The Lost Art of Slow Journalism with Maine the Way


Journey into the heart of Maine through beautiful stories and photography with our latest episode on the Slow Goods Podcast!

This week, we had the pleasure of sitting down with the visionary founders of the print publication, Maine the Way; Cam and Christine Held.

Maine the Way is more than just an annual print publication; it's a revival of the dwindling art of slow journalism and an exploration of people and place and the stories that connect us.

Join us as we explore the beauty of Maine through the lens of this dynamic photojournalist couple, delving into the stories that make this place truly extraordinary.

In this episode, Cam and Christine share their love of Maine and the stories that make up Maine the Way through their unique perspective.

Listen in as we unravel the power of print journalism, witnessing how Maine the Way brings it back to life amid our digital age when print publications are becoming few and far between.

And don't miss out on an exciting Maine the Way announcement!


Thank you for being a member of our podcast community.

Your support inspires our passion for timeless design and craftsmanship, and the stories behind it.






Machine-generated Audio Transcript





Logan Rackliff (00:00):

Welcome to the Slow Goods podcast, where we love to talk all about Maine quality, craftsmanship and timeless design, and how these three things often intersect. Along the way, we'll hear some inspiring and authentic stories, and if we have ears to hear, gain some wisdom as well. I'm your host, Logan Rackliff, and today I'm excited to dig in with Christine Held and Cam Held newly both Helds. Congratulations from Maine the Way. Maine the Way is an online blog in print periodical that showcases the beauty of Maine, both wild and serene through stunning photography and storytelling. Through the publication Christine and Cam of paired the concept of slow journalism with the fast-paced consumption of digital media to create a multifaceted and timeless view of this beautiful place. Welcome guys.

Cam Held (00:48):

Thanks for having us. Yeah,

Christine Held (00:49):

Thank you. Nice intro.

Logan Rackliff (00:50):

Well, I can't take all the credit for that. We've got a good team. But yeah, thank you so much for coming. It really means a lot, and I've been a fan of you guys for a long time, and I can remember when my wife first showed me your catalog, if that's what you call it, but I was just like, wow, it's kind of blown away and you guys might've reached out to do something with us, but at the time we were just super new and young. It was just like we're just trying to keep up. We're a small business,

Cam Held (01:19):

We know that. Well, you're a small team, you're just putting one foot in front of the

Logan Rackliff (01:23):

Other. Yeah. But anyway, yeah. So we did the intro, but we'd love to just hear a little bit more about, we don't think of super broad or deep, whatever you guys want to say just about yourselves and kind of how you ended up where you are. Or maybe just start, tell maybe a little bit more about Maine the way, if there's any more left to tell there.

Cam Held (01:43):

Yeah, we could kind of tell the intro story of how we got going with the brand and

Logan Rackliff (01:48):

Awesome. Yeah,

Christine Held (01:50):

Or maybe a little bit about you, because I feel like your intro to this line of work started quite young.

Cam Held (01:57):

Well, I guess, yeah. So my journey with photography started when I was around three. I watched a program with my family that showcased a National Geographic photographer, and I told my parents that night, I was like, I'm going to be a National Geographic photographer, and they were like, okay, as you do with a young kid, it's great to have a dream. And the interesting thing was that kind of always stayed my passion, so got a camera, a film camera early on and a small digital camera and just followed that passion through school. And as a teen, I was lucky enough to join a National Geographic youth experience that went to Ecuador and the Galapagos and worked with a National Geographic photographer there. And so that was kind of my path, and that's how I found my way to Maine. I was picking their brain about what they wanted in a photographer, so whether I should be going to art school or

Logan Rackliff (03:03):

National Geographics brain,

Cam Held (03:05):

I was kind of asking them, what do you look for in a photographer that you're trying to hire? And they said, get a background in sciences or history or something to inform your photography. So I ended up here in Maine at Bates College studying geology and wildlife biology and photography and film, and fell in love with Maine. Cool. Where are you from? Upstate New York originally. Wow,

Logan Rackliff (03:30):

That's beautiful up there. Yeah.

Cam Held (03:31):

Yeah. Similar. I always say it's like similar rolling countryside, forests, farmland, but we don't have the ocean there, so

Logan Rackliff (03:39):

Right. It is beautiful though. Yeah, we spent a little time there, our family a couple years ago, we just took some time and just two weeks and we looked all over and then I got a car from my wife and came through and I was just like, man, it's awesome. I just love it up there. Yeah,

Cam Held (03:55):

It's gorgeous.

Logan Rackliff (03:56):

Yeah. How about you, Christine?

Christine Held (03:59):

Okay. Yeah, so I mean, I always pass away, so I always had a passion for photography. My mom's nickname in our family was the Snapper, and they're probably 70 photo albums from my childhood until she switched to a digital camera. So I just loved documenting things and definitely got that from her, but never wanted to pursue it as a career actually until I met Cam and he had all the nice lenses and fancy equipment that made sort of a barrier to entry to photography easier. I just got a body, a camera body, and used his equipment and kind of followed it from there. I actually had the platform made the way. I had started the Instagram account a handful of years before we met and was just sort of running it as a curation of photos to showcase the beauty that Maine had to offer.

And when we met, cam actually didn't even have Instagram, so I didn't tell him about Maine the way for a while. It was sort of just this side interest of mine. It wasn't a business, it didn't have legs at all. But then once we met and started dating and we're talking about our dreams, the idea of developing this platform that I had created to showcase Maine into something a little deeper just came to us. And we went from Instagram to a print publication in the time when all the other magazines and newspapers were folding, and it just felt like Maine was a place that people appreciated slowing down and kind of getting off that fast pace, fast track or whatever. Now that was probably seven years ago that we launched the printer, I dunno, a while ago. And we've had many iterations from there, but that's I guess the journey to where we are today.

Logan Rackliff (06:04):

Yeah. So you said you kind of created this as a side thing. Why did you start it? I

Christine Held (06:13):

Was in college at the time and just looking for an outlet to kind of capture my creative interest. And I was actually just scrolling through Instagram, looking at all the amazing places around the world like Bali and the Pacific Northwest and just these other locations that really had captured their landscape, photographers flocked them Iceland, and it looked so amazing and I was like, I want to go see the world. But then my family's in Maine, I grew up here and I was like, this place is amazing too. And at the time it didn't feel like there was anyone sort of showcasing the Maine that I knew and loved. And so I just decided to start this account and I was featuring other people's photos. I honestly wasn't featuring my own a ton. And that was kind of a thing early on Instagram and it was really special to hear people comment like, oh, my grandmother used to live there, or we used to do this, and there was just such a nostalgia with everywhere that we shared and it felt special. And I've felt that way about Maine and everyone that has an experience here it seems like is so proud of those memories. And so, yeah, it's a special place to nurture that relationship.

Logan Rackliff (07:36):

So you'd seen other things like that for area specific, and you're like, why not Maine? Yeah. You're from Maine. I'm from Maine, yeah. Where are you from? I

Christine Held (07:43):

Grew up in Freeport.

Logan Rackliff (07:44):

Okay. Yeah. And you went to school here?

Christine Held (07:47):

I went to high school here and then moved away for college and spent some time in Europe and kind of traveled around and thought I would do a lot more traveling. But we met just after I graduated and he quickly pulled me back to Maine and it just felt like, it was like this is where I knew I wanted to end up eventually. And when I moved back I was like, I'm never leaving.

Logan Rackliff (08:14):

So that is really cool that you both wanted to be photographers early on and then you're stuck. I think it's so neat when people write from the get-go, I'm going to do this, and they stay in it.

Cam Held (08:24):

It's a funny thing. On the one hand, it's easy to say yes, it's been photography all along, but also within that you're always still finding your path. And I've dabbled in wedding photography and more corporate stuff and fine art gallery work and then have kind of landed here, which is more or less where I wanted to go. But I think even when you do have a more straightforward path of this is what I want, you don't get there in a straight line. Right,

Logan Rackliff (09:00):

That's true. Well, when you say wedding photography, it doesn't seem like that would be your passion, but in the photography world, I don't know much about it, but that seems like that is something that is a pretty rock solid thing, that this is something that people are going to spend money on, photos on. So if I want to be a photographer, this is something that it's a great place to be, but I think some people are more passionate about photographing other things. So I heard a little bit about your story. You have a little more on your story, Christine, growing up?

