Year in Review: Small Business Success Stories

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Maine is known for many things. From its jagged, rocky coastline, low, rolling mountains and forests, to the blueberry industry and seafood, of course.

Mostly though, it's the people. It's your stories that matter most.

We've featured small businesses over the past year that have made their mark on Maine.

"Even if the power goes out, we stay open."

"There are only about 25 hand letter cutters in this country that are working at the caliber my daughter and I do."

"I really kind of got addicted to it, making shavings, you know fly through the air."

"My hobby at ten years old was fixing clocks."

What does it take to make a small business successful?

We've traveled across the state to find out.

"I've been here 36 years. My uncle was here 33 years."

Most businesses close during snow storms or on holidays, but not this Greenville Pizza Shop.

"We've been open every day since I've been here and my uncle was open every day. So that's a pretty good run of 60 something years."

That makes nearly 14,000 days of business for Jamos Pizza Owner Henry Gilbert. An accomplishment he says is due in large part to working with family.

And that seems to be a common thread for small business owners in Maine.

"So many parts of this that I haven't learned yet. There's so many times when Dad says you're going to want to see this."

Cutting stone is symbolic for these Belfast craftsmen. Using a chisel, Doug and Sigrid Coffin help to keep the memories of those we've lost alive.

A bond this father and daughter have created through their intricate caligraphy.

"There is a way of making a really beautiful letter and we all respond to beautiful letters. You don't see them that often. But when we see them we recognize and say that's lovely."

From stone, to wood.

"People have admired or appreciated, not just wood, but wood that I have done something with."

Al Mather spends his days lathing away in his home basement in China.

The self-taught wood-turner made a hobby his full time job.

"It's something that at the end of the day you can turn off your light and leave and be satisfied."

And finally, a Bar Harbor clockmaker whose story is just as fascinating as his trade.

"I was supposed to be a concert pianist. I traded in my tuxedo for a shop apron."

Alexander H. Phillips couldn't deny his passion for clocks and the delicate, detailed mechanics inside of them.

After a career spanning nearly three decades, nothing bothers him. Except a life dedicated to a job you don't love.

"If you have a passion go after if you're a writer, if your painter, if you're a pianist, go after it! It's in your heart."