FAIRFIELD, Conn. – It took 10 years for Fairfield resident Sandra Tobey to open her own storefront. And now that she has opened The Beehive, she says she couldn’t be happier.
“It’s just never been the right time before. You have to have a plan and, wait, you have to be in the right place and find the right space,” Tobey said. Getting the storefront on the Post Road next to Chef’s Table was ideal, she said. “I think I signed the lease on our honeymoon!”
Along with her husband, Chris Halstead, who grew up in Westport, Tobey has spent the last five months ordering inventory, planning the layout of the store and getting everything ready to open. Since opening the store Friday, Tobey said the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s been surprising. We just haven’t been open that long, and we’ve been getting really good foot traffic,” she said. “I think it’s the right time to be open before the holidays so that people can come in and see what we carry and keep us in mind.”
Everything in the store was stocked because Tobey had purchased it as a gift, gotten it for herself or received it.
“These are all products that I’m passionate about,” she said. “This is all stuff that I’ve bought or owned. Chris, my husband, knows what we carry so I can’t get away with saying, ‘I just found this bauble the other day!’”
She has different sections in the store, such as home goods, pet items, hostess gifts, candies and baby items, in order to fill different desires of the customers. Most everything offered is local or American made, she said, and reasonably priced.
When asked why she decided to call the store The Beehive, she said the name fit the idea of what she wanted in her store. It's many items, not just one specific thing. It gives her the leeway to change the items stocked to find ways to better fulfill her customers’ needs.
“We just really tried to focus on things that are really giftable but also things that you would want to purchase for yourself,” she said.
Going into business for herself has been wonderful, Tobey said. “It’s great to work like a dog for yourself,” instead of for another person’s company. Before opening The Beehive, Tobey had been working in advertising, representing companies such as Toyota, Adidas, Gatorade and H. Stern.
The store is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.