The Midtown Farmers’ Market profile series continues with a very talented and very popular vendor, The Vintage Bee. Morgan Beeson recently shared what makes Midtown Farmers’ Market so special to her and her company, as well as what you can expect from her custom jewelry and scarf business in the near future.
North Hills Live: How did The Vintage Bee get started at Midtown Farmers’ Market?
Morgan Beeson: My family and I live in North Hills and one day I was driving by on the way to another market when I noticed it. I applied the following year and got in, and The Vintage Bee has been there ever since! We’re actually in our fifth or sixth year of participating.
NHL: What is the primary thing you like about being a vendor at the Market?
MB: Number one is convenience! I love being able to get here and set up without much, if any, hassle. Number two would most definitely be the organizers of Midtown Farmers’ Market. They always provide everything I need for setup. This market is very family oriented, so I always bring my kids with me. They also do a fantastic job of promoting. It’s easy to park here and easy for customers to find me. Variety would be number three because anyone who comes out has so many choices in what they can do here! They can get their veggies or do some jewelry shopping while their kids play in the center, or they can just relax and listen to great music.
NHL: Out of all that The Vintage Bee makes and sells, what is your number one attention getter?
MB: Honestly, it changes from season to season. April to August is big for jewelry and repurposed vintage pieces, but as soon as scarf weather starts, that switches over. Scarves make up 75 percent of my business once the weather turns cooler. Lately I’ve been focused on getting my fall 2017 scarves ready for the season and my big Christmas shows I always participate in.
NHL: Where can your fans find you when you’re not at Midtown Farmers’ Market?
MB: Outside of the Market, The Vintage Bee does everything through Facebook and Instagram, and we do two big Christmas shows. You can find me at Wakefield Mistletoe market in November and Sanderson Holidays in December. I used to do several markets 2-3 times a month, but I have cut everything down to once a month, the second Saturday of every month, at Midtown Farmers’ Market. Only showing once a month means I don’t overwhelm my customers and gives me enough time to create new pieces.
NHL: What is your favorite piece of jewelry to create?
MB: Right now, I’ve been doing simple wire wrapped bracelets. I really like how no two are the same, and that they use repurposed beads. I definitely go through phases of what I like to work on versus what I don’t like to work on, but I think that is true for any craftsperson.
NHL: So, what’s the big trend this season?
MB: Tassels! Everyone is loving tassels! I have gotten some cool ones from India that are typically used to adorn their dresses which I have used for necklaces. They are a big hit and the bigger the tassel, the better!
NHL: Where do you get your scarf inspiration from?
MB: I only do two types; the big button and the buckle up scarf. I was a textile major in college, and I spent a bit of time selling, so I developed an eye for what trends sell the best. The big button is a big seller, and the buckle one with the faux fur is an evolution of the big button. I tell people the faux fur is great in this part of the country since the winters are mild and you can take it off when you are inside.
I’m in the process of finishing all the scarves for 2017 and will put them out in September when it gets cooler. When they sell out they sell out because I only buy fabric in certain amounts. I always encourage people to come see what is available sooner rather than later as I always sell out in December.
NHL: Do people ever get you confused with honey makers because of your name?
MB: Yes! That is why we put “The” in the name because there is a Vintage Bee in Durham that does produce honey. Once people see my last name is Beeson, they understand where I get the “bee” from.
NHL: Is The Vintage Bee a family affair?
MB: Absolutely. I have always brought my children with me to the Market since we always go on the Kids Weekend. My son has even written a book about the Market, and a few weekends he set up a booth right beside me selling it. My oldest customers have been coming since I was pregnant with two of my kids when they were born, so you can say they’ve been with us through it all.
NHL: Anything else you’d like to share with your customers or people coming to Midtown Farmers’ Market?
MB: You know, a lot of my customers from the Market are the ones that keep me going and get me excited about things! They really keep my small business going, as right now all my work is done in the basement in my house. Raleigh does such a great job of supporting local, which is great for us. I don’t have any plans for a storefront at this point because hands down the Midtown Farmers’ Market has been the best thing for my business based on their support and the people that come out to shop, mingle, and enjoy the morning!
The Vintage Bee and her beautiful and unique repurposed jewelry and on-trend scarves can be found at Midtown Farmers’ Market every Kids Weekend, which is the second Saturday of every month. And if you can’t make it to the Market, be sure to visit her Facebook and Instagram page regularly to see what new pieces she has been working on.