Franklin Countys First News

Design expert offers services to the area

Owner of Meldrum Design, Ashley Hopwood Farrar

KINGFIELD - The ability to "work from her backpack" doesn't go unappreciated for Ashley Hopwood Farrar. She knows her remote consulting business has allowed her to live in paradise and become a part of a small community, all while paying the bills.

The architectural and design consultant runs her 4-year-old company, Meldrum Design, with the help of video conferencing and on-site assistants who send measurements and outlines as needed. Hopwood Farrar specializes in sustainable, functional, and budget-conscious residential and light-commercial projects- working on everything from an RV renovation to a brewery design.

Drawn by the mountains and settled by the seasons, Hopwood Farrar moved to Kingfield in 2016. She and her husband, a Bangor native, originally intended on coming to the area for the great skiing but decided to stay as they discovered the wide variety of outdoor opportunities throughout the year.

"It was stunningly beautiful in the winter, and everyone kept telling us that summer was even better," Hopwood Farrar said.

The solitude of the area appealed to the couple who were coming from San Diego. The trick, as is common in rural Maine, was finding a way to make the transition work financially. Hopwood Farrar knew her consulting work could be done from anywhere, but she wasn't so sure about going from a city of 1.4 million to just under 1,000. The design expert has found business to be doing better than ever, however, with customers throughout Maine as well as across the country.

"We moved here because we think it's paradise, but everyone has been really welcoming, too. It's a strong community," she said.

With the help of Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, Hopwood Farrar said she has brought her business to a booming level that she didn't anticipate when making the move to the foothills of Maine. Her strengths are varied, offering everything from over the phone consultations of pre-designed plans, to being the manager of an entire project. Hopwood Farrar said she has gone from completing full architectural packages with clients- complete with contractors and permits- to helping someone decide on paint colors or furniture placement.

"I offer a whole gamut of services," she said.

To discuss project ideas, or get help from Hopwood Farrar click here.

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