyle is so different, being a mom and working full time. Today my business goals are much more conservative, I am hoping for a slow and steady growth over time.

SS+C: What is the best piece of business/life advice you’ve ever received?

Work hard and be nice to people.  You have to put in the time, nothing happens overnight, and you have to be kind and honest, that goes a long way in the business world.

SS+C: What has been your happiest moment owning your own business?

Seeing my designs in someone’s home. How they have styled it. It brings me the greatest joy when someone shares a photo and appreciates the workmanship and time I put into one of my pieces. I feel like I put a little piece of myself into every design.

SS+C: What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?

Set realistic expectations and goals that you can accomplish the first month, 3 months, 6 months, the first year. It’s important to pace yourself so you don’t burn out.

SS+C: What is something about your business people should know, but probably don’t?

That there are many late nights, a lot of juggling and multitasking that goes into building this business and allowing me to follow my design dream.

Spring Style Roundup Fri, 31 Mar 2017 10:00:56 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

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Up here, in our corner of the northeast, spring is still deciding whether or not to settle in. It’s as though the world around us has dipped a toe into the waters of spring and decided, “nah,” and put it’s parka back on for a bit longer. As one who has a terrible time ripping myself our from under my down comforter… I cannot pass judgement. But I digress.

Despite feeling like slow spring adopters this year, we have already found ourselves driving around town with the windows rolled down. Be bold, right? All you need is forty degrees (well, maybe forty-two)! But it’s never too early to start planning. Be prepared, as the inner girl scout reminds us. So, we’re looking ahead to a day when our puffy jackets will be replaced with something more waterproof for those famous April Showers and street style is once again inclusive of the underneath layers! The two looks we’ve pulled together here are the kind of outfits that embrace comfort, but also make you feel like you are lookin’ fine and wouldn’t mind being seen out and about. Those are the best of times. We won’t talk about our fashion worst of times….

Swedish Spring Style in Black

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We spotted more than a couple instant favorites from the Swedish brand Stutterheim, but fell especially hard their rubberized cotton rain jacket for the season ahead. We loved it so much, we want two. And just like giving a mouse a cookie, if you give a girl a rain jacket… obviously she is going to need the rest of the outfit to go with it and a little bling to top it all off! The gorgeous rings are made by one of the loveliest and talented jewelers there ever was, Nell Ballard of Belle by Nell. Her handmade creations are so special and made with so much love and care! If that doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks walking around, even if it is raining on your head, then we don’t know what will!

Cheers to spring! Blair + Hayley

Maine Maple Rosemary Gimlet. Uh, YUM! Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:00:38 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

There’s a new kid on the (chopping) block! Well, marble slab if we’re going for accuracy. This beauty of a bottle contains our family favorite when it comes to liquor: gin! Gin and tonics have always been the drink of choice at family events, and we love the nautical spin Nautical American Gin has taken with their recipe. Nautical American Gin hails from New Hampshire and launched in 2015. They’ve sponsored this post and a gimlet competition that we’re participating in. We will let you know how you can vote for your favorite version through the month of February by updating this post and our Instagram and Facebook!

Nautical has included 15 unique (and global!) ingredients to round out the flavor of their gin, which is made in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. We don’t dare call ourselves experts… so for those of you interested in a more technical critique of the product read this! Where we do feel comfortable throwing our say around is with the design of the bottle and brand. 1. we love this color. 2. we love adventure/exploration- which Nautical has really made a pillar of the brand. 3. anybody else notice the lovely touch of Morse Code on the bottle? So salty. Mmm mmm mmm!

For this post, we’re departing from our standby g+t to try out a different spin on another gin classic- the Gimlet. Traditionally speaking a gimlet is really straight forward: gin, lime, simple syrup. We’ve played with the simple syrup to imbibe a bit of Maine via maple syrup and a touch of herby earth with some fresh rosemary. The rosemary, in our opinion, compliments the flavors of the gin nicely and the maple sings next to the lime. To try it out for your 21+ year old selves, see the recipe below!

