Wondering how day 2 of best practice/fact gathering would go I set off after my morning meeting to The Beehive. Anxious as The Beehive based on all my research was the closest thing to what I envision Shoppe 561 representing.
Walking into a shop called Demure that looked locally owned, the manager Laura was quick to help. There was a lot of locally made jewelry and she was sharing her feedback when in walked one of her artisans so that was really fun to get her thoughts as well. Feeling upbeat as I left, I had great expectations for The Beehive.
Opening the door to The Beehive, I was overwhelmed with the eclectic collection of artisan goods.All of my senses went on sensory overload, I was in artisan heaven. Seeing the store team engaged with customers I started walking around allowing my senses to absorb it all. Seeing a cute owl change purse I picked it up as there are quite a few owl lovers I know, along with a coffee cup cozy walked toward the cash wrap. Seeing the store team members were now free I set the two items down on the wrap I introduced myself and explained what I was doing. The woman responded with you have great taste as those two items are from my collection as I am an artisan here as well!
Smiling, I knew God was just delighting me! Brooke also happened to be the store manager and she was a fountain of knowledge and information. Walking me through the entire store she shared customer buying habits, types of things that were most popular and what things seem to sell best. Opening my eyes to things like people do want a special baby item to go with the babyGap or Target items to give it a unique edge. Learning that “waldorf parenting” is very big currently so the demand for organic/natural type toys are selling well opened my mind to having to test the waters with baby items in the store. Quirky phrases like "I sweat glitter" that makes people laugh actually sells very well as does soap that is named after different areas/neighborhoods that add to the local flavor.
Learning’s’ filled pages and pages so I will spare you all the details and you will just have to wait to see what ends up in the store. If you are ever in Atlanta and want locally made items at great prices, stop by http://thebeehiveatl.com, you will be glad you did!
Laura and Brooke’s willingness to share ideas and time inspired and energized me. Both women were gracious and offered true southern hospitality to me. This is exactly the vision I had of the “support local” community sharing ideas and helping each other along. I look forward to one day being able to help other shop owners.
Ending the day in downtown Decatur I was inspired by a few pieces I found along the way and was thankful for a great afternoon that paid for the trip.
Working my way back home to West Palm Beach. Today was my first Florida artisan search in the Gainesville area and search it was! Stay tuned tomorrow for my first Florida feature – Alachua.