Maine’s midcoast, it seems, has a long history of innovation. Grouped with shipbuilders, the Navy, and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Assocation (responsible for redevelopment at Brunswick Landing), this article recognizes the history of Shaker furniture makers and Chilton Furnture.
It was the beauty of the Shaker designs that inspired Bill Martins to start Chilton Furniture in the 1970s. Using handcrafted skill to recreate those designs struck a cord with consumers and Chilton became a nationally recognized brand. When it came time to retire, selling the business to Jennifer and Jared Levin was easy. Martins knew they understood the core focus of Chilton Furniture. “They get it,” Martins said.
The Levin’s had been searching for a suitable company to buy for a few years. They had looked at more than 100 businesses around the country. Six of those they examined in depth. It may have been a whim that made Jennifer look at companies in Maine, but by that time the couple knew what to look for. When they saw Chilton Furniture for sale, they knew they had a winner.
“Maine has a certain mystique for craftsmanship, authenticity, and quality. We want to reinforce that connection with Maine. We are eager to take advantage of these unique resources and do our part to benefit the Maine economy,” Jennifer said.
In addition to the current lines of furniture available at the Freeport and Scarborough showrooms, Chilton has seen a jump in internet sales over the past few years on a modest internet advertising budget. The Levins plan to expand that web presence and develop new products. “In addition to the fine furniture already listed on the website, we want to add new pieces that are suitable to sell over the web,” Jennifer said.
See the full article, “Innovation on the Midcoast” at CurrentMaine.com