Serving the “beehive spirit” at Oyster Bay | Herald Community Newspapers

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By GEORGE WALLACE

If you’ve spent more than a little time on social media, you’ve probably heard the term “hive spirit”.

“What can I do against my boss? The more I try to make her appreciate my work, the more she criticizes me. Ask the spirit of the beehive.

“It’s time for me to invest in a kid’s leash because my little one doesn’t care about the threat of being hit by a car. I ask the beehive mind: are there any you’ve tried that work great? “

“I found this in a consignment store. I don’t know what it is, but I just liked it and took it home. Ask the beehive spirit: what is it? “

The Hive Market and Maker Space, a retail space at 100 Audrey Ave. in Oyster Bay for local artisans, opened on May 9. He asks and answers questions of all kinds, from practical to aesthetic to artistic. Essentially, it is a circle of people who share knowledge, and think and act together in pursuit of a common goal.

Imagined by founder Laura Escobar and her business partner Claudine Weiler, the fledgling establishment – a combined workshop, retail display, and gathering space for presentations and tutorials – is making its presence known in the hamlet.

The range of offers is impressive. There are mosaic mermaid mirrors, wire jewelry, locally made sculptures from found objects, CBD balm, and more. There is information on local edible and medicinal plants, yoga, and even how to approach the afterlife.

Everything is locally sourced and locally made, and the space hosts classes and workshops overseen by members of the Collective Market who are now part of the fabric of downtown summer evenings, especially on Tuesday cruise nights. , when visitors crowd the sidewalks.

“I did two workshops there,” said Emily Frank, who does hand-sewn embroidery, “recycles” clothes and sells homemade embroidery kits. “They went very well. Embroidery has evolved since your grandmother did cross stitch. In fact, one of my workshops is a “mindfulness” workshop, where people find out that doing embroidery and learning to breathe well while doing it can be good for their health. “

Eric Blackburn, a Sea Cliff resident who learned carpentry from his father, started studying welding and blacksmithing in 2012, and founded Prometheus Welding in 2013. “I have a small art studio in Glen Cove , and for five years I showed my work at the October Mini-mart at Sea Cliff, ”said Blackburn. “Hive Market helps me show the community my commitment to creating the best handmade, reclaimed and recycled products, with particular respect for aged and reclaimed wood.”

Hive Market’s business model is far out of the ordinary, a sleek blend of multiple components and distinct in a retail world that has seen operations scroll from consignment stores and shared offices to collectives. artists. As a group of members, it offers a shared studio in which selected artisans can work, store and display their products or give workshops and lectures on their craft. There is a story behind everything you see there. It’s a kind of locally sourced Etsy.

Space is a natural synchronization of different group concepts, an outgrowth of entities we all know and love – farmers’ markets, craft fairs, consignment stores and artist collectives. It all started when Escobar and Weiler, both local artisans, “collided” at one of Long Island’s many small street craft fairs one day in 2019.

“I have been with them all my life,” Escobar said. “Fairs are a place to find something that you will never find a replica of anywhere – once completed. But Claudine had this passion in her heart to open a store.

At that time, Oyster Bay had a craft fair at the Life Enrichment Center, but there was nothing like it in town. Then several things happened at the same time. The Main Street Association brought a farmers market to town, offering produce, eggs, clams and crafts, and with the coronavirus pandemic winding down, business looked like it could return. At the same time, a rental opportunity opens on Audrey Avenue, in the former space of the Railroad Museum.

“Audrey Avenue is increasingly becoming a place in Oyster Bay for fine arts and crafts and collectibles,” said Escobar, who is also a member of the board of directors for the Oyster Chamber of Commerce. Bay-East Norwich. “I started to think that a store like this would be perfect for the hamlet.”

So far, it’s looking good. Regular classes in everything from growing a tea garden to making your own household cleaners drew intrigued attendees. A quasi-opening shared with the Bahr Gallery and the Atelier was well attended. And the range and quality of products on display at the Hive Market are impressive.

And yes, there are things made from honey. Just ask Kathy Scalzo of Glen Head, a beekeeper and gardener who offers produce sourced from her own local apiaries and others in Sunnyside, Queens. She also uses backyard ingredients to create soap, shampoo and personal items that “take inspiration from nature, support the environment and you. “

On July 20, Scalzo hosted a workshop on how to make safe household cleaning products from household supplies instead of buying mass market cleaners that contain dangerous chemicals.

“A lot of these products – countertop cleaners, toilet bowl fizzlers, stainless steel polish – can be made with baking soda, vinegar, citric acid, water, a little soap, not of detergent, maybe olive oil for the polish, ”said Scalzo, a registered dietitian who was also a healthcare worker. “Everything is non-toxic and very good for you. “

It may seem a bit of a stretch to bring welders and tea garden growers together under one roof, and for them to find a common cause of cooperation and community interaction. This is not the case, said Escobar, who describes Hive Market and Makers Space as a carefully curated store.

“By sharing our skills through member-led workshops, organizing events for community groups and supporting our neighboring businesses,” she said, “we aim to be a place of cooperative activity. – a hive. “

“Laura does a really good job filtering people out to find quality artisans who really want to be there, who want to make friends and really support each other, who are really excited about each other’s products and want to learn something from each other. others. Emily Frank said. “It’s a wonderful community.

Scalzo said Hive Market is a great way to bring people together. “Downtown Oyster Bay has so much to do – cruise nights, dance nights, and I’m so excited to be a part of it,” she said. “I’m so glad Laura liked my product and invited me to become a member. It benefits me, but it all benefits the hive.

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