She Worthy Charters
South Portland and Saco
A devoted fisher since childhood, Capt. Michele Plourde always had a dream to live and work on the open sea. Now, after a diversion through the corporate world, she’s finally flexing her fins: This spring, she’s launching her South Portland-based company She Worthy Charters, which will offer fishing and whale-watching trips, harbor and sunset cruises, parties and ash-scattering services.
What were your most important needs in getting started with your business?
Obtaining my captain’s license, and money. I invested my life’s savings to follow my dream of a life on the water. I sold my condo and bought my boat, a 37-foot Egg Harbor named She Worthy.
What factors from your upbringing gave you the courage to venture out on your own?
My whole life, my mother told me I could do anything I set my mind to. I have fished my whole life. I have an uncle who’s a Maine guide and in my early 20s I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Instead, I decided to take the traditional role of getting a job with benefits where I could “climb the corporate ladder” and have the stability of a regular paycheck and benefits. During that time, I would spend every free moment I had fishing. It came to the point where I knew that if I didn’t go after this, I would look back and wish that I did. That became more important than the risk involved. I think my exact words were, “If I lose everything, at least I tried and I can always start over.”
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a female entrepreneur?
Although there will always be people out there who doubt your ability and think that fishing is a place for men only, there are just as many people excited about a woman taking on such a big task. I’m exited to go through the process of proving myself while breaking into this industry.
What advice would you give an aspiring woman entrepreneur?
Have a business plan – it will be the key to running your business, applying for funds and being on top of your finances and marketing. If you have money, apply for loans and grants before you are running low on funds. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Don’t take no for a final answer when you first go after something; there are multiple ways to get a task done. Finally: Network. You never know who you’ll meet.