Kathe Mickunas – Brunswick

Kathe Mickunas holding floral bouquetOvercoming Obstacles

In 2006, Kathe Mickunas first reached out to New Ventures Maine (NVME). She got help to grow her flower farm and family business. But in 2012, Kathe faced a leveling divorce: “We lost everything. Our home and business. Our financial security.”

Kathe met with New Ventures Maine during that devastating year to explore ways to make ends meet. “I wanted to show my daughter that we could overcome these obstacles. Slowly, we found our way back to the basics of life.”

Launching Career Transitions

In 2016, Kathe traveled solo to Italy for a soul-searching trip – a lifetime dream. Back home, seeking guidance and help, she turned again to NVME.

Kathe came to her appointment for career counseling with a big drawing in a sketch pad. “New Ventures Maine looked at my flow chart of experience and seemed to understand me.” The meeting helped her see how skills could translate into other situations.

For the first time in years, Kathe worked on her resume and applied for several interesting jobs. This process helped her realize: “My passion and life’s work was right there in front of me. It had been waiting while I sorted things out.”

“My love for flowers had translated into the best work of my career. I’d tried to block it out of my mind since there was pain and fear around it following the divorce.” It was clear to Kathe that it was time to revisit flowers and begin exploring ideas for starting a new business.

Learning and Rebuilding

Kathe met with NVME Microenterprise Specialist, Jenn Dobransky. Jenn explained the importance of social media and staying connected with customers. Kathe remembers, “I wondered how to make this leap since I did not even own a cell phone. I was months away from learning the difference between hashtags and hash browns!”

Technology used to feel very uncomfortable, but Kathe enjoyed learning something new. “It’s helped me connect with others in a way I could have never imagined.”

Blossoming with Success

Since opening in 2017, Kathe’s business, Ione Floral Design, has blossomed. “I have learned the importance of doing something that makes me reach and leave my comfort zone.”

Kathe’s Best Advice

“Take your time. Don’t rush the process. Spend time imagining. Then ask lots of questions of people doing the thing that you hope to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are amazing people out there waiting to help you figure it out. Start your journey with New Ventures Maine.”

Read more about Kathe’s business and her Marketing Mini-Grant from New Ventures Maine in this Coastal Journal article.

ClassDateProgram AreaLocationRegion
Work for Yourself@50+2019-01-25 January 25, 2019Start a BusinessONLINEStatewide
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-02-05 February 05, 2019Start a BusinessONLINEStatewide
Business Basics2019-01-23 January 23, 2019
(ends February 06, 2019)
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Introduction to Self-Employment2019-02-07 February 07, 2019Start a BusinessLewistonWestern
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-02-11 February 11, 2019Start a BusinessFarmingtonWestern
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-02-12 February 12, 2019Start a BusinessBrunswickMidcoast
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-02-26 February 26, 2019Start a BusinessCamden MaineMidcoast
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-02-27 February 27, 2019Start a BusinessPresque IsleNorthern
Tax Readiness for the Self-Employed2019-03-05 March 05, 2019Start a BusinessONLINEStatewide
Tax Readiness for the Self-Employed2019-03-07 March 07, 2019Start a BusinessBrunswickMidcoast
Immigrant Entrepreneurs – Starting a Busines…2019-02-25 February 25, 2019
(ends March 13, 2019)
Start a BusinessPortlandSouthern
Tax Readiness for the Self-Employed2019-03-13 March 13, 2019Start a BusinessCamden MaineMidcoast
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-03-20 March 20, 2019Start a BusinessWaldoboroMidcoast
Business Basics2019-03-14 March 14, 2019
(ends March 28, 2019)
Start a BusinessPresque IsleNorthern
Venturing Forth: Business Planning for Entrep2019-01-10 January 10, 2019
(ends April 04, 2019)
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Introduction to Self-Employment2019-04-04 April 04, 2019Start a BusinessLewistonWestern
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-04-08 April 08, 2019Start a BusinessMexicoWestern
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-04-23 April 23, 2019Start a BusinessOaklandCentral
Business Basics2019-04-18 April 18, 2019
(ends April 25, 2019)
Start a BusinessBrunswickMidcoast
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-04-25 April 25, 2019Start a BusinessMechanic FallsWestern
Business Basics2019-04-22 April 22, 2019
(ends April 29, 2019)
Start a BusinessCamden MaineMidcoast
Business Basics2019-04-29 April 29, 2019
(ends May 13, 2019)
Start a BusinessFarmingtonWestern
Venturing Forth: Business Planning for Entrep2019-03-06 March 06, 2019
(ends May 22, 2019)
Start a BusinessLewistonWestern
Business Basics2019-05-15 May 15, 2019
(ends May 29, 2019)
Start a BusinessPresque IsleNorthern
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-06-04 June 04, 2019Start a BusinessONLINEStatewide
Introduction to Self-Employment2019-06-06 June 06, 2019Start a BusinessLewistonWestern