Maiden Maine

A Maine-inspired, American handmade brand by these fourth generation “Capers.”

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Eklund GriffinSisters Hayley and Blair Griffin have come a long way from the days of mutual torment and theatrically sucking the air off each other’s side of the small pale-pink bedroom they shared growing up in Cape Elizabeth, on the shores of Casco Bay. Okay, maybe only Blair — the little sister, if you could believe — did that. Despite their complicated history of air thievery, the two have always remained best of friends and recently expanded their relationship into the professional realm with the co-creation of their business, Eklund Griffin.

Eklund Griffin is the Maine-inspired, American handmade brand of these fourth-generation “Capers” that launched in June 2016 with a line of domestic leather bags, aptly called the Maiden Collection. Like their great-grandparents, Hannah and Wilhelm Eklund, who immigrated from Sweden, they have always been captivated and inspired by the uniquely beautiful coastline of Maine, which they’ve come to know best from the vantage of their father’s lobsterboat. Accordingly, each piece in the Maiden Collection — from the Wave Weekender to the Dory Clutch (both pictured above) and several others not shown here — balances the influence of their Scandinavian heritage and the natural wonders that abound in Maine.

Hayley and Blair have always been captivated and inspired by the uniquely beautiful coastline of Maine, which they’ve come to know best from the vantage of their father’s lobsterboat.

Eklund Griffin

Hayley and Blair

While Blair was more drawn to getting dirty and working on the water with their father, Hayley occasionally opted to “come along for the ride,” only to return home and effortlessly whip up an inspired masterpiece with their mother, whose unfathomable support spurred on Hayley’s creativity with every art medium known to man. Both women fled Maine to pursue their higher educations. Hayley set off to Baltimore to immerse herself in a world of art and design, while Blair settled in Boston for four years to build her business and entrepreneurship acumen. Their short time away only confirmed that their hearts remained in Maine, and so they returned home and set to work building their future — sourcing their domestic leather in Maine and working with skilled leather craftswomen and men in Connecticut to bring their designs to life.

With retail outlets along the coast of Maine and into Massachusetts, there are a handful of opportunities to come across the nautical, yet minimal, designs of Eklund Griffin on your travels. The sister duo will also be at the Islesboro Community Center this summer on July 12 and 13 for a trunk show if you happen to find yourself in the midcoast area and up for a quick ferry ride. You can visit their website, for a complete list of stockist locations and to see the entire Maiden Collection.

Eklund Griffin