Julie Bernier – South Portland

Photo of Julie Bernier

Julie Bernier, NVME Southern Region Graduate

Where it Began

I make empowering art for women and girls and had been selling my product line at craft and art shows before being accepted into the Venturing Forth Entrepreneurship Training class at New Ventures Maine in 2015.

Taking Steps Towards My Goals

Coming into the class, my goals were to explore the idea of a brick and mortar retail store, learn more about managing finances, and develop a business plan. The support and education I received gave me the courage and tools to make my dream a reality.

My Dream Became a Reality

Earth Angel Arts Gift Shop & Creation Space opened on Valentine’s Day in 2017 in the historic Knightville neighborhood in South Portland. The business is run efficiently and intelligently using spreadsheets, bookkeeping methods, and social media tools – all of which were introduced and practiced during our classes.

My support team includes my local bank, legal, insurance and accounting professionals – all of whom I met or heard about as part of the Venturing Forth curriculum. Beyond that, I have an extensive network of community connections I continue to work with (Maine Women’s Network, SCORE mentor, Small Business Development Center, Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. to name just a few).

Challenge and Joy

My biggest challenge coming into the program was mapping out a route to achieving my dream – it all seemed so overwhelming. My greatest joy is that I actually DID it! Remembering back to how scared I was about taking such bold and daring steps made celebrating the shop’s first anniversary so meaningful and rewarding. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to NVME.

Earth Angel Arts Gift Shop & Creation Space

ClassDateProgram AreaLocationRegion
Exploring Self-Employment2023-12-13 December 13, 2023Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide
Grow Your Business Online2023-08-01 August 01, 2023
(ends December 31, 2023)
Start a BusinessOnline AnytimeStatewide