STATEWIDE — Many Maine women love to work, especially if it means working for themselves. The state’s Small Business Administration reports more than 50,000 of Maine’s small businesses are owned by women. The female bosses we spoke with say they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and it was just the perfect opportunity for me to take that leap,” said Mary Cameron, owner of Route 2 Nutrition.
Cameron opened Route 2 Nutrition in Hermon this summer after wanting to find a healthier beverage alternative to her teenage daughter’s sugary drinks.
“It’s a natural form of energy from green tea. They are made from stevia and they only have roughly 25 calories,” explained Cameron.
Business has been steady since Route 2 Nutrition opened its doors.
“We thought we knew everybody, but we only knew a fraction of the people in our community. They welcomed us with open arms,” said Cameron.
In Veazie, Raegamuffin’s Gluten Free Bakery has a loyal following of customers as well.
Owner Rachel Lane, who has celiac disease, opened this bakery seven years ago so people who suffer from food allergies could enjoy breads and desserts.
“I love doing bread because I don’t have to think about it. I just do it and it’s kind of my zen moment,” said Lane.
Both Cameron and Lane say it can be challenging as a business owner to find that perfect work-life balance.
“I think I work all the time and my customers will come in and say, ‘We love you so much,’ and I‘ll think okay this is worth it,” shared Lane.
Maine’s Small Business Administration District Director Diane Sturgeon says six of the last eight Maine small business person of the year awards went to female business owners.
“In this state, we have everything from slaughterhouse owners to truck drivers to childcare to coffee merchants that are all women-owned,” said Sturgeon, Maine SBA district director.
The female business owners we spoke with say nothing quite compares to working for yourself.
“I definitely enjoy being my own boss and making decisions for myself versus something making those decisions for me,” said Cameron.