The Buzz: Innovators, job seekers & artisanal boot buyers wanted

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This week the Buzz is eclectic and it’s happening here.

Calling all innovators — well, calling 15 innovators . . . 

Museum L-A is dropping its annual Maker Faire and hosting instead the Maine Innovation Expo on May 20 showcasing local talent and creativity.

Museum Executive Director Rachel Desgrosseilliers said the faire had been licensed through the national Maker Faire, but after five years, “our hands were tied a lot; I couldn’t bring in our local businesses the way I wanted to.”

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“We go by these businesses every day and we don’t realize how much invention and innovation is going on behind those walls,” she said. “I hear all the time, parents telling kids, ‘Well, there’s nothing for you here.’ (But) there are a lot of skilled jobs that are needed in Maine and a lot of people don’t know about it. What we’re trying to do is make that connection. And then also showcase our young people — it’s amazing what they come up with.”

She’s lined up more than 20 participants so far involved with everything from shadow puppets to boat building to tech. Desgrosseilliers is hoping to have 30 to 35 this first year. She’s hoping more businesses and school groups reach out to her in the next two weeks.

What makes one a good expo candidate?

“It’s got to be something new, something different, something they invented themselves,” she said. “The stainless steel guy (planning to participate in the expo) actually started doing something new for maple sugaring, tinkering in his garage. That’s the kind of things we want to show people; this is happening right here guys.”

There’s no cost to exhibit and the event is free to the public. It’ll be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 35 Canal St. on May 20.

On the move

Twin City Financial Group has left its home of nearly five years at 918 Sabattus St. in Lewiston and upgraded to larger quarters at 1071 Lisbon St.

Austin Albert, one of three partners, said the move allowed the company to grow from three offices to nine and a conference space.

“We have an intern who’s starting full time after he graduates in May and we plan on adding one or two more advisers to the office,” said Albert. 

The independently owned company offers a full range of financial services like 401ks and life insurance. He attributed its growth to “great relationships we have with local CPAs and attorneys. We get a lot of referrals from current clients, so that’s really been the catalyst. We’ve worked hard to do the right thing and it pays off.”

Twin City Financial Group is celebrating with a ribbon cutting next Thursday and planning an open house for clients this summer. 

Artisanal footwear treads

L.L.Bean announced earlier this month that it has started offering fun, funky small-batch boots made right here in Lewiston and Brunswick in colors like raven blue, red wine and plum grape.

“Depending on the style of boot, we will be making up to as many as several thousand pairs,” said spokesman Mac McKeever. “It will be the first time where we have offered one-of-a-kind, limited-edition boots and once each batch is gone, they’re gone.”

The boots are being rolled out all year and the colors are being picked around the four seasons. Initial reception has been fantastic, McKeever said.

If you like what you see, you may want to grab a pair before they’re plum out.

Monday, Monday

Looking for a job? Have plans Monday? 

You may now.

The Lewiston CareerCenter is hosting a job fair from 10 a.m. to noon with more than 20 employers, Walmart, Poland Spring bottling, St. Mary’s hospital and a host of staffing and support companies among them.

The instructions are to wear your interview best and bring a resume.

Good luck!

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or kskelton@sunjournal.com.

Twin City Financial Group’s Marc Paquette, left, Austin Albert and Mike Godin in their new Lisbon Street conference room.

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