Melaina Maloney Starts Top of Turtle Island Gifts

Photo of Melaina MaloneyI am physically disabled due to chronic genetic diseases. When I had to end my career in social services to receive medical treatment, I needed to find a way to stay employed and love what I do while working from home.

I have always been an artist. I am Indigenous and belong to the Aroostook Band of Mi’kmaqs, one of Maine’s tribal nations. A vocational rehabilitation counselor who helps disabled individuals get back to work told me about NVME. I’m so thankful for this amazing resource! With NVME’s guidance, I decided to start my own business, Top of Turtle Island Gifts (topofti.com).

At this point, I’ve taken every available business course that NVME offers and built my e-commerce site through Grow Your Business Online. I am currently running my business and designing and making art full-time, selling at craft fairs and at my local farmers market. My greatest joy was making ten sales in one day at the market: some customers had seen my website and social media and decided to come to the market to make purchases in person. I never expected such fast results! I’m also donating some of the proceeds to help my people. I’m amazed at how much I have been able to accomplish.

Future goals include attending Central Maine Community College for graphic arts this fall and using those skills to add t-shirts, decals and other items to my offerings.

Throughout this journey, when I need support, NVME is there for me. There’s nothing like having professionals on your side!

ClassDateProgram AreaLocationRegion
Grow Your Business Online- Keep My Customers2024-05-28 May 28, 2024Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide
Work for Yourself@50+2024-05-29 May 29, 2024Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide
Business Success- Your Marketing Strategy2024-06-04 June 04, 2024Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide
Business Success- Pricing Strategies2024-06-06 June 06, 2024Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide
Business Success- Bookkeeping Solutions2024-06-11 June 11, 2024Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide
Business Success- Projecting Cash Flow2024-06-13 June 13, 2024Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide
Exploring Self-Employment2024-06-25 June 25, 2024Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide
Grow Your Business Online2024-01-01 January 01, 2024
(ends June 30, 2024)
Start a BusinessONLINE AnytimeStatewide
Venturing Forth: Business Planning for Entrep2024-09-03 September 03, 2024
(ends December 03, 2024)
Start a BusinessONLINE DaytimeStatewide