Christine Held (09:33):

Yeah. Well, so I grew up in Freeport. We had to play sports every season at my high school, so I was always kind of trying different things. I was a swimmer in the winter and that was always consistent, but my spring and fall changed around a bunch, and I feel like I was always just kind of exploring what I was interested in. And I ended up transferring colleges even too. And then I took a gap year in between and was living in Europe. And so it's funny to look back on that time. I kind of joked that I gave myself a liberal arts degree, but there were a lot of themes. I was working on this farm in Italy and it was about community and food. And then I went to business school. And so there was this kind of business component, and at the time it seemed like there were all these different boxes and I was like, how does this all fit together?

But I wanted to go to business school and I had a corporate internship in the skyscraper in Boston, literally the summer after working on the farm. And it was the craziest ends of the spectrum, but I sort of rode the wave and pursued these different tangents to see them kind of all come together with what we have. And Maine the way, and not all right now, but just thinking about our brand as it grows, community and gathering and just being intentional and also business savvy. And it's cool to see how when I was growing up and I was just exploring my different passions, there was many years that it didn't make sense. And yeah, I dunno if that

Logan Rackliff (11:10):

Answered your question. Yeah, no, that's great. And then the other thing I've heard you guys touch on and then reading as you said, we're journalists, so we've heard a lot about photography and getting to made the way, but so why transition and how'd you get into both journalism? Right.

Cam Held (11:29):

So that writing in general kind of became another interest of mine, especially in my college years, got really interested in kind non-fiction writing, and especially with a background in geology, I was really interested in climate science and how I could make a difference without being a scientist. And it felt like one of the ways to do that was telling human stories that brought in other things I cared about, whether climate or food systems or all the other pieces. And I felt like telling real human stories was a way to do that. And so that kind of became this through line that we, so Christine had started Maine the way the Instagram account, and she moved to Maine and was kind of in a career transition. And I was working as a freelance, I was shooting for Folgers and Jack Daniels, not really the kind of photography that I wanted to be doing. And so we were on this long road trip actually to upstate New York, I think, and we're just chatting about what our dream work looked like. And we had seen some of these long form publications, especially out of Europe at the time, that had done just amazing quality storytelling, beautiful design, great photography. And we were like, well, we have a platform with, I forget, 40 or 50,000 followers at the time. And we were already broke, 24 year olds. And we were like, well, what's the worst that can happen? Right, yeah,

Logan Rackliff (13:16):

What's nice right there.

Cam Held (13:17):

And she had been to business school, so we wrote up this business plan and then kind of pitched it to our parents and then spent a year behind the scenes just trying to get it all rolling.

Logan Rackliff (13:30):

Sure. Wow. Yeah, that was going to be my next question. How'd you get to Maine the way, so you've rolled that all into one. Sorry. So you're passionate, Noah, it's great. So you were passionate about telling a story through journalism. Yeah. And then Christine, do you do most of the writing? You're both journalists, you both do some copy too?

Christine Held (13:49):

Yeah, I mean, I write most of the digital stuff, emails, copy for social, that stuff

Cam Held (13:57):

We kind of joke, and this isn't necessarily true, but for the most part is that I run the print publication and Christine runs everything else. She's much better at juggling everything, keeping the business afloat. I'd be handing things out for free. So I'm the editor of the main print, but then she obviously is sending more emails and

Logan Rackliff (14:21):

Doing, but you have journalism copy skills for sure.

Christine Held (14:24):

No, I would not say I do. Selling yourself short. Okay, well I've

Logan Rackliff (14:30):

Grown, you've done something.

Christine Held (14:31):

But Cam actually brought it to my attention that I'm pretty dyslexic. And so reading and comprehension did not come easily to me in high school. And I was math business, that whole side of the brain through school and in general school was not my, I dunno, it's not where I thrived. And so it kind of came to finding my own voice that is, I feel like what unlocked my journalism approach is just a genuine interest and hearing people's stories. And when you were asking the question before, what brought us to this journalism path, we were on a road trip up in Newfoundland and we were just driving down through these small towns and there was this beautiful iceberg off of this dock. And so there was a guy that was in his little shack right next to the dock and we were like, Hey, do you mind if we walk down your dock to take a picture of this iceberg? And I was at the end of the dock and then Cam was chatting with him and he was like, do you want to come inside and see what I'm working on? And we're like, definitely. And he was doing building these model boats. He was a boat builder for his career and he's now retired, so he's just making models of them,

Cam Held (15:51):

But extraordinarily intricate. He's building wooden versions of the motors that then go inside the boat. They don't even see, but you can open a flap and see. Wow.

Christine Held (15:59):

And I mean, it was the most amazing thing. And then him and his wife invited us into their home and we were having tea and they were pulling out their photo albums and they measured their family history alongside what boat he was building at the time. So it was like, oh, when we were building this boat and our kids were this age or something. And I feel like that was kind of an aha moment before we had really fleshed out the idea for the publication where we're like, we just genuinely take an interest in people. And when you can make those connections better stories come and it's so natural. And I feel like maybe in some parts of media there's just this shove a microphone in somebody's face and try and get the soundbite approach

Logan Rackliff (16:46):

With a gender or something just to get something.

Christine Held (16:50):

And it just feels different. And I feel like we were like, oh, you can just talk to people and let their story come out and if you express interest and follow that lead, it can take you to some really cool places. So I feel like that was one of the early things where we were like, oh, this is how we like to interact with the world when we travel and when we're spending a weekend just exploring.

Logan Rackliff (17:14):

Wow, that's great. Yeah. I'm glad I asked those questions because it's like the formulation of Main the way is all coming together to me. So yeah. Now you guys have had these road trips and you said, Hey, you contacted your parents to get this thing going. So what's next? What was the first move? I mean besides we're going to do this and figuring out money and those things, what's the next move? So

Cam Held (17:39):

The first thing was reaching out to the people that we wanted to have in our first issue. And that was honestly kind of this leap of faith for people involved because especially at that phase, I'm sure we'll get to this, but it's

Logan Rackliff (17:55):

Like you guys at this podcast, right? Totally. Of course. It's cool. Thank you.

Cam Held (18:01):

We believed in slow journalism and I imagine we'll talk a little bit more about that later, but we were asking a lot of people's time, especially early on. I think now we've gotten to a place where we can streamline it. We can show up for four hours and get comfortable with someone and tell the story. But for example, in our first issue, the kind of cover story, the thing that we were most excited about was this piece about dog sledding in Western Maine. And so we ended up joining them for I think four or five full days, one full day with them, and then another four day trip out dog sledding and camping, winter camping with them. And that was a huge time investment, monetary investment. They were taking us on these sleds that they could have had paying customers come on them. Oh wow. And they took a leap of faith with us. So that was the next big thing is kind of pitching ourselves and our idea to folks that we wanted to tell their story and get it out there and have them believe in us to do them justice. So there was kind of a year of working on stories there behind the scenes

Logan Rackliff (19:14):

And you guys were, you had other normal jobs at that time still to keep things going.

Cam Held (19:22):

You were

Christine Held (19:22):

Definitely still doing freelance. And I got a job at Rosemont Market. We lived in the west end of Portland at the time, and that was perfect. I mean, it was nice to get out of the house and meet the community. And also, I mean, I love just working at a shop where there's a bunch of boxes and your job for the day alongside checking customers out is to put them on the shelves. And it was just very easy work. And then we'd go home

Logan Rackliff (19:51):

And then you get creative and go at it, get creative. That's great.

Christine Held (19:54):

So it was a good balance for me to have that other job

Logan Rackliff (20:00):

That could, so the goal was the first publication, this is the first thing, right? Yeah. So what was that? We need X amount of stories or how did that work?

Christine Held (20:11):

So we actually found this designer that was living in Portland, and he designed other publications in a very similar style to what we were going for. And originally Cam was thinking that he would do the design for the

Cam Held (20:28):

Application. I had done some print design, but then sat down. We had finished a couple stories and I sat down to start designing them. And I think I spent a week sitting there and laying things out. And it wasn't perfect, but it was okay. But it took me forever. And then we met with this designer

Christine Held (20:46):

Danny, Danny Guer, shout out. He really established the visual language that we still use today.

