Balsam Fur
Scraps from the Forest Floor
 

Twenty years ago, Wendy and Jack Newmeyer said goodbye to New Jersey and headed north for the woods of Maine. Settling in West Paris, the couple homesteaded a 114 acre parcel of land. Jack bought a used bulldozer and cut spruce and fir for pulp. Wendy collected balsam scraps to sell at nearby incense factory inn Lewiston.

It was the sweet fragrance of balsam that inspired Wendy to start Maine Balsam Fir Products, a company specializing in everything balsam - from pillows to door stopper. A popular memento of summers in Maine, balsam pillows still evoke the smell of the north woods for visitors. Balsam is the most abundant fir in the state and is favored for Christmas trees, wreaths, and pulp. Today, the Newmeyers buy close to ninety tons of balsam from local woodsmen, usually salvage from trees already cut for the logging and paper industries.

Out of scraps from the forest floor, the Newmeyers make balsam pillows of every color, size, and shape. An experienced seamstress, Wendy sewed her first pillow in 1984. Today, the company employs a crew of local seamstresses who sew and send pillows around the world.

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