*UPDATE* To participate in the contest and cast your vote for the best reimagined Gimlet go to Nautical Gin’s Facebook and Instagram to like your favorite cocktail by February 20th!

Maine Gimlet with Nautical American Gin


  • Water
  • Maple Syrup (we used Maine maple syrup… we hear Vermont has some tasty stuff too!)
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Nautical Gin
  • Lime Juice (fresh squeeezed is preferable!) and a slice for garnish
  • Ice
  • Seltzer Water (optional)

To make the maple simple syrup combine in a small to medium saucepan equal parts water and maple syrup and a sprig of fresh rosemary. This is really to your personal preference… if you like a strong earthy/herb note throw in an extra sprig! We’re not very scientific over here. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let steep 10 or so minutes. Blair forgot about it while she ate her Annie’s Mac ‘n Cheese so it got a good 20 minute rest. :) Again, not rocket science! Remove the rosemary and take a moment to enjoy the heavenly scent of the maple soaked sprig. Discard… preferably via compost (plug for mother nature!).

Once the simple syrup has cooled to room temp get your cocktail shaker out! Fill it with ice then add in 3 parts Nautical gin, 3 parts fresh squeezed lime juice and 2 parts maple rosemary simple syrup. We tried 1 part of the syrup at first, but we aren’t strong enough to handle the strength of the lime… so we tossed in an extra splash of sweetness to offset. Try a mini version and adjust to your tastes! Then, have a little solo dance party and shake that baby up! If your shaker is metal your hands will get ever so slightly cold. We promise, it’s worth it!

Pour into your gimlet glass, or any container without holes (this is what we did!). Finish with a pretty slice or wedge of lime (not that you’ll need the extra flavor!) and a mini sprig of rosemary. This is mainly for outward appearances, but it makes for a nice olafactory experience, too… especially if you take a rosemary leaf up the nose. Not that that happens(ed)…

We hope you have as much fun making and enjoying this drink as we did at 10:00 in the morning! Gotta get that winter sunlight when it’s best for the photos! Work can be so hard sometimes. :)

Happy sipping! Blair + Hayley

Maine Maple Rosemary Gimlet Cocktail

Gimlet Ingredients

Maine Maple Rosemary Gimlets for friends


New Year, New Color! Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:07:43 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

Before you question the title of this post, we’d like to acknowledge the fact that black is arguably not a color. But for the sake of a short and catchy header we’re going to proceed anyway. It sounds better than “New Year, New Absence of Color,” ya know? With that cleared up, we are pretty darn excited to share the latest additions to the Maiden Collection! For all those who crave the classic standby that is black (it does go with just about any and everything!) we finally gotchu.

Infinity Tote

I’ve always wondered how Hayley does it… she sees what is on the left and creates that on the right. Today is almost, but not quite, a behind the scenes of her brain. My brain still struggles to envision a paint chip color on a wall, but she can truly see things that aren’t there to most people. And, while “our” (again I’m using the royal our… it’s a thing) inspiration is most definitely the Maine coast and the ocean we strive to create things that appeal regardless of one’s proximity to, or love for, the sea. So, armed (get it? bags… arms… ha) with the color of the cities, we’re excited to take the expanded Maiden Collection and make for Boston and New York and beyond!

Bring on 2017 adventures! Blair + Hayley
Buoy Block Clutch

Home for the Holidays Mon, 19 Dec 2016 02:41:40 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

Eklund Griffin Holiday Style Guide

Blair packed up her Wave Weekender and hit the road early this past Friday morning to head to Pittsburg but she promised she’d be home for Christmas- through song, so I’m holding her to it! As she goes through the phases of vacation- travel, celebration and relaxation- I helped her pack for every occasion, because that’s just what a big sister does, ya know? I even tossed in a few of my own favorite pieces. Now that she is a few days past 27 I’m taking a risk that she won’t get grass stains all over my borrowed clothes. Haha, fingers crossed! Once a little sister, always a little sister…

Our closets are both filled with staples from old standbys like L.L.Bean and J.Crew, but especially as we embark on our entrepreneurial adventure with Eklund Griffin we are more excited about discovering and supporting other local and small businesses. So, similar to the balance in our own closets we’ve added in a couple of these gems to our New England holiday style guide.

