CEI Stories

Serving & supporting small business owners just like you.


November 01, 2018

Machias Bay Wreath

Many people growing up in Downeast Maine follow traditional means of earning a living: fishing, working in the woods, or farming—or all three.

After graduation, Tyler Farrington of Machiasport followed this path, apprenticing as a lobsterman, then in November 2013 opening his own seasonal wreath making operation to earn extra income. He also made a buck wherever he could, digging for clams, picking periwinkles, or diving for urchins. He saved and scrimped and realized a dream when he bought his first home at age 20.

Two years later, looking to branch out further, Tyler sought business advising from Ruth Cash-Smith at CEI’s office in Machias. 

“At our first meeting, I could tell that Tyler was one of the hardest working, most enterprising young men I’ve ever met,” Cash-Smith said.  “He was hungry for business acumen and digested and utilized any concept I introduced.  Balance sheets, setting goals, evaluating risk in new ventures, he stuck with all of it, always driven to excel.”

Troubled by sea sickness (a real liability working on the water), Tyler felt the need to find a new livelihood, so over the next two years he brought in six different ventures and together he and Ruth evaluated them for risk and ROI. None passed muster.

Still Tyler forged ahead: he doubled his net worth in 19 months, paid off debts, drove up wreath sales, opened a broker’s account, bought health insurance, hired an accountant, and pumped up his savings—all so he would be ready for whatever opportunity he could find. He kept up a rigorous learning regimen of business principles and wealth strategies.

Opportunity beckoned in 2017, and Tyler responded. He completed a four-month study program and became a licensed insurance agent. On May 1, Tyler traded his blue collar for a white one, hanging up his lobster gear for good. Meanwhile, he kept the wreathing business, which continues to experience growth.

In 2018, at the age of 26, he diversified his income stream further, purchasing a two-unit apartment rental, the first pillar of Farrington Acquisitions, whose mission is to offer affordably priced rentals. Tyler added another first to his resume when Reder Agency, headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, named him their #1 insurance producer in the nation.

What did Tyler learn during the 21 business advising sessions spanning three years? 

“Ruth introduced me to new business tools to accelerate my growth.  For instance, I have quadrupled my net worth since I first sought business advising.  Now I run my numbers regularly and come to Ruth as a sounding board when I’m evaluating any new venture. Most importantly, we sit down at the first of every year to clarify my goals.  It feels really great to keep stretching myself.  I’ve got so much more I intend to accomplish.”

Tyler Farrington, Machias Bay Wreath

Learn More About Machias Bay Wreath

Website: https://www.machiasbaywreath.com/

Looking to Start or Grow Your Own Business?

CEI offers a wide range of assistance to emerging and existing small business owners. Through one-on-one consultation, training, workshops, seminars, peer networks and other services, CEI helps individuals across the state get the information they need to start or expand their small businesses. One-on-one business consultation is tailored to meet the needs of the business owner; training and workshops are offered on a range of business issues. Learn more at https://www.ceimaine.org/advising/business-counseling-development/

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