Meet Your Neighbor - Winter Solstice Dreams

Walter and me
Who are you? 
My name is Kim Napolitano-Perry and I am the sole artisan and owner at Winter Solstice Dreams: Naturally Scented Sachets, Eye Pillows, and Home Décor. I make scented everything from bookmarks and key chains to large Aroma Accent Pillows. The largest thing I made recently was a standard sized pillow that had two large sachets inside, filled with a pound of my own organic herbal blend called Midnight Romance. I am fond of things that are reusable and washable so my pillows and even my Balsam Fir Draft Blockers have removable cases.

Tell us a little about your family. 
My little helper
My husband and I met in 2006 when I moved here from teaching out west. I am a former high school English Teacher and he was on my hiring committee. He and I taught together and eventually became wonderful friends. Destiny took over and we were married and moved into a house on 4 acres right here in South Paris, Maine. Our daughter was born in 2009 and is the biggest joy in my life. Her name is Veronica Rose.

My husband is also a member of the Etsy Maine Team with his vintage shop Forty Love.

Where are you in Maine and what’s it like?  
I live in South Paris, Maine in Oxford County. It is Western Maine and quite rural. I love living in Maine – especially when we have a summer like the one we’re in now! We live about an hour from Portland and about 40 minutes from Lewiston. New Hampshire is not that far either; about an hour from hiking in the White Mountains. We live about 4 miles from historic Norway Maine and our shops on Main Street are fantastic. When it gets tougher to travel, I am always really happy that shopping isn’t too far even though we live far from some of the larger stores. I am very fond of shopping locally.

My home
Are you a native Mainer? If so, what’s kept you.  If not, what brought you here?  
I hesitate to say but no, I am not a native Mainer. My family and I have been hiking, backpacking, and visiting Maine for over 15 years and I have always loved New England. I lived in rural Vermont for many years and went to college in New Hampshire. I moved here to be closer to Mount Katahdin. It is my absolute favorite mountain to be on. I’ve spent a lot of time up there but when I moved here I knew only one person in the whole state. Prior to Maine, I lived in Utah for a couple of years but I am originally from Queens New York. I’ve always been quite nomadic. This is my 27th move in my life but now, with my family and my house, I only move furniture around rather than myself. I am pretty rooted here now and wouldn’t change a thing. I absolutely love living in Maine.

How long have you been making your craft and what got you into it?
View out my shop window
I’ve been crafting for as long as I’ve been alive but sewing is relatively new to me. I started sewing because I wanted to make some curtains. I then made sachets for Holiday gifts in 2007 with my own herbs and etc. Since then I’ve graduated to needing an organic herbal supplier and mountains of fabric. I am getting a serger this week and hope to make a lot more of everything. I have always, ALWAYS loved perfume, essential oils, candles, and aromatherapy. I started learning about herbs and aromatherapy about 18 years ago and continue to learn and study them.  I make everything with my customers’ best interest in mind and pay close attention to changes in their needs. I try to accommodate everyone the best I can. But, to quote my favorite guy in the history of English, “To thine own self be true” (Shakespeare: Hamlet); I abide by that because if I am not happy making what I’m making then it is pointless. I love each and every thing I make. My favorite thing is making new blends. All of my blends are handmade and designed with love.  The best compliment is when someone has told me that my product has helped them de-stress and relax. That’s what it’s all about.

Do you feel your craft is related to where you live?
Maine Balsam Fir Sachet
Yes, absolutely especially the Balsam Fir merchandise I create. The balsam comes from my own woods and from the woods of the Young Family who own Young’s Greenhouse right down the road from us. They are a wonderful and amazing family and I would be lost without them! I dry and grind the balsam myself and I love doing it. The house smells like the holidays for most of the year. The rest of my herbs and oils come from either local natural food stores and also an organic company called Mountain Rose Herbs.  I love to buy locally and am looking for a more local source of herbs.  My products call for a lot of lavender and I buy pounds at a time.

My workstation
How has being a part of the Etsy Maine Team helped you?  
Etsy Maine Team has been an amazing source of strength for me this past year and a half. I have made such incredible friends and learned so much from the veteran crafters. It has helped me find my niche in this large online Etsy place and it is so good to feel like I can ask for help from my fellow Mainers. I was even on a few teams but have since decided that Etsy Maine Team was the only one for me. It is even better when I am at a show and find another Etsy Maine Teamer in person. Recently I did the Cumberland Arts and Crafts Show in Cumberland Maine and was pleasantly surprised to meet other EMT’s. The best thing? Holly from FloDo Designs came all the way down from her neck of the woods to say hello. She and I got to brainstorming and had a blast. She even stayed in my booth while I went and got some lunch.

What are some of your favorite shops on Etsy?
OH wow; tough question. I guess my top five are: FloDo Designs, Country Folk Soap (SUE is a riot I just love her!), Fairy Moon Creations, Russ Potak, and I would be lost without Chase Street Soap Company. Jess is the owner of that shop and has helped me leaps and bounds since I’ve started Winter Solstice Dreams. She is a native Mainer who lives in Jersey now.

Where do you see yourself and your Etsy shop in the future?
Fabric Coaster Set of 4
If I logically and scientifically look at the trend in my shop, I can see there has been progress in leaps and bounds. My traffic has increased so much this past summer alone so I would say I see myself getting better and better. My own plan is to increase my fabric types to include an organic cotton line and more aroma accent pillows. Right now I have plans to open a fabric coaster shop (very soon) and just sell coasters in there. They will be unscented until I can get my scented coaster design down pat. I am still working on it.  I am also in a co-op shop called Mama Co-Op where I make tooth fairy pillows which are just too much fun to make. I hope to get more in that shop soon! I do have a toddler though and am headed back to teaching this fall to help a friend out. So we shall see!

Where can we find you online and locally?
You can find me of course at but also on FaceBook, Twitter, and my poor neglected blog! Here are those links:
Organic Catnip Toy Sachet
I am also currently in a natural food store in Poland Maine called Square Root Natural Foods.   I also sell my tiny sachets in a store on Route 26 in Oxford Maine called The Green Spot.   Oh, and I sell my bookmarks in a wonderful independent bookstore called Books-N-Things in Norway, Maine.  I occasionally have open house events at my home in South Paris and always list them on FaceBook when I do. Customers are welcome to make appointments with me via phone or email to purchase products.  Oh, and I am a member of United Maine Craftsmen and do many shows with them as well. My next show is on September 10 (a Saturday) at Smiling Hill Farm. It will be a great time!

Thanks Kim for sharing a little about yourself and how the wonderful state you live in helps you create!  
Be sure to check out all the other awesome Maine artisans on Etsy, by searching "maineteam."