The beautiful statement bronze Token Necklace featured for a festive look is created by local jeweler, Cat Bates. His metalsmithing is inspired by his coastal connection, specifically to Monhegan Island, a place we have come to adore in recent years. Another great local feature is the hand knit beanie by Woodboogah. The Cape Elizabeth style, which we are partial to as born and bred Capers, is a delicious cashmere and wool blend. This little state of ours is bursting at the seams with talented and skilled designers, crafters and creators.

We are fortunate to know and partner with Woodboogah for our Christmas Countdown Giveaway- happening now! If you still have a few gifts to buy and want to learn about great Maine brands that run the gamut from fashion and style to delicious treats and luxe body products you can pop over to our post about all the local businesses and brands we’re featuring up until Christmas Eve Day, and if you have an Instagram account you should throw your hat in the ring- you could win one of our Buoy Block Clutches and another amazing Maine product!

Warm wishes, Blair + Hayley

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12 Day Christmas Countdown Giveaway Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:00:56 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

We could wax poetic for too many paragraphs about how elated, ecstatic, and a whole slew of other warm and fuzzy emotions we are about this journey we’ve been on with Eklund Griffin since June (and really the past 4+ years), especially at this time of year when we all enter reflection mode mixed with hot cocoa and warm wishes for and from everybody. We are definitely under the influence of extreme gratitude.

But we won’t. Because we have something important to tell you about! We’re partnering with 12 amazing Maine made brands to host a Christmas Countdown Giveaway on Instagram from December 13th through December 24th- and this isn’t a giveaway of things that are going to gather dust on your shelf, like the swag you get at an industry conference… stickers that you don’t want to put on your car, pens that don’t really write that well, bobble heads… no no no, we’ve rounded up some truly luxurious products. Think: cashmere, chocolate, jewelry, luxe body products, artisan handcrafted goods, and wood roasted coffee, you with us now? Yeah, we thought that might pique your interest. Oh, and of course… leather! All in all, we’re shipping out 12 packages of product totaling over $3,000!

Rules for Participation:

  1. To be eligible, entrants must:
    • follow @EklundGriffin and the daily partnering brand on Instagram and leave a comment on Eklund Griffin’s post tagging two friends to share the giveaway contest. Comments/tags on the partner brands post do not qualify you for the giveaway. (We will do our best to shout this from the rafters so there isn’t confusion!)
    • live in the United States (we are sorry to say that we cannot ship internationally at this time!)
  1. You can earn additional entries for every additional two friends you tag in the comments! 10 tags = 5 entries!
  2. Each day’s giveaway will be open for entry from about 5:00 a.m.-11:59 p.m. EST.
  3. The winner will be selected by a third party random selection tool. Winners will be announced the following day, shortly after midnight EST.
  4. Limit one giveaway prize per person. (Should anybody be so lucky to be drawn twice!)
  5. Employees of participating brands may not enter the contest on the day their company is being featured.
  6. Standard shipping will be provided through UPS; we cannot guarantee delivery before December 25th. We will provide tracking on all packages.
  7. Eklund Griffin Buoy Block Clutches are not exchangeable for another color.
  8. Questions about the giveaway should be directed to Blair + Hayley at
  9. This giveaway is not endorsed or sponsored by, or otherwise associated with, Instagram.

eklund griffin holiday giveaway

Christmas Countdown Giveaway Participating Brands (alpha order linked to websites and Instagrams!):

  1. Belle by Nell (instagram)
  2. Benoit’s Design Co. (instagram)
  3. Bixby Co. (instagram)
  4. Black Dinah Chocolatiers (instagram)
  5. Finn & Co. (instagram)
  6. Flowfold (instagram)
  7. Island Apothecary (instagram)
  8. Maine Melon (instagram)
  9. Parrott Design Studio (instagram)
  10. Speckled Ax (instagram)
  11. Watts In Maine (instagram)
  12. Woodboogah (instagram)

Please feel free to share this blog post and the Christmas Countdown Giveaway with your friends and family!!

