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About us

Hello, and thank you for being curious about us. We’re a small, family-owned, Maine-based jewelry and gift store. Se Vende has a storefront in the hip, foodie destination of Portland and one in the classic New England town of Damariscotta (famed for its salty oysters).

Se Vende began its stumble into storedom in 2004, starting with a card table, a backpack, and my mother, Sage.

My mother is an avid traveler and spent many years exploring beautiful, warm Mexico in her little Suzuki Sidekick, affectionately named Caro. She followed winding dirt roads to tiny fishing hamlets, remote beaches, cactus-dotted deserts, and mountain villages. One of her stops was the world-renowned sterling silver jewelry town of Taxco. After weeks spent wandering through Taxco’s steep stone streets, Sage filled a cardboard box with sterling jewelry purchased at the Saturday craft market—silver was so inexpensive then!—and sent it to me in Florida, where I was a waitress at the time. I sold the jewelry to my coworkers and anyone else who was interested.

On a later buying trip in Mexico, while sipping tequila in the evening, we came up with the name “Se Vende.” Everywhere we traveled, we would see the ubiquitous sign reading “Se Vende”—the Mexican equivalent of our “For Sale” sign. (We get some funny looks when we tell Spanish speakers the name of our store.) At first we sold Se Vende products on card tables at craft fairs and in Round Pond Harbor in the summer, and out of the front room of my house in Damariscotta.

In 2008, we opened a storefront in Portland and started traveling to other countries for jewelry and other products to sell at Se Vende. We’ve found wonderful things in Turkey, Israel, Argentina, Bali, Chile, Morocco, Colombia,  and many other places. On these trips we usually rent a car and explore (in Israel, we even slept in the car to save money). We look through as many little stores and craft markets as we can find, looking for interesting new designs and classic indigenous crafts. When we find something we like, we buy it directly from the person making it. This way, we know the artist is getting paid what they think is fair. And by cutting out the middleman, we can offer better prices to our customers. When we do purchase from a distributor, we try to make sure that they are buying from artisans in an ethical and fair way. (If you are interested in learning more about the people who make the products we sell, please check out the page about our products.)

Sage is now happily retired and many other people help to make our stores so vibrant and unique. We are very proud of all of our artisans, many of whom we now call friends. We are also grateful for our many fantastic crew members. (The website you are currently perusing was put together by the lovely Miss Sarah D, Thanks, Sarah!) Enjoy looking, spend lots of money, and come again. We thank you for visiting us.

Olive and Sage