Rob and Maddie Coppage packed up and moved from Richmond to Maine this year with plans to buy a long-standing jewelry business in the tourist town of Southwest Harbor.
The deal almost fell apart twice as the husband and wife negotiated with the owners of the business.
With guidance from Art Mattox, a retired business executive and a volunteer with Richmond SCORE, a nonprofit organization that mentors small businesses and startups, they closed the deal.
“It transfers to us on Nov. 1,” said Rob Coppage last week, speaking by telephone from Maine.
“That is when we are launching our new website. We will be opening year-round,” he said. The business has previously been open just during the spring and summer tourist season.
The Coppages see opportunities to expand and do a lot more with online sales particularly around the holidays. Rob Coppage, 29, made and sold jewelry while in Richmond.
Buying an existing business wasn’t easy or quick, but they are glad they did it, the Coppages said.
“Art definitely held our hand,” Rob Coppage said.
“SCORE provided an excellent resource, through Art, of everything we needed to know and everything we didn’t know we needed to know about buying a business, the cost and what is the exact process. (Art) has been with us every step of the way,” Coppage said.
The Coppages declined to say how much they paid for the business. They are keeping the business’s name the same, Aylen & Son Jewelry, because it has been around for more than 30 years and has a following.
“We are also going to be buying the rights to all the molds. He has over 300 different designs, only 40 of which he actively uses. I am going to utilize all the molds again and ease into my designs in the next couple of years,” Rob Coppage said.
The Coppages spent the summer tourist season working at the business, located near popular Acadia National Park, learning from former owners Judy and Peter Aylen. Maddie, 21, will focus on sales and other operations.
Rob Coppage said he found out about SCORE while searching the internet for information on buying a business.
“They are just vast sums of knowledge and just awesome,” he said.