Real Stories
Petra Geiger, Owner Of Beehive Co-op 

Best of Atlanta 2006

Petra Geiger owns Beehive Co-op, a 2-year-old Buckhead market offering clothing, jewelry and housewares made exclusively by local, independent designers, including Geiger herself:

“I started doing a lot of the seasonal markets, like Inman Park Festival and Urban Market, and I met a lot of people there. And I started thinking, ‘Wow. They had really great products, and they were so tired of doing markets.’ I had about six or eight friends who were in the same boat. It was like an organic process, and it just came together. They pay me rent up front, and then I pay them their sales at the end of the month. And they pay me a modest commission if they break even.

“I think people here are really hungry for different stuff and are ready to get out of the mall. But it needs to be pushed harder. There needs to be more [shopping] districts that are a little bit more developed for [independent] retail, like Virginia-Highland and Little Five Points. It’s getting there.

“As soon as this got up and going, I started getting e-mails from people saying, ‘I want to do this in my city.’ There seemed to be a demand. So we’re actually franchising the store. I had envisioned a group of stores around the country, but realized I couldn’t do it in every city because you really have to be tapped in to the community. So the owner will be separately invested.”

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