Recorded Wednesday, May 13.

Making It Work is a live, interactive online series that brings together business owners who are finding new ways to generate revenue.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Maine small businesses are shifting to new products and services to satisfy urgent customer demand that emerged from the pandemic.  How did they pivot? What have been their successes and challenges? How do they plan for continued production in an environment of uncertainty?

On the panel:


Luke Davidson, Founder and CEO, Maine Craft Distilling

Luke grew up interested in grains on a farm in the midcoast of Maine. Before Maine Craft Distilling was born, Luke spent his days in the barn with a homemade still. He began by malting grains to sell to brewers. With an excess of malted grain, he decided to test his luck and make Whiskey. Luke thought it was about time that Maine had a Whiskey created in the Scottish tradition with Maine’s natural resources. With a heavy focus on the terroir and ingredients of Maine, he teamed up with co-founder Fred Farber, and the mission to create the best whiskey began, and with it Maine Craft Distilling.

Joanna Pease, Owner, Jibe Cycling Studio

Joanna’s second spin studio was supposed to open in Yarmouth on March 24. Then the coronavirus struck, scuttling that plan and closing her Portland location. She pivoted, started renting her inventory of bikes and creating on-demand classes. The classes have proved so popular, she has picked up new members across the country. When the crisis is over, Joanna intends to reopen both studios, and maintain her new online business.

Wells Lyons, Co-owner, Rogue Industries

Rogue Industries, which makes leather goods, pivoted to produce cloth masks to help battle the pandemic. Through connections with Maine Outdoor Brands and Greater Portland Council of Governments, it was able to buy specialized equipment to produce cloth masks. Now Rogue Industries is working with UMaine to test high-performance fabrics to enhance the filtration capabilities of the masks.

About the moderator:

Hosted by Business Projects Editor Carol Coultas. Carol Coultas has been practicing journalism in Maine since the mid-‘80s and focusing on business journalism since 2003. She oversaw an award-winning staff as the business editor at the Press Herald from 2014 to 2019. This year, she transitioned to a new role as Business Projects Editor, focusing on events, an intern program and other projects to support quality, Maine business journalism.