MAINE, Maine —
For Katie Sturino, Maine has been a safe haven from Covid-19. The New Yorker has been renting a home in the Midcoast since March, with her husband and dogs. From Maine's quiet coast, Sturino has continued to run the beauty company she founded three years ago called Megababe, along with blog and host a podcast.
"We are a brand that is all about providing solutions to problems that women don't want to talk about," explains Sturino. It all started with Sturino noticed a void in the market when she was looking for something to help avoid thigh chaffing, or chub rub as she calls it.
"Whatever you want to call it, it's uncomfortable and it stinks," says Sturino. The only solutions she found were for men or athletes and she wondered why there was nothing feminine, cute, even celebratory. So she founded Megababe with her sister and friend and started to launch products like 'bust dust', a talc-free powder for boob sweat, aluminum-free deodorants, cream to prevent melasma, of course, a thigh chafe stick and even a mask for butt acne.
When the coronavirus looked like it would become a serious issue in New York City, Sturino said Maine was the first place to pop in her mind.
"I have always been obsessed with Maine. I don't know where this started. I'm from the Midwest so I don't have a natural attachment to Maine. I didn't grow up coming here. I don't have family members from here. But ever since I moved to the east coast 20 years ago, whenever someone says yes to going to Maine I am there."
Some of Sturino's half a million followers on Instagram will have noticed that her feed is looking like a scene from any one of Robert McCloskey's children's book. (We are really thinking Katie was channeling Burt Dow.)
"What do you just love about Maine?"
"What is there not to love about Maine? I don't even want to talk about how much I love Maine because I don't want to tell other people the secret. I don't think I'm the first person to discover the secret. I didn't invent Maine but! There's something intangible here. The nature, the views, the way that you can just be driving anywhere going to the grocery store and you see incredible views. I've also been really impressed with the way that Mainers have handled covid. Right away in the grocery store that we went to the aisles were painted with arrows, the workers had masks on. It was immediate and I feel like people are still taking covid really seriously which is great."
Sturino admits somethings about Maine have taken her and her husband a little while to figure out, like how, when, and where people swim in Maine.
"We asked probably 25 people this question, like random people too. We didn't understand. We didn't get it we didn't get summer here...I think we finally getting it. We started kayaking this weekend. It's like you're not super hot but you're warm in the sun, you're on the ocean and feels like very summery."
Sturino has been impressed with Maine style, a style that is influencing her and her Instagram feed.
"Maine doesn't know that they're having a fashion moment right now. Things like nubby fleeces, Crocs, Tevas, Birkenstocks, khaki shorts. These are things that are very in right now. So its come full circle and Maine is like ahead of the game right now and I don't even think they know." A style that Sturino is fully embracing!
Sturino is looking at buying a home in Maine but will most likely end up back in NYC by the fall. She says if it was up to her, she would never leave.