LIVERMORE FALLS — Owners of two businesses on Main Street — one brand new in November and the other two years old — say they complement each other and are glad to have storefronts side-by-side at the Bank Building.
They often visit each other’s stores during the day.
A Serendipity Moment, owned by Gina Balsamo-Labbe of Wilton, features a variety of goods, including Balsamo-Labbe’s silk flower arrangements and dish gardens. The store also offers co-worker and friend Linda Henderson Steele’s line of miniature princesses and characters under domes, along with her other miniature creations and children’s designs.
The two floral designers met at the now-defunct Always Blooming Flowers and Gift in Lewiston. They worked together for years and have more than 50 years of experience between them.
The shop takes items on consignment, mostly from Maine artisans, and offers a variety of paintings, wildlife prints, jewelry, cutting boards, greeting cards, jams, soaps, candle melts, pottery and a host of other products that also serve as decorations in the store.
“I usually work in fresh flowers and then I got into the silks,” Balsamo-Labbe said. “I just really like working with silks. There is no waste.”
She uses high-end silks in her designs, she said.
Henderson Steele of Livermore has been a designer for more than 30 years, she said. She volunteers her time at the shop, she said.
“I love bringing cheer to people in the hospital and at their homes,” she said.
Next door, Bruce Peary’s Pearls in the Pines features his handmade jewelry, from necklaces to earrings. Peary of Livermore Falls opened his store on Sept. 12, 2012.
“I do a lot with pearls,” the retired college professor said.
He taught medieval and renaissance studies for 26 years at the University of Houston in Texas.
In addition to pearls, Peary makes jewelry using natural stones, glass, Swarovski crystal and other materials. He also crochets bracelets with beads, hand-embroiders bracelets and even makes catnip toys.
“I didn’t do this to get rich,” he said. “I do it because I can’t stop making this stuff. Making jewelry was a hobby. People keep telling me I don’t charge enough for the time I put into each piece. I say you can’t put a price on time — it’s a gift.”
Peary grew up in the area and graduated from Livermore Falls High School in 1976. He came home in 2009 and started his new vocation.