Cam Held (20:52):

And we met with him and 24 hours later he was like, well, I have all 160 pages of the publication roughed out for you. They're not finished, but wow, come take a look at these. So he was scale. That was a real learning moment of even if you can do everything, sometimes it's way better to have an expert who really knows what they're doing, come in and they're more efficient.

Logan Rackliff (21:14):

I'm sure yours is much better, they're better. But I remember my wife designed a lot of our first product catalogs and stuff, and I can't remember we started having kids. She just was tied up a lot more and, oh, I can do that. And it took her a lot of time. I didn't think she wasn't doing anything awesome. I knew it was great, but I just thought I could do it, just arrogance or what it was. But I did one, and as I did, I have all these certain aspects I was trying to get. I'm like, yeah, this is great. And I printed that thing. I was like, this is the worst thing anybody's ever made. I was like, this is not my thing. And I spent a lot of time, I was like, I don't need to do another one to figure that out. And I was just, no, it is people, everybody's gifted in different ways.

Christine Held (22:00):

It's definitely valuable to know what you can and can't slash shouldn't do for your business.

Logan Rackliff (22:07):

Yeah. So you got the design

Christine Held (22:10):

And then we launched

Logan Rackliff (22:10):

It on 60, 160 pages. How many stories is that?

Cam Held (22:14):

I think that first one was a couple more stories. If I recall it was 12 maybe. And we've paired that down. We're still 160 pages, but now we're often running slightly longer ones. And I think the most recent issue is nine stories, so

Logan Rackliff (22:28):

Deeper. Wow. 12 stories. And you would spend four or five days with most of these people at the start. A lot of them, it was

Christine Held (22:35):

Big labor of love. We launched on Kickstarter, which was amazing to have the following on Instagram to take our business to the next level, which is so amazing that that's even a possibility. And it was really cool to kind of crowdfund our dream. And then,

Cam Held (23:01):

Well, then it came out.

Christine Held (23:03):

So it came out before the holidays and it was crazy. It was awesome. The goal, we launched that one fall, what? 2017?

Cam Held (23:11):

2017? October or November of 2017 that came

Christine Held (23:16):

Out. And then 2018 we were planning on doing issue two, three, and four. And on January 3rd we got in a really bad car accident. And so that really stopped us in our tracks, and it was quite devastating. Cam had a pretty serious brain injury, and the next edition of the publication was resting on your shoulders and brain. And especially even with insurance, they're like, oh, what's your salary? And we're like, nothing.

Cam Held (23:48):

Right? Yeah, we were hit by a stolen car.


Cam Held (23:54):

Yeah, it was pretty devastating. I was at 60% brain function for a while. Wow. So issue two, we had put all our eggs in this basket and it needed to happen. And at that point, I had basically stopped freelance. I mean, I could sort of pick it back up again, but you

Logan Rackliff (24:14):

Were all in on main the way, but

Cam Held (24:15):

I was all in and was not allowed to look at screens for two or three months following the crash. And so issue two, I wrote on a typewriter because I just needed to get it out. And so that's kind of a little funny or not funny nugget

Logan Rackliff (24:35):

About, well, it's all part of the story. I'm talking about story here and my heart goes out to you. I mean, my mom and sister have both had serious brain injuries and they've had recoveries. Thankfully my mom should have been dad or vegetable or something. So yeah, we're thankful that I just feel that in my gut when you say it, but so glad you're here today. Thanks. Obviously fully functioning. Yeah. Then that happened and then everything was online for, so did you miss any deadlines or anything?

Cam Held (25:08):

Well, we were creating our own deadlines, but Right.

Logan Rackliff (25:11):

I was going to say we

Cam Held (25:11):

Definitely missed the ones that we were hoping for. So she too was late and everything got pushed.

Logan Rackliff (25:17):


Christine Held (25:18):

It was stressful.

Logan Rackliff (25:19):

I would think it was a

Christine Held (25:20):

Dark time to have this new venture and then be stopped in your tracks and it's sort of like, well, do we give up and count it as a loss? I feel like we just doubled down and we're like, no. And I feel like that in a lot of founder stories or just you hear that where people have the kind of moment that you really have to recommit. And yeah, it was a grueling year to have to bring the second edition to our subscribers and our stockists and just our business.

Logan Rackliff (25:55):

So the first one was the success. Did you have goals or how did you measure that?

Christine Held (26:01):

We don't really do much of the D,

Cam Held (26:03):

We didn't have any particular goals, honestly. We just wanted to have it be self-sufficient and pretty much from the get-go, it was,

Logan Rackliff (26:13):

That's a win

Cam Held (26:14):


Logan Rackliff (26:15):

An entrepreneur.

Cam Held (26:15):

And so we just wanted to see kind of steady growth. And one of the things we've realized over the years is Maine in particular is very seasonal. And so early summer is a great time to release an issue. Pre holidays is a great time to release an issue. Nobody's here in February. So we've just learned to tailor our schedule and build things around what works. But yeah, I would say I guess it was a success in some sense from the, did

Logan Rackliff (26:47):

They go outside of Maine much? Yeah,

Christine Held (26:50):

Far like all states,

Cam Held (26:52):

Maybe 20 countries I think we're shipping to right

Logan Rackliff (26:55):

Now. Wow, that's exciting. So the

Cam Held (26:57):

Lots of Canadians.

Logan Rackliff (26:58):

So is it less seasonal now or does it still the same? So

Cam Held (27:03):

When we started, it was a very ambitious goal. We were trying to do it quarterly, so four issues a year, and we've now dropped to just one a year, which is much more sustainable. So now it's kind of a pre-holiday release every year, and that allows me to help with all the other projects that we have going on in the brand now, because I was always behind on the next issue perpetually and could never catch up and could never help you with any other project in the business. So that's been really helpful that now we can think outside of just the print publication, but still have that to,

Logan Rackliff (27:45):

You went from quarterly down to one a year now, so I'm sure you're somewhere in between at times as you can. So what are those new things you're working on then?

Christine Held (27:56):

Me. Oh boy.

Logan Rackliff (27:57):

You don't have to go super futur at the end. I can be like, Hey, what's new? But yeah, what has it transformed into so far? Well,

Christine Held (28:05):

The digital side of the business definitely has grown

Logan Rackliff (28:09):

A lot, which means what?

Christine Held (28:11):

So I mean, Instagram is kind of the backbone of our brand, but I dunno, that platform is kind of a, I dunno, thankless job sometimes. So we launched a YouTube channel about a year ago and just have been really loving that style of content. It feels like we adventure around the state and get amazing opportunities to do really cool things. And it's fun to just take people along and kind of share what goes into it and how things don't work out. Because before even on Instagram stories where you could share more of this, I dunno, adventure, it felt like you still kind of had to tighten your story. And now on the YouTube we can just take people along for all the different components of the adventure. So that's definitely fun. And I feel like we have a bunch of ideas for growth on with new series and stuff there, but we're just trying to slowly build that. So again, because learned having it be sustainable for us is paramount or else we'll burn out and then not deliver quality products.

Cam Held (29:18):

I think in general, one of the major changes since the early days that happened during the pandemic is that initially we were a hundred percent behind the lens. People often didn't even know who we were. And then during the pandemic out of necessity, we started putting ourselves in the frame of here's how you can travel around Maine in a safe way early on of here's an outdoor brewery you can go to or whatever. And for lack of a better term, we started doing more influencing, which is something we had really avoided early on, but that's become whether on YouTube or Instagram, but that's become a piece of this. The social side is us in front of the camera showing main explorations, showing spots in Maine main stories. And it's been interesting that shift of moving from strictly a journalist behind the lens behind the pen to being more in it, which I don't think is necessarily natural to our personalities, but it's part of what we do.

