Stories

The Beehive

The Beehive helps the local church to have a visible neutral presence in the heart of the community and offer a service to the neighbourhood that is both appealing and intriguing.

The Beehive is part community coffee shop, part women's clothing boutique and part workshop space with a heart to empower women, helping them to feel beautiful, valued and loved.

The Beehive is a secondhand women's clothing boutique and cafe in the heart of Ashford town centre that aims to make all of its customers feel valued, loved and beautiful. It also serves as a safe space for non-church people to visit and be listened to and even prayed for.

STEPS TAKEN TO RUN THIS PROJECT:
  1. Launched with a pop-up store over a weekend to test the idea in the community;
  2. Made an appeal in the church and community for high quality clothing donations.
  3. Assembled a team of suitable volunteers;
  4. Found a neutral venue away from the church and highly visible in the community;
  5. Following the pop-up store launch - the feasibility of a long-term cafe and clothing boutique was evaluated and eventually opened in the local high street;
TO REPLICATE THIS PROJECT YOUR CHURCH WILL NEED:
  • A lead volunteer who is inspired and preferably experienced leading a team - with work experience in a retail environment recommended;
  • A suitable venue/space that is attractive and highly visible and accessible to the local community;
  • A team of at least 5 volunteers with various skills, including organisational / admin, social media, food & fashion sense, and a heart for helping people,
  • A decent coffee machine; 
  • A supply of donated high quality secondhand 'pre-loved' clothing

Literally my favourite place to go in Ashford! I've been through a really hard few months and The Beehive has made it so much easier! Honestly can't thank The Beehive enough for what they do. You've changed my life and I will always be so grateful! 

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