Red Hive Market is creating a buzz in downtown Batavia, showcasing one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, artwork, jewelry and home décor items.
Bridget Johnson and husband Tom Freeman of Batavia have taken over the large storefront space at 6 W. Wilson St. and turned it into a gallery for local artisans to display and sell their work.
“They are young and extremely creative,” Johnson said of the 14 artisans from Batavia, Aurora and other communities represented at her business.
Even before its opening Saturday, the new shop has been attracting curious shoppers and generating sales.
Johnson is an artisan herself, creating jewelry and artwork repurposed from other items.
She also has years of experience hunting down vintage pieces, artwork and collectibles and consigning them to local antique stores.
Yet the new store is different, with a focus on artistry and activity.
“We’re really starting fresh,” Johnson said. “I had a different vision for Red Hive Market.”
The artisans are investing not only their creativity but their time in the new venture, each making a commitment to help staff the retail shop and give customers the opportunity to meet the makers of the merchandise.
Johnson had a simple formula for naming the shop.
“Red is my favorite color and a hive is a place of activity and energy, like bees buzzing,” Johnson said.
Johnson and Freeman clearly are devoted to each other and to their new business venture, with the wife providing the artistic vision and the husband handling the logistical support.
“Bridget’s the creative brain,” Freeman said. “She asks me to hammer or saw something, and I move things where she wants them to be.”
At the back of the 1,700-square-foot linear space, the couple has created a lounge area for conversation and relaxation.
When needed, the area can easily accommodate the artisan workshops and other programming that Johnson has been dreaming up.
With so many vintage, repurposed and “distressed” furniture items on display, shoppers are likely to be inspired to do something creative with that old chair, dresser or cabinet in the basement or attic.
Fortunately, Red Hive Market features entire product lines for aspiring artisans to refinish and decorate furniture pieces.
The store carries paints, glazes stencils, waxes and other products from Dixie Belle Paint Company. The high-quality chalk paint comes in a full range of vibrant colors designed to bring vintage furniture back to life.
Also included in the store’s line-up are stamps and other decorative furniture treatments from Iron Orchid Designs.
Right now, the store feels like Santa’s workshop, filled with holiday wreaths, snowman figures, candy canes and other unique decorations and signs for the Christmas season.
Red Hive Market is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. The telephone number is 630-326-9016. More information about the store, workshops and other events is available by visiting www.facebook.com/RedHiveMarket.