Balinese temple flags are not a typical sight in Maine.
But if you’re driving down Route 3 in Trenton, the waving banners catch the eye and draw attention to Acadia World Traders.
The hand-carved, teak arches in front of the store were once part of the mast on an old Indonesian fishing boat. Inside, Hand-carved Balinese folk art mobiles, hanging from the ceiling, stacks of floor pillow poufs made from repurposed batik fabrics and other colorful artisanry will transport visitors to the Asia-Pacific region.
Acadia World Traders, owned by Debra Vogler and her husband, Ramon Melayu, features hand-crafted items from Bali and other Indonesian islands such as Java and Lombok.
When she was 28, Vogler traveled to Southeast Asia for the first time. During her trip, she toured Bali, where she met her husband.
The couple travel to Indonesia every winter, splitting their time between there and Maine.
Vogler was born and raised in Maine. Acadia World Traders is housed in a building originally owned by her parents Roger and Marion Biron. The Birons purchased the property in 1967, selling moccasins and gifts from Maine. It originally was called Acadia Trading Post.
Vogler and Melayu took over the store in 1999 and began selling pieces such as handmade silver, wood carvings, stone carvings, garden art and antique furniture.
“It’s really a labor of love for us,” she said. “We like a lot of one-of-a-kind works of art.”
Wintering in Southeast Asia, the couple gets to escape harsh Maine winters and see family. They also spend their time securing newly made, authentic pieces to grace their shop.
Working directly with close to 80 families and groups, the couple practice fair trade principles.
“We like to represent a lot of small families and cooperatives that we work with,” Vogler said. “We like buying directly from the artists and craftspeople. We put the money up front for everything and make sure that their working conditions are good and that they are getting a fair price for their work and compensation.
“We have a really close connection with the people of Bali.”
Acadia World Traders
Where: 438 Bar Harbor Road (Route 3), Trenton
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, Memorial Day to Columbus Day
Contact: 667-6529, Facebook.