Logan Rackliff (30:29):

Yeah, it's a tough line we always tell and how much we want our family and it's just like if you feel like you could just blow up an Instagram if we showed building our house or whatever else other people did and more power to them if they want to do that, awesome. We don't do that. We do some, sometimes we get little shots of the girls or something. It's

Christine Held (30:53):

Good to have boundaries

Logan Rackliff (30:55):

I think. And also, I don't know, I don't have anything against anybody, whatever they're doing with theirs, but it is all I'm saying, I get the challenge and the change if we were to whatever, we do more of that, it does feel nice and it's authentic and it's great and not just posting product all the time. We definitely don't want to do that. But even if it's just photo shoot shots, maybe just when I look at it, I'm just like, personally I like it when we just have our own shots too. That's nice. So as you guys have been talking, I've just been thinking, and you probably already have this all worked out, but when you did that dog sled thing, yeah, you get these super cool in depth stories for the catalog, but if you just have a video camera while you're doing that the whole time too after the catalog comes out, then you've got the in depth YouTube series. Man, that sounds awesome. Because yeah, you can definitely do both at the same time. I would think it is

Christine Held (31:56):

A lot to juggle and now that we have YouTube,

Logan Rackliff (31:59):

Not that it's not a lot, but it's

Christine Held (32:01):


Logan Rackliff (32:02):

It's cool. But you can do kind two things at once, right? Or get a lot out of one thing, right? Definitely.

Christine Held (32:09):

Yeah. It's a funny thing though to actually live the day that you're taking content for Instagram and YouTube and the blog and maybe a print story as well, and there's just a lot of equipment and it's physically a lot to

Logan Rackliff (32:26):

Juggle. Finding that balance of enjoying your adventure too and doing all that. Tell me about that because thought about that. If we ever got into some of that, one

Cam Held (32:36):

Of my jokes is that we always get free cold, whether it's free because we're paying for it with the business or vice. Occasionally we do actually get free food, but it'll be 10, 15 minutes of getting a photo from every angle. Now that we're adding video into that, it's a different experience. And I still crave the adventures on the weekends that are just for the two of us. They fill a different role and I'm very lucky that we get to do that for work, but

Christine Held (33:09):

I think we do have a balance and a good boundary around it. Our weekends we really try and keep for ourselves and even with clients sometimes it's hard when, especially the summer, the weather was very unforgiving and we would maybe have to do a photo shoot on Saturday, but for the most part we are lucky to go for a hike and get a beer after and pizza for work, but we do it on a Tuesday because that's our job. And then we go hiking with friends on Saturday. And so I feel like we are good about having boundaries of what's for work and what's not. And then it makes it easy, especially our day trip series, we try and do one adventure a month and we kind of have different series or whether it's photo shoots for brands or something. I think we try and have a clear agreed upon this is a work trip. And then our non-work trips are, we don't even bring cameras and I still taking pictures on my phone and stuff, but I think it's been healthy for us to know, okay, once a month we have the day trip or have those kind of set things so that it doesn't just bleed into

Logan Rackliff (34:17):

That's nice.

Christine Held (34:18):

Everything that you do,

Logan Rackliff (34:20):

Those are good boundaries and yeah, this is a work trip. We're going on adventure, we can enjoy it, but we're going to have cameras on everything all the time. It's just all there is to it. And

Christine Held (34:31):

Sometimes, for example, this spring we did a trip with our families and we were staying in this beautiful hotel and one picture I could take one picture of the room or the dinner or the hotel and use it in a post later. And it doesn't feel like it's consuming our whole weekend with our family, but for the most part I feel like if it's a work trip then it's a work trip. And then if we're hanging with friends, we'll take pictures for ourselves, but not for

Logan Rackliff (35:03):

Right now. And you said clients, so who are your clients or your customers? Yeah, I mean people buy the publications obviously, but who

Cam Held (35:11):

Else? I would kind of say our business falls into a couple categories now. So we have the print wing of it, which is still going strong,

Logan Rackliff (35:20):

And the print is the publication

Cam Held (35:22):

Is the main publication. And then I can mention it now, I guess we haven't done an official launch on this yet, but one of the things that we're thinking we're going to be moving into soon, and the first one will be coming out this fall in about a month is a guidebook series all about Maine.

Logan Rackliff (35:40):

That's exciting. Yeah,

Cam Held (35:42):

Very exciting.

Logan Rackliff (35:43):

Freshly. Yeah. Yes. Thanks for doing it on our podcast, you'll have to share this.

Cam Held (35:50):

No, this

Logan Rackliff (35:51):

Is great you guys.

Cam Held (35:52):

Good story. The people who are emailing asking for it, we're here listening in this podcast. But yeah, so that's one part of it. And then we do some work with brands, we do some

Logan Rackliff (36:02):

Work, so that's a guidebook to Maine in general.

Cam Held (36:05):

So we going to

Christine Held (36:06):

Kind of have different themes. So looking at Maine through different lenses.

Cam Held (36:11):

So we didn't want it to be, we've been thinking about this for a while, but we didn't want the main lonely planet style guidebook of here, this restaurant's a five star, whatever. So how do you do that in a different way? That's true to what we are, which is storytelling, design, nice photos. And so what we kind of landed on is for a category, so say this first guidebook is an outdoor recreation guidebook. We're telling the story of one hunting and fishing lodge. And so there's a several thousand word little story about the experience of going there and fishing hunting. But then what I really am excited about with it is something that's hard to do in the main publication when you're telling these super long form stories for all the little side things that come in. So for example, we were having a guide lunch on the side of the river and they made us guide coffee where you break an egg into the coffee grounds and when you boil the water, put that in and when the egg totally congeals the coffee's done and no grounds come into your coffee.

So telling those little, a little recipe story, a small piece about the history of fishing canoes in Maine and all those things. And then at the end of that section be like, here are a selection of great sources, guides, and places that you can go create your own experience. But we don't want to blow up one spot or be like, here's the best. I see that happening all the time in Maine is that we have a lot of these small really cool spots have a limited bandwidth and they get blown up by the New York Times or whatever and then they want to close their doors so overwhelmed. And so thinking about tourism that's like how do we do it? Well,

Logan Rackliff (38:17):

Yeah, that's a good question. And if you'd say not ruin the special spa, but it becomes so much that it's not as special for everybody packed with people. Yeah, that's always a fine line, but I just love everything you guys are talking about. It's like a lot of things we're trying do.

Cam Held (38:35):

Just going back though, sorry.

Logan Rackliff (38:37):

No go.

Cam Held (38:37):

But we were talking about kind of the different clients had come up and so the print side is one piece of the business, but then working with brands and you can kind of talk to all that,

Logan Rackliff (38:50):

But as in somebody can call

Cam Held (38:52):

You state tourism brands, that's a whole nother side of the business.

Christine Held (38:56):

Yeah, we've been working with the Office of Tourism, which has been a dream partner. Their goal is to share Maine and get people around. And it's fun because what we were saying about we like to show a lot of what Maine has to offer and some of our friends don't hike or camp, so maybe not everyone's going to do everything that we share, but they can kind of be like, oh, you can still go to Baxter and stay in this cool place and even if you're not hiking and here are other things to do, or people are like, oh my gosh, I didn't know that you could rent a cabin in the winter and skin up and ski down. And so it's fun to just have different touch points for people to interact with.

Logan Rackliff (39:42):

But when you say clients, so somebody calls you up and say, I want to work with you somehow so you guys can represent our brand. So is that a collaboration? You'll take photos for 'em, you'll tell stories for 'em, do different things like that make

Cam Held (39:57):

A lot of it's behind the scenes where we'll create content for them that they'll be able to share on their own. Sometimes we work with brands where we're showcasing it or promoting it on our platforms if it's something we believe in.

Logan Rackliff (40:10):

So basically just like what you're doing, they call you up and say, Hey, we want to work with you guys somehow. Yeah. Great. Awesome. I haven't had to look at my notes at all. This has been just fantastic. I just love what you guys are doing. It's a lot of what we're trying to do in a different way, obviously a much different way. So yeah, let's about, we talked about it a little bit earlier. You mentioned that we get back into it, so let's do it. The slow journalism, what does that mean to you? Tell me about slow journalism.

