Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cool Stuff at new Co-op

If you're looking for something unique and handmade, check out the new Beehive Co-op in Mt. Kisco. The store carries a variety of distinctive itemsjewelry, clothing, ceramics, bath and body products, and even locally made baked goods. I asked the store's owner, Petra Geiger, a few questions.

Tell us about Beehive Co-op.
Beehive is a co-operative store in Mt. Kisco that showcases unique, modern, handmade items by local artisans and emerging designers from around the country. Designers rent boutique space for a nominal fee in return for their help running the store. Our goal is to provide new markets for emerging designers, to support creative entrepreneurship and also provide a community through which designers can share ideas and find encouragement.

Are all of the goods by local artisans and designers?
We opened our doors with about 8 local designers and the rest of the artisans come from all over the country. Our goal is to be 75-100% local by the middle of next year. We are looking for designers and artisans who have an established product line, are entrepreneurial by nature, and are really looking to grow their businesses.

How did you first hit on the "co-op" concept?
I am a graphic designer by training and five years ago found myself looking for a creative outlet that didn’t involve the computer. This led to all sorts of crafts and finally I started up a fledgling handbag line which I sold at local markets and craft fairs. One day I walked into an antique market and it all clicked – the same co-op idea could work for emerging designers as well. I developed the plan and opened the first Beehive in Atlanta in 2004 which I sold to a new owner last year under a franchise agreement.

You recently moved to Croton. Why did you pick northern Westchester?
I grew up in Toronto and had always wanted to come back to the northeast. Westchester works really well for us because our kids (we have 2 elementary aged kids) get the benefit of great schools, small close-knit communities, and beautiful scenic surroundings--and my husband and I can recharge and get inspired creatively by jetting into the city every once and a while. There is just so much to do in this area it really suits our lifestyle perfectly!

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