LOCAL FEATURE: Minka
Meet Michelle and Chris Larochelle, the extremely talented owners of Minka in Kennebunkport! This young, hip couple met through a mutual friend in Boston while working in the fashion industry. Chris was working for Club Monaco (one of my all-time faves!) and Deisel and Michelle was employed by Nautica. After they met, Michelle followed her true passion for floral arrangement and began work at the famous Winston Flowers… impressive! A few years after meeting, the duo moved to Chris’ home state of Maine to begin a new adventure together and the Minka Home story began…
Michelle and Chris first opened “Gallery 27” in their home. Chris, a natural and self-taught artist, showed his paintings while Michelle, also a talented artist, sold all-natural lotions and jewelry she made by hand. The gallery became such a success that, in 2008, Michelle and Chris decided to open up a retail shop, Minka, on a side street in Kennebunkport. After six years, they moved to their current location – an ideal spot in the heart of Dock Square!
Minka is extremely unique because most products in the shop are created by Michelle and Chris. Chris’ paintings hang throughout the shop and a variety of Michelle’s works, including leather handbags, home décor, and all-natural skincare. Michelle designs and then collaborates with local makers to create exclusive, one-of-a-kind products for the shop, many of which give a nod to coastal Maine (Michelle’s earrings have been the most popular item at Minka since the day they opened in 2008!).
The Larochelle’s are passionate about supporting local small-batch makers, especially those who live and work in Maine; that is why 80% of the products in Minka are made right here in The Pine Tree State! Michelle and Chris also care deeply about providing eco-friendly, all-natural products (including packaging!) which is all you’ll see when you visit the shop…
As if Michelle isn’t busy enough, on the side she run’s Minka Flowers and her arrangements are absolutely GORGEOUS! Michelle spends a lot of the summer at her home studio, creating bouquets for the most selective seacoast weddings and events.
Thank you for sharing your story and your talent with the seacoast, Michelle and Chris!
*All photos c/o Minka’s social media feed (shoutout to Chris!).