Cam Held (40:41):

So I think Christine was saying with the meeting that older gentleman in Newfoundland, what we really believed in is that when you walk into a space with no preconceptions and are friendly, people will open up in a way that they won't when you walk in with a, here's what I'm looking to get out of this experience. And so I think a huge part of slow journalism is leaving enough time on the books to be able to go in, figure out what the story is and then not extract that but be a participant in hearing that. I think so often journalism is thought of as you come in, you get the story and you leave and you tell it. And I think being a part of that whole thing and how do you get the person to want to tell their story genuinely. And I think that whole interplay and then it's also about the delivery of that story. So once you've taken your time and you've gotten to know the person and you hopefully tell their or get that story in a really neat way, how do you then tell it and do justice to it? And so to us, print is the ideal way to do that. It's timeless, especially something like ours. We give it the space it needs. So if the story wants to run for, we've run a 40 page story before, if the story deserves to be that length, let it be that length. Yeah,

Christine Held (42:22):

I mean even just our approach, it's a high quality publication and it's $25, which maybe if people would pay a hundred we'd take that, but it's sort of like we want people to, it's not a big investment, but it's something that you're purchasing to then sit down and consume. And even in our design, we love to hear that people flip through the first day, they get it and they can consume something and enjoy it visually and then sit down a week later, sit down a month later, sit down a year later, pass it to their neighbor, and there's relevance and it can kind of connect with you wherever you are and your life to when you open up the pages. And I think that's something that we don't have dates, we don't do events, we don't have kind of time sensitive material because we want it to be something that's just as relevant today or five years ago or down

Logan Rackliff (43:21):

The line. Right? Yeah.

Christine Held (43:22):

Just like a capsule of Maine in this era.

Cam Held (43:27):

Well, I think today's world is so information driven and fast paced that I think often the real stories get buried in there or forgotten about instantly. And so I think it was really important to us to create something that was timeless that did last, and that hopefully does justice to all those people in a way that I don't think the media landscape does anymore because it's there and then it's gone and

Logan Rackliff (44:03):

Yeah, it's got to accomplish this and hopefully sell something and move on. Right. Yeah, it is, it's rushed. Just made me think of this that if there's trade secrets here, don't give 'em away. But finding your stories, how do you find those? Maybe once you get known people let you know or how does that work?

Christine Held (44:27):

I feel like I'm an open book. Kim probably wishes I would reveal it. It's not that this is crazy trade secrets, but I think that always just has been, I'm not trying to take full credit, but the curation has always been one of my approaches to main the way and how we share and trying to rotate around to different interests and industries and types of people and locations and having that breadth is important for different people to connect with. And I guess it kind of maybe comes back to my journey through college and traveling and everything when there are a bunch of different interests and themes that when you bring them together, it's sort of a

Cam Held (45:17):


Christine Held (45:18):


Cam Held (45:19):

I would say both of us to some extent, but especially Christine always has her ear to the ground. I feel like you do have this spidey sense for the next thing that's worth telling. And so while we've definitely had people reach out with story ideas and some of our great ones have come that way of a writer coming and saying, I'm really interested in telling the story or whatever, I think we just have a laundry list of things around Maine that are already interesting us. Nice. And so there's no lack of ideas. I mean

Christine Held (45:53):

There's literally no shortage everywhere we go it uncovers 10 or more stories. And even with the publication we've tried to, or we've had different themes for those and they've kind of been in series of four. And so currently, well by the time this is out issue 12 East will be out and that's part of the coordinate series where we look, we started with Southwest North and now East. And so it's fun to have parameters to work within where we're like, okay, we're focusing on East. It doesn't mean that it has to be from this town over, but it's sort of like, okay, we have an artist, we have an adventure story, it'd be cool to have some history. Is there some cool history thing? And I feel like we're always kind of trying to fill in the gaps to have it balanced. And sometimes it ends up being a really long story about an adventure or a history or cultural thing and it's just one quick little profile about food or other, the scale changes. But I think it's fun to try and round out the picture when we pull it together and always circle around to different themes.

Logan Rackliff (47:13):

So the dog sled one you were talking about, so how did that come about? It was like, did you travel there and then saw those guys and be like, wow, that's really cool, let's go tell us. Is that kind of how it,

Christine Held (47:24):

I mean, I think in general, we were just launching Maine the way, so we were like, what are epic stories? And that really kind of encapsulate just the cool crafts folk and adventure and landscape and everything. And so we were like, oh, we'd heard of these people and then

Logan Rackliff (47:45):

So you'd heard of 'em? Yeah. And then you just

Cam Held (47:47):

Sought 'em out. I think when I first heard of 'em, it caught me off guard. I think of dog Sled, I think of Alaska Main. Of course it makes sense once you think about it, but I'd never thought of it as a hub for dog sledding or anything. And hearing that they did these multi night trips was kind of a aha moment. And they

Christine Held (48:10):

Build their own sleds and just are really, really impressive. Kevin and Polly of Masa Guide service are so impressive and we've maintained a relationship with them since, I guess that was winter of 2017, around February. So now over five years later. And we actually just went on another trip with them this past summer, a canoe trip with them down the POB Scott, and it was sort of a cultural experience

Cam Held (48:36):

Alongside with the POB Scott Nation folks from

Christine Held (48:38):

Knobs Foundation, which was so incredible. And they sort of facilitated these amazing conversations with

Cam Held (48:46):

The tribal archeologist and historian and the woman that runs the tribal museum. And so you just got these amazing in-depth conversations and

Logan Rackliff (48:59):

Wow, that's awesome. Where'd you guys put in?

Christine Held (49:02):

So it was the lower half

Cam Held (49:03):

Passed the Dump Keg.

Logan Rackliff (49:05):

Okay. Down

Cam Held (49:05):

To Old Town?

Logan Rackliff (49:06):

Yeah. Oh, so right after the dam. Yeah, passed the dump keg to, because I went to school at ume and I'm a hunter, so we had to get a special license permit

Cam Held (49:20):

For the islands.

Logan Rackliff (49:21):

For the islands, yeah. Yeah, we float trip. Oh cool. Past the Eck a few times and was always around there. But my dad has always fished up at, he's a big fly fisherman, but he's always been at the Eddie and anyway, I love up north and adventure everything. I'm trying not to get into talking to it too much. No,

Cam Held (49:42):

I know we could spend all day talking about paddling

Logan Rackliff (49:44):

Trips, but I haven't done a lot of paddling trips. I need to do a lot more. So yeah, one question we had thought of was, you guys are bridging, you have this, I totally agree, the timelessness of print and I don't want it to fade away. I want it to be stronger again, but also live in the reality of the digital world and that's where people are and join people, good things there. And also we have to be in business too. You got to meet people where they are. So National Geographic announced this year that they're going to forego print publications in 2024. What are your thoughts?

Christine Held (50:27):

Not surprised.

Cam Held (50:28):

Yeah, I mean I think it's tragic of all institutions. I would love to see them continue on even if it's not profitable. But I know from our own business that margins have gotten a lot tighter since we started the business. Print costs have gone up significantly and society's appetite to pay for print has not kept pace with that. And so I think you have to get creative with it. My personal take, and I dunno, you can give yours as well, but when we started Maine, the way we felt that print was no longer a necessity.

I think we all grew up in a world where print was a part of everyday life and now you don't need it. And so my personal belief or hope I guess is that just like how LP vinyl records have come back, but you don't need to listen to music that way. But it's also a really enjoyable, tactile, fun experience with friends in the evening to put a record on. I think that's what print will be. It'll be this kind of one-off specialty thing that you're willing to pay extra for that fills a different role than waking up in the morning and looking at your iPad and reading a National Geographic article. Now how do companies still stay in business? I don't know. And we're still always trying to figure that out. And I think that's part of what this guidebook series will be of how do we stay true to our roots but create something that has a different price point and requires a different time input. Because I'll put thousands of hours into each print publication and that's tough to ever get your money back out of. So it's something we give a lot of thought to because we care so deeply about print and it is dying and we don't want it to. Right. So I don't know if you have more to add on this, but

Christine Held (52:54):

I mean I could take it in a different direction, but

Cam Held (52:57):

Take whatever direction you

Christine Held (52:58):

Want. Oh, I dunno. If you ask chap GPT what the most profitable, I think that's not why we're in these industries. It's sort of about the craft and about doing what you love and what we were saying earlier about always knowing in some capacity that we'd be photographers, we live in Maine and we do what we love and that's for me, a dream come true. I think just creating a business that we are passionate about and sustains us is why we do it. Not to buy private planes or something,

Logan Rackliff (53:38):

But business-wise. Just thinking too about National Geographic, I'm sure they've thought this over or with your publication, if that was gone, that's what you became known for and that's what they became known for. Yes. Now we're so used to having all these metrics. What if all of a sudden that disappears? They don't have metrics for that. Maybe even if people aren't buying it as much. This is like National Geographic's gone, what are you guys now? I don't know, maybe it's all video. I've probably looked into it, but I think there's, as far as a brand goes, I mean like this podcast right now, we're not making any money on this podcast. We just believe in it now. Can we do it forever? It does take a lot of resources without any, it all depends, I guess as the owner, I guess it's on me, but we would have to look at, it was just like, hey, this is just taking a ridiculous amount of time. We don't think there's anything that is being helpful for me. I might just still say, well, I like talking about it and that's what I want to do. Totally. But yeah, I guess we all have to make those calls, but I think there's so many things that you cannot put metrics on.

