An Atlanta-based retailer has brought the "buy local" concept of handmade products from local designers to Pleasant Ridge.Beehive Co-op
, founded in 2004 by Petra Geiger, showcases "sexy, stylish, and sustainable" clothing, jewelry, and accessories made by local design talent from its space at 6099 Montgomery Road.
While designing her own line of handbags, Geiger noticed a lack of available outlets where independent designers could display and market their creations.
"I started Beehive because as a designer, I was frustrated at the lack of viable retail opportunities for my work, and met a lot of other designers who felt the same way," she says. "I wanted to create a beautiful, modern, dynamic retail space for their handcrafted pieces, and in the process give the community a desirable alternative to mass-produced goods."
The store rents space to local designers, who pay a low monthly rent in return for dedicated boutique space.
Each cooperative member also must work four hours per week in the boutique, keeping overhead low and giving aspiring entrepreneurs experience in growing their businesses.
"A lot of artists want to take their business to the next level, and sharing space with other artists who are entrepreneurial is great for knowledge sharing," Geiger says.
Additionally, Beehive presents a socially conscious shopping option.
"When you buy a handmade pendant or ceramic piece at Beehive, you get a chance to learn about the artist and form a connection that is personal and meaningful," Geiger says. "You also know that your dollars are supporting independent artists and the local economy. It's a totally different experience from the big box stores."
Geiger opened her second store in New York last summer; the Cincinnati store is her third.
Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Kate Powell, Beehive Co-op CincinnatiIllustrations courtesy Beehive Co-op website