Four Granby women have opened a home, gift and garden store in Simsbury called Beehive Home. It is chock full of fun, fascinating and practical finds, both modern and vintage. Everywhere one looks, there is something of interest.
The store is the creation of Katy Attianese, Kristen Cormier, Els Fonteyne and Tricia Heinze. They got their start in retail last year at Hill-Stead Museum’s “May Market”, where they were exhibitors. They got great exposure with customers throughout the Farmington Valley, and word of mouth has been virtually their only marketing. The partners found the store in Simsbury and Beehive Home opened its doors on Nov. 1, 2017.
Each member of the team brings different tastes, talents, perspective and vision. One thing they have in common is that they are all creative. Attianese is a collector, loves going to flea markets and brings her finds to Beehive Home. “Sometimes it is hard to let things go,” Attianese states, but she would only consider offering things for sale that she would like in her own home. She had had a lifelong love of design and has helped many friends and family members with their home decorating. Cormier, a lifelong Granby resident, is an artist. Some of her paintings grace the walls at Beehive Home. Fonteyne juggles selling real estate, a public relations business and work at Beehive Home. Her business background helps with the financial side of owning a business. Heinze is also passionate about collecting, has a great eye and an easy-going manner that customers love. All four women have children of varying ages, and the store’s proximity to Granby was important in its selection.
The store’s address is 738 Hopmeadow Street, but is physically located on Railroad Street, near the intersection with Wilcox Street (beside the Bank of America drive-through ATM). The building is a mid-1800’s train depot—with lots of character, high ceilings and wide plank floors—a good home for a store full of character.
What’s in the name? After considering many possibilities, the four women chose Beehive Home because it captured the concepts of home, nest and coziness. Fittingly, Beehive Home is a sponsor of the Gran-Bee, an annual fundraiser for the Granby Education Foundation. They will also decorate a room in the Junior League of Hartford’s Annual Show House fundraiser (April 27 – May 20). This is an opportunity to showcase their curatorial talents and to broaden their market.
Their Facebook page says, “Beehive Home curates modern and vintage items and brings them to you in a beautiful, unique shopping environment.” The word “curate” brings to mind the organization and presentation of a museum exhibit. Without being stuffy, Beehive Home has a museum-like quality about it, both in terms of content and display. It is artfully and thoughtfully done. Go see for yourself! You will want to go back again and again. And since Beehive Home’s owners are constantly sourcing vintage finds, there is always something new to see. There is a wide range of prices, but there is something for most every budget. Beehive Home also offers interior styling services; the store’s displays highlight the different partners’ talents in this area.
While each partner had different inspirations for undertaking opening a 2,000 square foot store, some of the motivators (besides the obvious profit motive) include demonstrating to their children what it is to take a risk, to go beyond encouraging the children, into the realm of action. In retrospect, that their children may be proud of them is a nice side benefit. For Fonteyne, who is now an empty-nester, the sociability of operating a retail store was a positive as well.
Questions? Call Beehive Home at 860-651-8884. You can find them on Instagram at @oh.beehive and on Facebook at Beehive Home. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m , and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.