Meet Lupine Cottage Owner Margaret Masessa
My husband and I move to Montville, Maine in 1988. We purchased a 200 year old farmhouse, and started our family together having 3 daughters. I wanted to to be a stay at home mom and raise my own children, so we grew what we ate, and raised chickens, turkeys and pigs.
To earn some extra money I learned how to machine knit. I purchase a used knitting machine, and contract knit for other companies. I would pick up bags on yarn, a list of what needed to be made, and took it home. I knit in the evenings and when the kids took naps. I learned so much. This is when my knitting and designing passion began.
Then I started design my own stuff, made products and did shows. I became a KnitKing Dealer, sold machines, and gave classes out of my home. As my business grew I joined several Craft Co-ops to expand my sales. I was an active member in 2 co-ops, holding secretary and treasurer positions.
As time went by, the building owners would double the rent, sell the building, etc. Not allowing us to have that repeat customer. So I decided to be the owner, so this would never happen to me again.
In 2003, one of the co ops landlord was selling the building and we needed to find a new place.
I found the land on Route 1 in Belfast, It was perfect. I purchase the land and built the building as Limited Liability Company, holding shares for the business. The Lupine Cottage rents from me, and is also a LLC.
Our name comes from the wild lupine on the land, we dug them out to build the building and put them back in; and the Cottage industry, handmade products.
So after meeting with the bank, lawyer and my accountant, my Dream began. Several other crafters joined me and we wrote a business plan to open the Lupine Cottage. With over 22 loan, we struggled. Determined to succeed, I just kept going. Adjusting along the way as needed. Determined to succeed.
Shortly after the business plan was written for Lupine, my husband was deployed to Afghanistan for 18 months. He signed papers saying I was doing this crazy business plan. He left and it was a Field of Lupine, when he came home it was a finished building with the Lupine Cottage open for its first season. Our daughters helped paint the walls and do whatever was needed to finish the project.
Crafters believed in me, and made personal loans to me to get the down payment to start building.
The Lupine Cottage is a two story building that I designed. It is clean open space that compliments all the Maine Made items.
We opened in 2004 with 23 small businesses in Maine. We have a jury process to ensure, Maine Made, Quality – not purchase and enhanced, and no duplicate crafter, we want to add products not already represented in the store. We are completing our 13th season, now with 65 small business and a year round web site. We also have Pinterest page, Facebook Page.
Over the years, we have improved the landscaping, adding and improving each year. I do all the lawn maintenance, so it is done the way I want.
In June the Lupine are in Full bloom, Visitors come from all over just to see the beauty of the Land.
The Lupine Cottage is my dream, I am one of the 65 small businesses in it. I work full time in a Dental office Monday – Thursday, and then come to Lupine on Friday Saturday and Sunday. I have a knitting machine in the corner, and knit and demo each day I work. I have developed by business LupineKnits and now have my own website. Loving to design I expanded my knit hat business, and developed KeepSakeKnogginKnits, which also has a web site.