Love comes in all shapes and sizes. For Ellen Thayer, it's in the heart-shaped rocks she's been collecting for many years. An artist in a variety of media, it was the heart rocks that launched her award-winning Maine business Love Rocks Me.
Heart rocks are real, naturally formed and found all over the world. Ellen has found hundreds of them while beachcombing the Maine coast. They range in size from a third of an inch to one foot. She still finds them almost daily on her beach walks with her westie, Winston.
She started her company officially in 2010 designing a tribute to Maine. Ellen created the outline of the state with heart rocks, photographed the design and reproduced it in a frameable 8x10 print. The success of this heART work inspired more designs for greeting cards and art prints.
In 2016 Love Rocks Me was recognized by the Small Business Administration as Maine and New England's Home Based Business of the Year.
Since then, Ellen has created even more designs and expanded to reproduce them on stone drink coasters, playing cards, memo pads, magnets and mugs.
Her creative process begins by arranging the designs on a large white background, relying on the color, texture and size of the rocks to bring the image to life. She photographs the designs outdoors at her home in South Portland, Maine. Local printers complete the production process.
Ocean art takes many forms -- sea glass, driftwood, paintings, sculpture, etc. Ellen's concept is truly unique. In all my years of retail, I've never seen anything like it. She has a keen eye for detail and painstaking patience to sort through her rocks for color and texture.
The Heart of Hearts is one of the bestsellers at Beach Grass. Others like the starfish, scallop shell and sand dollar, make a stunning trio to hang together. Her outline of Maine, captioned "from maine, with love." is a classic and tugs at anyone with an emotional attachment to the state. I encourage you to stop by our shop in Kennebunkport to see for yourself. You're going to love it.
Ellen Thayer and her westie, Winston.
Heart stone in Fair Isle, Scotland.