How many times have you been in a situation where you needed or wanted just a little dry something to put between your body and a damp picnic table? Or a place to keep the sand off your feet while you put your shoes on? Or something to throw over your car’s seat to protect it after a sweaty run? Or an easy blanket you can throw down in the damp grass and enjoy some relaxing sky watching?
Anyone who enjoys being outside knows of these little messy situations where having an easy and quick personal barrier makes life a little bit easier.
Dynamic duo local Mainers Tracyn Thayer and Steve Leen are not only partners in life but have become partners in business now as well! They have established the company Seams Unfinished, got to work on the idea of a personal tarp, and developed the “Smaht Tahp” (a lighthearted hat tip to their Maine roots), hand-produced on the kitchen table in their home outside of Bethel, Maine. Their goal is to make simple things, for a good price, and have some fun with it. Tracyn also hopes they can inspire others to take any little idea they may have, no matter how silly, and just go for it!
Between the two of them, Tracyn and Steve have pretty much covered the scope of outside activities. From Eco-Challenge adventure racer to world-mariner, ski bum to raft guide, fisherman to event production, and in between creative products and outdoor sports, the couple is also raising four teenage kids.
Tracyn remembers spending many years RVing in a 21-foot 1990 Cobra Passport Class C when her kids were younger. This is maybe when the seed of the Smaht Tahp idea took hold. Diaper changes, spontaneous tablecloth (we all know how gross those campground tables can get), sandy feet, public beach changing privacy shield, mechanical mishaps—so many times that a Smaht Tahp would have come in handy. Tracyn explains,
“We spend a lot of time outside, at soccer or lacrosse games, changing shoes at the local trails, sitting on the ground, picnics, hikes, etc.. we usually carry a blanket in the car, but one day we wished it had one side with more of a protective layer.
Some investigation showed us that there are these sorts of things out there, but very few if any that are inexpensive. We wanted to create something fun and interactive and ‘Maine-ah’ for people to enjoy and to gift to others.”
The result is the Original Smaht Tahp—a personal-sized tarp married with Maine-inspired flannel or fleece. Protective on one side, cozy on the other. Perfectly designed to be packable, water-resistant, easy to stow, quick-drying, washable, and super handy for any need you may have for it.
Their creative minds are already busy coming up with additional design ideas, and prototype testing is underway for some new variations. They admit they have more ideas than staff at the moment!
Tracyn and Steve grew up together and have spent their lives in Maine (each with plenty of travel around the US and around the world). Their hearts are in Maine, and their core beliefs include an active outdoors life with time in their busy lives to enjoy the simple things around them, their children, each other, and good gear.
Tracyn offers her insider tips for how RVers can best enjoy a visit to Maine:
- If the ocean is your thing, drive up the coast. Maine has more miles of any state’s coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.
- Acadia National Park is a must-visit.
- Visit Freeport Maine and LL Bean. LL Bean is an iconic flagship store that never closes, in a quaint town. Go have some seafood and/or a lobster roll at the Harraseeket—a small BYOB shack right on the water in South Freeport.
- Ride the Mail Boat out of Portland, Maine to the Casco Bay islands.
- Maine’s western mountains offer lots of hiking along the Appalachian Trail, skiing (nordic and alpine), and views of Mt. Washington.
- Plan an adventure with Mahoosuc Guide Service. They offer year-round adventures from guided hiking to canoeing and dogsledding trips.
- View the autumn leaf colors in the fall and do the Fair Circuit—Oxford, Cumberland, Fryeburg.
For campground ideas while visiting Maine, click here.
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