SACO, Maine — With just a quick look at Ashley Damboise’s small elementary school classroom, you can tell how much she cares.
From the curtains on the bookshelves, to the decorated walls and the stuffed toys in the shape of math symbols, her goal is to capture her students’ attention.
“I just try to make it fun,” Damboise said.
Damboise works at the Governor John Fairfield School in Saco with a focus on helping students who are struggling with math.
But when she is not teaching a lesson, she is sitting at her sewing machine—sometimes for hours on end.
The teacher-turned-entrepreneur is busy filling orders for her successful Etsy shop called ‘Yes, Sweetheart' where she sells handmade baby blankets, burp cloths and more every day.
"It's definitely something that has grown bigger than I thought it would,” she said.
Damboise said her products have made it all over the world, including the UK, Australia and Canada.
The County native got her start sewing at a young age and found it was a great way for her to de-stress.
"It kind of started as just a little side thing that I enjoy doing in my free time," Damboise said. "Now if I'm not teaching or playing ultimate frisbee I'm usually in here sewing."
Stacks of blankets (she has made more than 1,400) and her other products line the shelves in the front room of her apartment.
Damboise handcrafts every element, tying off each item, folding and labeling.
“It doesn't feel like a job,” she said. “That's one reason I enjoy it so much."
So far she has had more than 2,000 orders. Damboise said she donates a portion of her profits to local charities.