40 Stories for 40 Years – Profilee 8
Ellen’s transitions began when her position as the Executive Producer of Media Marketing for Weather Services International was eliminated. Soon thereafter, her weekend hours as a Boston TV Meteorologist dwindled. Struggling with these major career changes, Ellen knew she needed support. She wanted to change her life’s direction, end the hours of commuting time, and fulfill her dream of being a full-time artist in Maine. Yet, she was unsure of how to make a living in this role. This is when she heard about New Ventures Maine (then known as Women, Work, and Community).
In 2010, she began exploring the world of self-employment through NVME’s Basics of Starting a Business class. After successfully completing that class, she enrolled in NVME’s 2011 Venturing Forth entrepreneurship class. Venturing Forth supported her in diving deeper into the self-employment planning process. “Both of these classes paved the way to enlightenment on all facets of what I needed to become an entrepreneur,” she shares. Ellen’s participation in NVME’s classes sparked ideas that she could put into action.
After taking the classes, her confidence in her artistic and business skills expanded. So, she decided to move forward with creating art using her collection of hundreds of heart-shaped rocks. This distinctive artform would emerge as Love Rocks Me®. Ellen reflects, “NVME pulled all of the pieces of the entrepreneurial puzzle together allowing me to build my business from the ground up.”
In 2012, Ellen attended the New England Made wholesale show. At the show, Love Rocks Me® offered Ellen’s first 20 heart and rock card designs and prints. Her products were a hit. Subsequently, Ellen began winning 1st and 2nd place Best Booth awards at the trade show, and her designs and product line grew. In 2016, she was the SBA’s award winner for Maine and New England’s Home Based Business of the Year. Today, Love Rocks Me® sells seven product lines, all Ellen’s creations, to more than 200 shops in 16 states.