July 07, 2023
Selene's Fly Shop
Selene’s Fly Shop provides Maine with high quality gear and education in order to best prepare Mainers for the superb Maine fishing scene
Describe your business in one sentence.
Selene’s Fly Shop provides a place for anglers to commune, buy gear, flies and tying supplies, and take classes on everything from entomology to Maine guide prep courses in a shop that is steeped in Maine tradition and nostalgia.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in starting your business? In running it?
In starting my business. I needed some cash to start my venture and some advice on tuning my business plan.
I’m finding it hard to find people to keep their word in following through with their offers of help. Lots of people say they will do this or that for you and then when you ask for the follow through it’s not always there. This is true whether it is something that you pay for or not- POS systems, cell phone plans, web design, or dates to help move in.
Did CEI help you overcome any of these challenges? Describe how you have worked with our team.
CEI was a great help in overcoming these challenges with the Wicked Fast Loan which made the process of obtaining capital not only feel obtainable but the people I encountered were very approachable. Ruth helped me refine my sloppy business plan into goals that were defined and now attainable.
CEI ALWAYS kept their word about dates and times. They even came to my Grand Opening and that felt like heartfelt support.
What are your hopes for your business in the next 1–3 years?
While I have measurable goals such as wanting to build my customer base in the first year and double it over the next two years and projections through profits, etc. I also have personal goals through building community through classes offered, and working with youth through local organizations to increase the number of younger anglers on the water. I also want to inspire others to tie the traditional fly patterns from Maine. I do this by doing presentations throughout New England to Build not only my brand but also Maine and it’s traditions.
What steps are you taking to reduce your business’s carbon footprint and/or make your business environmentally sustainable? What might make it easier to improve your business’s environmental sustainability or climate resilience?
I do quite a few things to reduce my carbon footprint since it is an important component to keeping our waters healthy for fish to live in as well as the planet that we live on. I promote catch and release principles for fishing though signage in the shop. I carry brands that believe in the same principles such as Loon products whose byline is,”fishing with a conscience.” When I sell flies I provide a compostable cup and lid rather than plastic. I use paper bags but only offer them when they are necessary for larger purchases. I don’t print receipts and offer them as email only to customers. The shop recycles customer’s fly lines and mono leaders through Airflo Fly Line Co. They use all of the material to produce new fly lines. Lastly, we have chosen our electricity provider to be a community solar project that is located in Maine.
In your opinion, what makes a job a good job? How are you providing good jobs for yourself and your employees?
My last job was good paying but the happy meter was in the deficit zone. I opened a fly shop knowing that I would likely not make much money but be MUCH happier in my life. It is the best choice that I have made in a very long time. It is a good job in the ways that keep a person mentally healthy resulting in good physical health. I can balance my time on my clock and be my own boss while meeting customer’s needs. I am not in a position to have employees yet, but when I do I will keep perspective that their humanity comes first, not the job.
If you identify with a specific group—veterans, rural residents, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, Black entrepreneurs, etc.—do you have any words of wisdom for others from that group starting or running a business?
I am a woman that owns a business. Just do it. Listen to others, then listen to your heart. The benefits of working for yourself is that you get to make your own decisions. The downside is that some people feel that they can give you unsolicited advice. You will know when it is sincere. And you have two ears. One for the advice to go in, and the other for it to dribble out of. Then listen to CEI.
Learn more about Selene’s Fly Shop:
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