Happy holidays and warm wishes! Blair + Hayley

November Is For Navy Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:00:34 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

Because Blair just can’t control herself, today you’re all going to get another mini history lesson. You might remember having to sit through the background of chambray a while ago- haha, just kidding we don’t expect you to remember 2014!- but today we’re all about navy. It’s riveting stuff, the history of colors and textiles.

To cut to the chase, navy is an essential (if you ask us) tone of blue when it comes to anything and everything nautically inspired. We would argue that for anybody, brand, or product line, to call themselves truly nautically inspired they absolutely must incorporate this standby tone. The term “navy blue” first came to be in 1748 to name the color used for the British Royal Navy uniforms worn by officers, according to Wikipedia. Alright, alright, my research isn’t that in-depth, guys… we’ve got a business to run, too!

As it turns out, given the nature of naval uniforms and the fading that occurs, navy came to be almost ubiquitous with black, so you will notice our navy is a very deep, dark blue in keeping with this historical definition of the color. And, as such, our true navy Infinity Tote, with a guest appearance by a certain spotlight-hungry Buoy Block Clutch, deserved an equally authentic opportunity to shine… and where better to do that than the first lighthouse completed under the federal government’s ownership in the great USA? Thank you, Portland Headlight!

Shortly after this shoot, Blair announced that she had fallen so in love with her prop that she was adopting a new navy Infinity Tote for herself. If you’re a navy lover too, pop over to the shop (button on the right or here) to scoop one up for yourself!

Always koo-koo for navy, Blair + Hayley

p.s. Did you think we were going to say cocoa cocoa puffs? Also… 5 bonus points to those of you who can spot Hayley in one of the photos!

portland headlight

Lighthouse Infinity Tote

Infinity Tote in Navy

Buoy Block Clutch in Casco Bay Blue and Navy
Portland Headlight at sunset

Navy Infinity Tote



Waterbury Wonderment Fri, 28 Oct 2016 10:00:54 +0000 SEE MORE]]>

There is something so magical about craftsmanship and true heirloom quality achieved at the skilled hand of an artisan. Every time we visit our manufacturer in Connecticut we get tingles, because this is a place where American craftsmanship is at its best. This space- the energy, the history, the character of this place- it’s phenomenal. Walking over the creaky floors it feels like the building is trying to tell you its stories about the exquisite things that have been carefully crafted here. The sun-flooded rooms ensure that nary a detail is missed. The shelves are full of projects past and projects just starting (like Eklund Griffin!). Talk about stepping into a playground of inspiration and possibility.

The gentlemen who manage the factory are our partners and mentors in every sense of the term(s). We love spending an afternoon in their presence and tossing ideas back and forth. They’re invested in each of our designs and have gone above and beyond to make Hayley’s sketches and vision into beautiful leather products that we’re proud to have a part in. There aren’t quite words to describe how nice it is to feel at home and know that, yes, we’re are most assuredly in the right place. The Maiden Collection came to life inside our minds and inside these wall.

Speaking of, the Maiden Collection is getting a refresh this holiday season! In fact, the machines are humming away right now cutting and stitching our next production run. We are growing, slowly, sustainably, steadily. Keep an eye on the blog,, and our Instagram (@eklundgriffin) for the Maiden Collection part deux!

With full hearts and wild imaginations, Blair + Hayley

walking the floor

tools of the trade

talented maker


hard at work