Interview with Beth Bowley, owner of fourTWELVE in Rockland, Maine.
Nestled on Main Street in Rockland, Maine we found the shop for all seasons. fourTWELVE is part fashion boutique, part home goods and furniture shop, part design object epicenter. With an eclectic and hand picked mix of aesthetically pleasing goodies, it’s always nice to learn more about the person doing the hand picking. We caught up with Beth Bowley, a Maine native and New York fashion designer. Beth graduated from Parsons School of Design, went on to work with designer Perry Ellis, and in 1998 she launched her own line of clothing. Her collection has been featured in the pages of Lucky, Elle and In Style, and is sold in better boutiques nationwide, Nordstrom and Anthropologie. Beth enlisted a team of local experts to help form fourTWELVE, and together they are constantly mixing it up at the store, offering the freshest and most fun filled style picks they can collect.
FourTWELVE’s spirit animal seems to be the bird, in various incarnations. Do you have a favorite bird and why?
I love birds. Right now I’m obsessed with owls…cool and elusive…and they look like cats….we have a huge collection of vintage owl necklaces at the store…and candles, and pillows, and…
If you were a Lomography camera, which would you be and why?
Today, the SuperSampler because it’s a multi-tasking kind of month…. and after that who knows…
What’s your favorite local-food-guilty-pleasure?
In Good Company – tenderloin crusted with blue cheese…it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, and right across the street…I can not stay away. I know I’m supposed to be eating more tofu…consider this a public confession.
And not so guilty – $1 oyster nights, (Thursdays and Sundays), at Primo’s…it’s one of the best places to eat on the East Coast and I can walk to it….and it’s all local…so it isn’t guilty…just a pleasure.
Other “food” comment: Rockland is the self proclaimed “Lobster capital of the world” – and lobsters are pretty much giant spiders.
Coolest place to be on the weekend in Rockland?
Pot sticker night at Monica and Brian’s house. Or at the dog park if you want to catch up on the neighborhood news.
If you could take your camera anywhere in the world and shoot for one whole day nonstop, where would you go?
The top of my not-yet-visited-exotic-travel-destination list is New Zealand….I’m trying to rally some friends to hike the Milford Trail next fall, (their spring)…who’s in??
Then Iceland…it’s one of my favorite places on the planet to visit…and has every earthly natural element for inspiration…icebergs, waterfall, glaciers, lava fields, lush fields, big skies, lambs roaming about, and really extraordinary people.
Tippi Hendren in the birds…not just because of the birds…she looked fabulous in that suit all weekend no matter what happened.
What’s the best way turn your 9-to-5 look into happy-hour chic?
A satin cami peeking out of your office cardi…and special jewelry…right now I like something chunky and sculptural…something worth talking about.
What’s the one year-round accessory that everyone needs?
Seriously: a great attitude.
Stuff-wise: a really great handbag, boots, and a special coat. (step away from the LL Bean catalog) These 3 pieces will pull you together every day…because you will wear them every day.
The rest can be easy. I’m sorry – did I have to choose ONE again?
Personally: motorcycle boots…everyday, everywhere…even for black tie…and a Lomo in your fabulous bag of course.
Obviously I am incapable of restraining myself to just one answer….
When it comes to film – do you reach for the classic black and white or prefer color photography?
For portraits I like black and white…it cuts right to the heart and eliminates the chaos of color.. chaos is good sometimes, but for a portrait I like something more austere and bare.
One secret about Maine that the rest of the world is clueless about?
It’s all about water…3500 miles of coastline and 6000 lakes and ponds, and 5100 rivers and streams. If you don’t already own a boat, you are thinking about getting one, or just sold one…or you are here to paint the water.
We even have a State Vessel, (That’s a boat to you high-landers): The arctic exploration schooner “Bowdoin”
And my favorite quote from the Maine fact webpage: “Makes a variety of products from toothpicks to destroyers”
Again…multiple answers…but I tried to keep it under a general theme – water…that counts right?
Beth’s Advice of the Day:
Be who you want to be even when no one is watching.
There – just one.
Beth is also a Lomographer with a wide variety of cameras (and subject manner). Check out some of her shots of the shop and life around Rockland:
412 Main Street
Rockland, ME 04841