As a child I remember going to work with my dad in the exact same location Blue Haven Bee Company is now. The building was built by my grandfather for a sewing plant business called Franklin Sportswear. This was a blue jean manufacturing facility that made premium jeans for Calvin Klein, Guess, Wrangler and the list goes on. It housed over 100 jobs and the little town of Canon had a lot more to offer. The downtown was buzzing with shops and actually had life!
In 1996, Franklin Sportswear was outsourced and the business closed. Everyone lost their jobs and the building was left vacant. So our building sat for 17 years. When we came into our location in February 2013 it was like everyone just picked up and left. They left pictures and memories behind on each sewing machine. We had a lot of cleaning and renovating to do, but I always felt a sense of myself when cleaning each table. You see, the early part of my childhood was formed here. I would ride with my grandmother to deliver jeans and watch my dad work tireless hours to feed our family. Entrepreneurship is in my blood. It is apart of me and I am proud to be from a small little town that everybody knows your name.
Building Blue Haven Bee Co.
We never dreamed that anyone would come to our location when we originally started. I mean we hoped people would drive and visit us, but mainly thought that our business would primarily be shipping and manufacturing. When we opened our doors in August of 2013, we were so surprised. Friendly faces came to see what we were all about and purchased a bottle or two of our delicious honey! We then knew we had something that could be potentially be big when lines were formed out the door to get into our tiny lobby to check out our honey and natural body care.
We then decided we needed a place for people to shop, so let the first of many renovations begin! I remember thinking our first little showroom was huge and how would we ever fill it with inventory. With now over four renovations under our belt, we have grown into a business that I could only dream of. When you start a business you have goals and it’s easy to get caught up in everything. As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but smile thinking about how far we’ve come.
Next time you are here, notice the chairs on our porch. They are the original sewing plant chairs. The wood for the bar and trim are saw milled lumber from our farm. Tables used for displays are tables with old paint and crayon scribbles from when Andrew and I were little. Each piece has a memory. When we say our roots run deep, we mean it! We are using pieces that built us to help build our business, and we hope you feel that when you visit us.
After dumping blood, sweat, tears, and money into an idea, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Each day has it’s own challenges, but we have made it work for almost six years in a town with very little businesses or traffic. When you visit us, you have to want to come. We don’t get foot traffic or tourism from other businesses. We have built our business based on loyal, wonderful customers that become friends and some even like family.
Thank you all for making our dreams come true. We have so much in store for you this year and we can’t wait to see where this year takes us!
Brianna B Kidd