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Our Story

We are Deede and Kathy, and we do just about everything here at Bessie's. For us, Bessie's is more than a store. It is a reflection of the people who taught us the value of hard work. Everything we do at Bessie's is steeped in the traditions we learned from a couple of amazing women: Kathy's Aunt Bessie and Deede's mother Granny Ritchie. Through the years, they nurtured our love of the outdoors, the handmade, the unique, and the beautiful. With Bessie's, we honor their lives and the lives of strong, tenacious, and intrepid women everywhere. As we like to say, there is nothing two women can't accomplish before noon!

 Deede, Kathy, Kathy's son Sam, and Deede's daughter Lily.

Deede, Kathy, Kathy's son Sam, and Deede's daughter Lily.

Our story began years ago, when two friends dreamed of a place that embodied what they held dear. A place where quality trumped quantity; where handmade and local goods had a home; where craft was revived, mastered, and passed down to children; where, in a society that knows the price of everything yet the value of nothing, people took the time to do things the right way. Naturally, we had to build it ourselves! 

We broke ground in the fall of 2009, and in the course of a Maine winter, put up every wall, nailed every board, and installed every window by hand. With the love and support of our families, Bessie's officially opened its doors the following spring. It's been a few years since then and we're proud to say that Bessie's is more than we could have ever imagined. We think this is a very special place, and know that Granny and Bessie would agree.