Christine Held (54:46):

And I think that's kind of a theme in Maine. Everyone has, and I dunno, people could agree on different numbers, but maybe seven different ventures or something. And whether it's kids or your garden or you're volunteering at the library or something, or you work for the bank. I feel like in Maine everyone just does a bunch of things and some of them make a lot of money or hopefully can sustain them or maybe there are a couple different things that contribute to their pocket. And then there are others that contribute to their community and stuff. And I think, I feel like having kind of a holistic approach to how you spend your time and energy is, I dunno, that's kind of one way I think of it is

Cam Held (55:37):

One along those same lines. I think part of why I hope we can survive in the print world when something like National Geographic can't is that we're a small team and we're flexible and we're able to change our priorities day-to-day, week to week, month to month. And for exactly that reason. If something in our regular life is more important for a while, the business can move to the side. Or if we need to change the way we're doing print, we can do that. And that's something I really value about being a two person team is that we can constantly have conversations about shifting priorities.

Logan Rackliff (56:17):

That is nice.

Cam Held (56:18):

And I think it helps you find that balance in a way that a company like National Geographic probably just as expenses went up, they have staff photographers that they have to pay and whatever. And

Logan Rackliff (56:33):

Yeah, we had even a company that we work with that buys our product a lot, why they were so good is they had a lot of great talent and private investment, got in there, put some money, and then they just started hiring a ton of talent and they were putting out fantastic stuff and that's how they grew. But then they hired too much and the covid rush for, they were in the perfect storm for that, so they blew up. So it was awesome. But then when it receded they were like, there's collapsed too much. Yeah, we've got too much talent. And now a lot of them have left. I mean, I guess we touched on it a little bit, but why do you think, you said you hope with your heart, not just, and I can tell it's not just to make money, but that print journalism doesn't go away. Why is it more important than it ever has been in a digital world?

Cam Held (57:30):

I think we talked about the longevity earlier, and I think that's a key piece of it is that I was just reading recently actually that I think something like 80% of New York Times articles from 2000 to 2010, the links are now broken and that's the New York Times and don't quote me on that exact number, but it's around that it's even the biggest institutions doing digital publication, it disappears. It's just sort of into the ether and maybe people can find it again with a search or whatever. But I think there's something so valuable about it just being there and being tangible and it coming into the world in this real unique way that a lot of things don't anymore. And I know it means something to me. Yeah, a book has a personality of its own.

Logan Rackliff (58:41):

Yeah, it feels good. Yeah. Right. And I mean, we've said a few times, just timeless is all I can keep thinking. Yeah. Do you have any thoughts?

Christine Held (58:52):

I mean also as the producers of it, we have a blog too, and it's not like I go back and edit that too often if ever, but I could and there's something so that's true. Nice about it being done. What is that? There are typos and we'll get an email from somebody with the signature vice president of this department and they're like, there's a typo on page this and blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, thank you. Yeah, we're human. And I think there's something that's so we don't do reprints, we're not too proud. The New York Times has typos as well, but it's also sort of like there's this sort of completion of when it's in your hands that you can look at it and it's imperfect or perfect or however, but it's done and it's sort of its own entity

Logan Rackliff (59:43):

Now. It's authentic, right? Yeah. And yeah, it's just like with coin collectors when they find the imperfections are where the big money coins, right? Those are the rare ones. So to me it just shows. That's why I like just having conversations here. I write a few prompt questions down, but yeah, anytime you can see something's authentic, especially now, I mean, everything just seems so fake.

Cam Held (01:00:09):

Tying into that, one thing I learned when I was working on a typewriter for issue two, I had grown up obviously always writing on computers and Microsoft Word or some equivalent and writing on a typewriter completely changed the way I wrote because the little red squiggly line wouldn't show up and you wouldn't

Logan Rackliff (01:00:35):

Go back. Yeah, I want to hear more about the typewriter

Cam Held (01:00:36):

And change the way that you were writing. And I realized that when I was writing digitally, I was constantly editing as I went. And there's something good about that. You're creating a more polished product quicker. It's more efficient. But on a typewriter, you follow your train of thought through to completion and you don't care about any of the issues that pop up there. And then your next time through the next iteration of the whole thing, you'll hopefully clean that up. And I think similarly with print, what we're putting out into the world, believe me, I put many hours in to make it as perfect as I can, but inherently every issue is imperfect. But once it's out that door, like you said, it's, it's out there and it's not changing. And that also, it's freeing. But it's also a neat thing artistically, I think of digitally, it never static. It always has the potential to be changed, to be better, to be different. And yeah, I think that there is some value of just seeing it through and getting it out. I

Logan Rackliff (01:02:02):

Mean, artists, yeah, they start the painting. Any famous painting or non-famous painting, I think it's there. And they might see imperfections or maybe somebody else was, but it's like, yeah, a human did that. But I'm sure that's part of the beauty of so many of them. Yeah. So what is quality? I feel like a lot of what we've been talking about is that, what does it mean to you guys? How would you define quality? What does it mean to you?

Christine Held (01:02:31):

What comes to mind first is integrity. And I feel like there's something you can stand behind, something you're proud of. And I feel like it sort of feels like a feeling that it's intentional and all the different components and things that go into it, you thought through. And I'm trying to decide if it's how to expand in our business. I feel like as much as we can, every avenue we try and comb through, whether it's the printer that we use and Augusta or the different contractors and photographers and writers that we work with, it's just, yeah,

Logan Rackliff (01:03:20):

I dunno. Constantly refining. Yeah,

Cam Held (01:03:23):

The word that came to mind for me. So same line of thinking is pride. And to me, quality isn't necessarily the paper stock or the whatever. It's like being able to put something out into the world that you are proud in and believe in and stand behind. And then a lot of those other things are filled in inherently, if that is something you truly are

Logan Rackliff (01:03:51):

Proud of. Sure. Yeah, no, I love what you both said. I don't think I've heard everybody's got a different take and it's like there's a ton of different qualities and a ton of different places, and so it's neat to hear what stands out most to people. So along those lines, as we love Maine here, what does Maine mean to you, guy? I mean you're from Maine, you're not from Maine, but you fell in love with Maine. What does Maine mean to both of you? Now? Goes as deep or as broad as you want to go, but would love to hear what it means to you, what it is to you, whatever, however you want to put it. Yeah,

Cam Held (01:04:32):

You want me to go first? I mean, it's going to sound really cliched, but it's like home. At this point in my life, it's this community that it's not just like my immediate close friends community, but this community around the state of people who I think in a really unique way are living lives that they're proud of. Whether you're talking to lobstermen or some artist or a canoe builder or a Lumberman or one of the themes that I run into across the state is that people are really proud of what they're doing and they're often working locally. That's another kind of through line of the state. And it makes me so happy to be here. And it feels genuine and real, and the people here are so kind. And yeah, it's where I want to be and it makes me happy to be here and be surrounded by these people, both the immediate people and the folks that I'm always meeting and learning more about.

Logan Rackliff (01:05:49):

Do you find that that is different, everything you just talked about than in other places you've been or where you grew up?

