Co-operative retail for independent designers, now offering franchise opportunities

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Now that anyone can set up their own online store, there’s a certain prestige to having an offline presence. The Beehive Co-op offers craftspeople and designers a retail solution that’s more substantial than a Sunday market without the daunting prospect of leasing an entire store. Members rent a portion of Beehive’s store in exchange for a monthly fee and at least four hours of staffing assistance. This keeps overhead low and puts customers and designers in direct contact, boosting the sense of community and giving the designers valuable first-hand feedback on their products. There’s an ethical draw, too: Beehive’s focus on fostering local design means products have a smaller carbon footprint, and money earned stays in the community.

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