Over 20 years ago Ellen Thayer discovered her first heart-shaped rock on a beach in Portofino, Italy. The tiny, half-inch stone launched a collection of nearly 300 ‘love rocks’ which Ellen finds regularly on her beach walks with her dog in southern Maine. In 2010, as a tribute to the great state of Maine, Ellen laid out a 2 1/2 foot ‘love rock’ outline of the state on canvas and photographed it from a ladder. The success of this photograph printed on canvas inspired more designs and Love Rocks Me® was born after Ellen received training in business planning through Basics of Starting a Business (2010) and New Ventures (2011) at Women, Work, and Community’s South Portland center. WWC has been instrumental in growing Ellen’s business and she is proud to serve as an Ambassador for the organization today.
Love Rocks Me® features an expanding line of designs and captions (nearly 90 at last count) which Ellen creates and photographs outdoors at her home in South Portland and has printed locally as high-quality note cards and prints. The products are sold on Ellen’s Etsy shop and are wholesaled to stores around New England. This spring, the coverage area is expanding to include Long Island, NY and the Jersey Shore thanks to exposure at two recent wholesale trade shows in Portland and Boston. In March, Ellen designed her trade show booth that was awarded First Place for Best Booth at the New England Made Giftware and Specialty Food show in Portland. During the show, Governor LePage paid a visit and has since become a Love Rocks Me® customer favoring the ‘MAINE – to know ME is to love ME®’ note card.