Cam Held (01:05:55):

Definitely. I think that Christine was saying earlier, everyone has all these side passions that they're pursuing. And I don't think that's the case in a lot of places. I think the nine to five grind, this

Logan Rackliff (01:06:08):

Is what we're doing,

Cam Held (01:06:09):

Wheres people down to where they can barely have passions outside of work. And I have not put my finger on exactly how Maine's avoided that. And I hope that that doesn't change. But I think that if I was to go around in a lot of other places in the US or the us, I'll keep it to the us. I think that a lot of people would not have as many passions outside of work. This is just a silly anecdote, but my new thing, if I'm at a event or a dinner party and I have to be making small talk with someone, I don't know. I don't ask 'em what they do. I ask them what they enjoy doing. That's way better. You get these fascinating answers. There was this one person that we ran into recently who was collected weird stuffed animals, and it was like this conversation topic I would've never spoken to anyone about in my life, but you just find these little things. This

Christine Held (01:07:16):

Woman who competes professionally in dog dance, she dances with her dog.

Logan Rackliff (01:07:24):

That's a fantastic question

Christine Held (01:07:25):

To ask was it was like we were dying laughing. Not at her, I hope. But this is amazing to hear about what

Logan Rackliff (01:07:35):


Cam Held (01:07:36):

Yeah. And I really do think that that's unique to Maine. Yeah,

Logan Rackliff (01:07:39):

I have a theory on that now that you're sitting here saying that. I mean, I'm just coming up with this now and as you've been talking some too, as you go and you spend time with all these people, I mean, there's a reason Maine is beautiful, but there's also a reason there's not a lot of people here. Things are hard. The landscape is rugged and there's not a central point. Even though there's some cool resources, everything else is too far away. So I mean, up until recently, and even more so now in the further east and north you go, you'll find away from the cities, but you had to be a hustler to make it, you have to do, I mean my greatgrandfather and stuff, I mean it was constant. I mean lobstermen, they were making good. I think my grandfather had the first TV or I can't remember, maybe it was the toilet or something in the neighborhood, whatever it was, but it was a big deal and they were barely scraping by.

They had to literally go out and hunt every day. My great-grandfather, he would walk from, I grew up in Spruce Head, so we'd walk from where he lived and he'd walk around and he would meet, somebody else would walk from, I grew up right in Wheelers Bay and somebody else would walk from actually spruce head and they would meet every day on the shoreline and they just had a gun and they were just hunting to try to survive. I mean, there was no deer laugh, there was no, they'd shot most everything. And in the fifties around home, there was no deer. Now it's where all the deer are back then all the deer were up north. Now it's switched. But I mean, yeah, they're clamming this time of year. They're doing making wreaths this time of year. I mean it, it was just what they had to do just literally to survive.

So I mean maybe that's part of me. I don't know if it's, I grew up kind of with entrepreneurs and fast paced guys and always, what's the next thing invading? But it's probably a part of main thing too. I always want to be doing the next thing. I don't ever care about retiring. I don't really care about, I want a couple things going on. And that's what we got here. It was lobstering. It was like, what do I do in the winter? Oh, nice. And that was always the thing. Now guys can go year round more and make better money, but I still, I wasn't an offshore guy. But anyway, that's maybe my somewhat theory on that. Totally

Christine Held (01:10:23):

Agree. I mean, that's kind of what I was,

Logan Rackliff (01:10:25):

And they had to be craftspeople too. They had to make good stuff and use good stuff. You have

Christine Held (01:10:30):

Creative for sure. No, and I mean the thing that came to mind first was also home. It really just feels, but then I was also, as both of you were talking, you have to be intentional about living here. And I mean people do end up here by accident, but I feel like your story, I grew up here, I was born here, so I'm a mainer, but you chose to live here and I think that's just as special. And all the people who want Maine to be their home, for me, that's a mainer. If you are like, this is where I'm going to dedicate myself. And I think it's special because when I moved back after college, I feel like my life took off in a personal sense where I was living in Boston for the year before and it just felt like it was very much work.

And then happy hour and then weekend warrior things with friends. But here you can just live your life every day how you want to and actually do the things that, and I think so many of our friends are living their dreams and they're all different, whether it's a restaurant or a shop or a baker or something. People bring their dreams to life and then people support them and are excited about going to their friend's wine bar and telling their friends to go to their friend's wine bar. And I feel like it's just sort of rising tide floats all ships and it's when people are pursuing their passion, it's palpable and people are excited about it and share. And then when you're doing it in a place that you love, you're giving back to your community. And yeah, it's cool. It feels like it's everyone's end game, which we're in our early thirties, Maine, and a bunch of our friends that I went to high school with or just in college, we have a bunch of friends that are moving back here because this is where they, they did their time out west. They did their time in New York City or whatever,

Logan Rackliff (01:12:37):

Especially if they want to have kids at some.

Christine Held (01:12:38):

Great, exactly. And that's really, I feel like for a state that's an honor, that this is the place that people are like, this is the quality of life I want to have for my family. And one of our good friend's sister just moved here and it's like people are real. You can show up as who you are, whether it's, you're in your pajamas, you need eggs at the grocery store and you run into your boss. There's no kind of judgment it feels like. I dunno, I'm rambling.

Logan Rackliff (01:13:16):

It's great. Ramble's fantastic. That's what it's all about. It's all authentic. Yeah. Yeah.

Christine Held (01:13:20):

I love it. I love it here.

Logan Rackliff (01:13:21):

Yeah, I agree.

Christine Held (01:13:23):

And it's also kind of what I was just saying about people moving here. It's nice to live in a place that people want to live. I feel like I hate saying goodbyes and I hate when people move, so I'm always like, I can't imagine living in a place where all people just come and go. And it's nice that our friends are buying houses too, and it's sort of like you can see your future and invest in these relationships because they're committed as well. Definitely.

Cam Held (01:13:54):

And to take it full circle, I mean that's why we do what we do. We are telling main stories because we're inspired by them every single day and we love them and we love being here. And so it does feel so good to have our work be genuine to the way we feel about this place. And we're never, while work can be really hard, obviously a lot of jobs are, but especially working for yourself, it's like at the end of the day, if you can just be like, this is why we're doing it. This is what we love, this is what makes this place home, and that's what we want to share with people.

Logan Rackliff (01:14:33):

As I was listening to you guys that I was just thinking growing out of manor, whatever, I grew up here in Maine, right on the coast. I grew up lobstering. And I mean, when you're local, local, they can actually, you take things for granted, complain. I remember Julys being literally fog. We grew up on the ocean, which was amazing. And now I'm realizing how awesome all this stuff was, but I just grew up in it. I didn't even know anything different. And so when people move here and maybe they have more appreciation, but if you ask a man who lives, it's going to be different everywhere they go or what their love and what they're proud of is going to be totally different than I think maybe not totally different. I mean, you can't help, but it's just a funny aspect I'm learning as I've grown up and then moved away from the coast, not too far from the coast, but I don't live on the water anymore and being a lobster boat all the time or whatever it is.

The other thing I was thinking as you were talking about, I'm just driving anywhere for the most part. As long as I'm not in a city or a town, and even then I'm not a town but a city if there's a lot of traffic, not that there's many cities in Maine, but it's nice. You're driving to work or wherever you're doing, it's just enjoyable. That'll beautiful. Yeah. And yeah, we're definitely blessed for that. So this has been great. What did we miss? You guys have anything? You already gave some cool stuff. Is there anything new or anything you want to talk about, share with anybody or of course you can use this. This'll be for you guys to share with everybody too, if there's anything else. Unless we missed anything. Anything. Oh,

Christine Held (01:16:24):

I love it. We're just figuring it out as we go. Great. I think we feel lucky that we started the business when we were young and had few responsibilities, but it's cool to what we've been saying throughout, just build it into something that we want to be doing and sustains us. So we shared a few little sneak peeks of what's to come and we have a million ideas in the pipeline, but it's exciting. It feels sort of like this is what we want to be doing and we feel lucky that we so far can.

