After Joan Farrar moved to Presque Isle with her husband Ernie, a flyer for WWC’s New Ventures class caught her eye while she was searching for work at the CareerCenter.
Six months after starting the class, Joan is a graduate of two WWC training programs: New Ventures, a 12-week business planning class, and My Money Works, a comprehensive money management course.
Over the years, Joan had her own sewing business in various locations where her husband Ernie served as a Methodist pastor. Joan says, “I never had any formal training for running a business, and I thought that New Ventures would be helpful in getting a good grasp on what it means to run a new business.” She launched Joan’s Needle & Thread out of her home in Presque Isle in fall 2013.
Joan and Ernie enrolled in the My Money Works class together to focus on their household finances. Joan says, “The class helped to reinforce what we have learned in the past and helped to get us back to working with a budget.”
Joan has faced several transitions as she moved from Massachusetts to northern Maine and rebuilt her business while adjusting to disability.
“Until recently, I had not considered myself as having a disability,” Joan says. Then she was diagnosed with AMD (age-related macular degeneration). “Center vision is essential for any kind of work you do that you need to see detail,” Joan says. “Sewing has a lot of detail.”
Joan is being proactive about the disease, keeping up on current research and regular injections with her doctor while incorporating brighter lighting, daytime work in natural light, and greater magnification into her business and other activities.
What words of wisdom would Joan share with others walking a similar path? “Keep at it! If you have a dream of owning your own business, you need to keep working at it to achieve your goals. Nothing comes easy. If you have a question about something, ask someone who can help you. Mentors are great!”