“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” - William Morris
Swallowfield’s bricks and mortar shop first opened in the spring of 2016 in Northeast Harbor, Maine. Prior to opening the shop on Main Street, owner Jennifer Judd-McGee worked as a full time artist, regularly showing her original work in galleries across the US since 2007. She has sold prints, cards, and ornaments in her Etsy shop since Etsy’s very early days. Jen also had the opportunity to do some licensing and freelance editorial art for different companies and publishers. Clients included Target, The Land of Nod, MTA Arts for Transit in NYC, Hallmark, Timberland, Pier One Imports, Storey Publishing, Modern Twist, Mindware, IPOP, and many others. Over those years Jen developed a passion for small, mostly women-owned businesses who were also interested in slow design, mutual respect of other artists, and supporting each other’s creative endeavors. She found she truly loves to know the stories of the people who make beautiful and functional items.
Over those years, Jen often daydreamed of opening a bricks and mortar shop where she could show her own art, feature other emerging and established artists, and provide a well-curated selection of stationery, fine and functional art, housewares, jewelry, accessories, apothecary items, and so much more. She envisioned providing customers with a well-rounded, full experience in a cozy storefront. When the little shop at 104 Main Street came available, it was kismet. (Swallowfield is named after Jen’s grandmother’s old farm in Pennsylvania.)
Jen lives with her family here in Northeast Harbor and much of her own work is influenced by mid century modern design, Scandinavian influences, the patterns and forms she sees in nature and her coastal Maine and Acadia National Park surroundings. When she isn’t doing art (her favorite mediums to work in are papercutting, mixed media collage and drawing) or helping customers at the shop, you can find Jen walking her pup Hank on a carriage road, or getting out into the beauty of Mount Desert Island in every way she can. It’s easy to see how her work connects to her living here on Mount Desert Island, and can help others to feel and relive that experience too.
We aspire to be the place you come for your gift-giving and self-care needs. Many of our products feature Jen’s artwork; we truly believe function and beauty can go hand in hand. Our wooden puzzles feature Jen’s designs and a few from other artists we admire; we also carry notecards, prints, tea towels, wooden trays, coasters, notebooks and needlepoint pillows with Jen’s designs. You’ll find these items, and so much more, from makers we respect and admire. When you leave Swallowfield, you can feel confident that your purchases supported small businesses, primarily women-owned, artists and makers.
Everyone who works at Swallowfield knows the stories behind the companies and products we carry, and can tell you all about their process. You might see Jen at the shop, or Caroline, Swallowfield’s first year-round employee. We are proud to represent the artists and makers we have in the shop, and to introduce them to our customers. We hope everyone leaves the shop with a little extra joy to carry through the rest of their day.