Logan Rackliff (01:16:54):

Yeah, that's great. I'm thankful that you guys have created something so that you're unique and as you were saying, how do you stay going? Just quality and being creative, like you said, I think I personally believe, and I have one I like to ask everybody. So think of both of you, think of your favorite item, maybe use it every day, maybe it's just once in a while, could be at work, could be at home, like an item in your life that you just love. And tell me why and what about it is your kind of favorite thing or

Christine Held (01:17:30):

Okay, I'm going to say this sweater. Okay. I feel like it really encapsulates life here in Maine. I just always, it's a wool sweater and so it's warm in the winter, but I love, and I'm wearing it over a dress right now. Just love in the summer when things get kind of chilly and you can just wrap it around. And I feel like I like it. It's a blue sweater, but it feels like it really, not that I'm trying to be fashionista, but in Maine it's like when things are practical and functional and timeless, it just feels like a great thing. I'm totally going to regret that. So maybe you go and then we cut what I just

Logan Rackliff (01:18:11):

Said. I think it was good. I think keep, that's great. You can keep thinking.

Christine Held (01:18:14):


Cam Held (01:18:14):

Boy. Yeah, I mean mine is maybe easily guessed if you know me, but wait,

Christine Held (01:18:23):

Let me guess your

Cam Held (01:18:23):

Watch. Oh, I was going to say my canoe, because it just allows access to places that very few get to go to. I love outdoor activities of all types, cycling, running, hiking, you name it. But I think paddling in particular during the pandemic, we would just pop the canoe onto the car and look at the gazeteer and find some random bridge over a body of water that we'd never paddled on before. Park the car, throw the canoe in and go explore. And I think unlike having to follow a trail or anything else, if the water is your access, you can go anywhere. And I just really value that. And I think especially here in Maine, we have so many amazing bodies of water, rivers, lakes, streams that you can explore and the canoe is the tool that gives us access to all of

Logan Rackliff (01:19:33):

That. Something like the canoe, I mean you love the canoe, but it's like the things you get to do with the canoe. Okay,

Christine Held (01:19:38):

I'm switching mine to the gaer take. Yeah, you can cut the sweater one. But I feel obviously it's print and physical, so it aligns with our brand values, but I feel like people underestimate spraying the gazeteer and just looking for, there are campsites listed, trails listed, so many of the places that we go, sure, it's trial and error and we've had plenty of misses, but some of the gems, you're like, wow, there's a campsite on this island in the middle of the lake where the Putins here, all the information's there, and we don't tag our location that much anymore just to kind of, because I think finding those spots for yourself is just as special. That's a big part of the journey. And I feel like we now have a wealth of knowledge and we have our favorite spots that we go to time and time again, but so often if we're just, we both have one in our car and if we're just on an adventure, we referenced that for places to go and things to see and alongside print, just never want to lose the sort of art of looking at the map.

And even if it's finding a scenic route, like, oh, this road follows the coast along the peninsula. And sure Google Maps is going to take you on route one across it, but

Cam Held (01:21:03):

Instead of searching for something specific, you end up finding more interesting things by looking at it generally.

Logan Rackliff (01:21:11):

I'm really trying to not put stuff in the GPS

Christine Held (01:21:14):

And I use it too. My Google Maps account is filled with restaurants and waterfalls and all that stuff and cross-referencing. Sure. But I think the art of just being, especially during the pandemic we were in on water, whether in a canoe or kayak for basically 30 weeks straight, there was nothing else to do. And we could socially distance with friends down the river or something and we would just be like, okay, here's a bridge over this stream. And we could put in there and go, that's

Logan Rackliff (01:21:50):

Awesome. It's like my favorite people with the items you just gave. I always get worried that the gazettes going to disappear with everything going digital. I love that thing. Oh my gosh.

Christine Held (01:21:59):

No, I doubt it ever will.

Cam Held (01:22:00):

I hope not. It survived. Alarm going to Garmin. That's true. So I think that's probably a good sign for its future.

Logan Rackliff (01:22:08):

Yeah, definitely. I mean, that's kind of my last question usually, but tell me about your favorite place that you guys have just thrown in. You don't have to say exactly where it is, but it describe kind of the journey you've just thrown in the canoe and gone for it. Is there one that stands out?

Cam Held (01:22:24):

There's a lake in Western Maine that we love exploring. There's a campsite that we go to that takes probably about an hour on dirt roads from the closest road. And I'm not going to tell you what makes this Yeah,

Logan Rackliff (01:22:40):

No good. I love it.

Cam Held (01:22:41):

Don't tell me. But we're often alone there and great moose sightings and brook trout and just, it's

Logan Rackliff (01:22:53):

A special place.

Cam Held (01:22:55):

And that would probably be it for me. Yeah,

Christine Held (01:22:59):

I'll probably go the kayak route. I mean the main coast. We do an island camping trip every year up the coast. And I mean there's the Main Island Trail Association, which we'll always plug because they do amazing work for access to main's, coastline. And similarly with their book, we'll just pick different sites and we have our favorite islands that we go back to and stuff. But yeah, I feel like we're really trying to encourage people to make their own adventure. But I'm an island ocean girl and you're the lakes.

Cam Held (01:23:34):

I'm a freshwater guy.

Logan Rackliff (01:23:36):

I love That's fantastic. You guys. You're very creatively encouraging people to go create their own adventure, which I love. I love the idea when people are educating and giving up their gold, but I don't see telling everybody exactly where to go, how that's going to, yeah, they could enjoy it, but there's a million places to go enjoy.

Cam Held (01:23:58):


Logan Rackliff (01:23:59):

Go find them on your own. Go figure it out. That's an adventure. I always say, what's an adventure without adversity? Totally. It's kind of the same thing. I dunno if that's the same root word, but

Cam Held (01:24:11):

We are both people. I think that get at least, maybe not half, but probably close to half of the enjoyment of the experience is the prep work ahead of time to figure out the logistics and how to make it work. And sometimes it's a lot, and I don't want other people to not have that either, because I think that if you go up, go in with set expectations, you're only going to be disappointed if someone's like, this is the best. That's

Logan Rackliff (01:24:38):

So true. Oh my goodness.

Cam Held (01:24:40):

This is the way to see Maine in 10 days. Do it. I think you're not going to appreciate it the same as if you are scouring a map or

Logan Rackliff (01:24:49):

No way

Cam Held (01:24:50):

Yelp or whatever, and figuring out your own itinerary. And we want to help people have a couple of the key things to make that work, but not tell them how to do it and let everyone come to their own conclusions.

Logan Rackliff (01:25:05):

If you go way out on dirt roads, have tire repair stuff, yes,

Christine Held (01:25:08):

Be nice to people along the way. Maybe your favorite spot will be a town that we've overlooked because somebody invited you in and that's your adventure.

Logan Rackliff (01:25:17):

So how can we find you guys? Where can we find you and follow and subscribe and all that good stuff.

Christine Held (01:25:24):

Yeah, well definitely thanks for having us. It was fun to tell our story. I don't know if we've really, I guess we've been on a podcast or so before, but I feel like, yeah, there's definitely so much more to us than what we share on our little Instagram. But yeah, everything's main the way main main, the way on YouTube main, the way on Instagram.

Logan Rackliff (01:25:47):

How did you come up with Main The Way?

Christine Held (01:25:49):

Oh, well that was as I was,

Logan Rackliff (01:25:51):

I get the main part.

Christine Held (01:25:52):

Yeah. Yeah, I mean the slogan, the Way Life Should Be is kind of Oh, nice. Yeah, I see it kind of long. And so that was taken, and everyone has their own opinions on that, which I don't mind the slogan because I good here, but Maine was taken and I felt like I had a nice brain to it. And there's apparently some cult or something called The Way. And so sometimes we get asked if we're the main chapter of the way. I see. But other than that, it's not bad for SEO.

Logan Rackliff (01:26:28):

Right. Nice. Okay, great. Well, I love the vein.

Christine Held (01:26:32):

Thanks for having us. It was really fun to chat. Thank

Logan Rackliff (01:26:34):

You so much. This was great, great conversation. Good to get to know you guys. Thank you for listening to this episode. If you like what we are doing here at and Want to see us grow, please support us by sharing with someone who may also enjoy it. We would also really appreciate your support by subscribing, following, liking, wherever you can find us on any of the platforms, whether it be anywhere you listen to a podcast or YouTube or Instagram or something like that. We'd love to hear from you what you really liked, how can we improve who you want us to interview, and we would just really appreciate any of that support and advice and encouragement. So thank you very much.

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