Pink Initiative's 2013 donation recipient

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At the end of each year I feel like Santa Claus when the board of directors for Pink Initiative votes to distribute the funds raised to a national or local organization or surprise an individual in need (we alternate every other year to host an action day). After researching the area of greatest need, we selected the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition's Support Service Fund as our recipient this year.  

http://www.mainebreastcancer.org

The fund covers a wide range of items and services: mammograms and ultrasound, hospital bills, physician bills, bras and protheses, wigs, prescriptions, lymphedema therapy and compression garments, transportation costs, and temporary living expenses for people in active breast cancer treatment, to list a few.

We were drawn to idea of helping directly whereas so many of the larger organizations' fundraising dollars go toward scientific research. Our donation would make a mere dent in those efforts, but on a smaller, local level we truly have the opportunity to make an impact. 100% of the donations go to grant recipients. How wonderful is that?!

Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is also the organization responsible for the pink breast cancer license plates you see zooming around the state (I have them! PNK-IN... one guess for what that stands for!).

To learn more about Maine's Breast Cancer Coalition's Support Service Fund, please click here.
To learn more about emilie inc.'s involvement with Pink Initiative, please click here.
Donations to Pink Initiative are appreciated and accepted here.

We will be announcing a new website for Pink Initiative in early 2014! Stay tuned!

before/after: our new waterfront office

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My realtor started showing me available office space in May. Old Port, open and airy, tall ceilings, wood floors, historic charm or exposed brick, and natural light were among my must-haves. A lengthy and sometimes frustrating scavenger hunt ensued! Each week we would touch base and check out anything that was new on the market. Looking back, I feel like I must have seen every office building in Portland! We came close to signing on one, but it (fortunately!) fell through at the last minute back in September. The very next week he thought to show me something that had been vacant for nearly three years, the former personal office for Peter Macomber, owner of Macomber Inc., when his commercial photography studio was housed at 250 Commercial Street. Why not, I thought.

This is what I saw: 



Ew, ew, ew, right?! Small, dark, carpet, low ceiling. Aside from the Old Port location, there wasn't anything else on my must-have list! J and Nicole checked it out the same afternoon, too, and thought I was nuts for even considering. Until they looked out the window.  



Holy smokes, folks! Waterfront! What?! A water view was on my wish-upon-a-star-but-certainly-can't-afford list, not on my must-have list. I got lost for a little while watching the busy working waterfront, visualizing what it would be like to see this scene from my desk.

My mom used to have her real estate license, and it's something I've always had a passion for, too. The one thing that matters most, realtors always say, is location, location, location. Could I live with low ceilings? Would clients really want to come and talk about love and weddings in a gloomy gray office? Or was I prepared to tackle a major renovation?

Well.... after a little back and forth, the place was mine. Holy crap! Landlord Charlie Poole, whose family has owned Union Wharf since 1798, has been a dream to work with. He and his incredible team entertained my vision and transformed the space perfectly. In two weeks!

Featuring an open meeting and office area, kitchen (formerly a darkroom), bathroom and storage closet, it's not huge but it's the perfect amount of space for what we need. And that low ceiling? Meh, who cares!

Let me show you around a bit...

The best parking spot in Portland, as dubbed by Steve.



Inside! Seriously! Not even recognizable, right? I love seeing potential, given the practice I had with our last studio's enormous renovation (worth checking out the link here if you like before/after pictures as much as I do!).


The team has been super helpful, lending a hand for our move day and working together to get the space ready. We all definitely share the same excitement for our new digs!


We hated to hang blinds on the awesome commercial windows, but glare off the water was making seeing our computer screens impossible. Tough problem to have, we know. Not complaining!

We have been busy meeting with clients and vendors (and curious friends!). Please come on by and take a peek for yourselves! The office is open Monday- Friday 9a-5p (and by appointment otherwise). Eeeeee!!!

Jim and Steve's surprise holiday party wedding in Portland

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I met Jim nine years ago when I first moved to Maine and he interviewed me for one of the local newspapers. Now an anchor/reporter at WMTW, owner of a catering company and a coffee shop, he is one busy guy! We've stayed in touch all these years, the highlight always being his annual Christmas party with partner Steve. Too many people crammed into their West End condo, yummalicious food, and a most fun (and rowdy late night) crowd is to be expected year after year.

This year, being their 16th year together and a big one for the state of Maine recognizing same sex marriages, Jim and Steve decided to treat their guests to a holiday party like none other!! They moved the soiree to the nearby Pomegranate Inn, telling guests they had won use of the inn from a raffle, and noted that a special guest would be making an appearance at 8:15p sharp. People began asking questions, but these two were tight lipped even when an approaching snow storm and parking ban tempted guests to not make the trek out. "Might not want to miss it," they would say with a wink.

Nearly 100 people packed this small eclectic inn, and officiants/friends Will and Julie beat the bottom of a metal bowl with a spoon to get everyone's attention announcing what was about to happen: no, not Santa, A WEDDING!! The joy felt throughout the room was tangible, just magic. Jim and Steve made their was through the ecstatic crowd and indulged us all in a most beautiful union. It was a thrill to photograph and most definitely the most memorable holiday party I have ever attended. As I headed out into the snow, a bowl of leftover frosting from Jim's homemade cake was being passed around. Yea, that seemed about right. So.much.fun!

Congrats, you two! You pulled it off!! Looking forward to a portrait session in your neighborhood when it's not blizzarding (nudge, nudge). :)

 
photographers: Emilie and Steve, emilie inc. photographyvenue: Pomegranate Inn, Portland • officiant: Julie Drapercatering, cake: Keithley in the Kitchen
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