To escape the corporate frenzy and feed her “bead addiction,” co-owner of CHART metalworks, Charlotte Leavitt, began creating jewelry in 2002. A friend and graduate of Women, Work, and Community recommended Charlotte take the New Ventures Entrepreneurship Training program in 2005 to help her turn her hobby into a profession.
During the training, Charlotte became concerned that her jewelry was not unique enough for the market. Being a long-time sailor, Charlotte one day found herself surrounded by scrolls of nautical charts in her home, and the idea of embedding nautical charts in resin surfaced.
“The class made me take my idea seriously…and pulling the trigger financially was a part of that,” Charlotte said. “Although my jewelry style changed drastically in the last part of the class, the idea of being in business for myself hadn’t changed at all.”
In 2008, Charlotte formally launched CHART Metalworks on Custom House Wharf, not far from her home on Portland, Maine’s peninsula. Fiance John Guptill soon joined Charlotte’s side to grow the business.
Over time the couple expanded their library and collection of resources beyond nautical charts to include maps and territories beyond the US. Today their customers have the ability to customize pieces featuring locations from virtually anywhere across the globe. Charlotte says the most popular locations are, “anywhere there’s an island.”
Their one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories are adornments that allow you to wear your world. Each customized CHART Metalworks piece depicts a story – where you grew up, site of your engagement or marriage, favorite vacation spot, or current residence.
In 2010 Charlotte and John were awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award by Entreverge, an affiliate of the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce.