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The Beehive Effect

Location outside the square and a collection of creative artists is what makes a successful business – Little Beehive Co-op, on Bridge Street Nelson, is proof of that. The business first opened on Lower Hardy Street eight years ago, allowing a group of different creative artists to exhibit their own style and uniqueness.

Little Beehive is one of Nelson’s artistic hubs and is well known in the top of the South and nationwide with clients from across New Zealand and globally. Now located on upper Bridge St, Paula says it’s all about location. “Bridge St is better for us as far as foot traffic, being close to The Kitchen Café in Kirby Lane, they are great neighbours to have. Also being close to a large carpark like Buxton Square is beneficial to our growing business. Our landlord is awesome, and the other businesses in the building have created a hub for other creatives such as jewellery’s people producing ceramics, clothing designers, photography and web designers.”

Thirteen artists are selling their work at Little Beehive, who are all local artists from the Nelson Tasman region, making it very special in many ways.

Each one is very individual, and this certainly is expressed in the art. I asked Paula what was special about Little Beehive. “Definitely, the people involved is what makes us special. People like to meet the maker, and with items that are not mass-produced, you can get something unique. We have a lot of artists that don’t sell anywhere else because we have made it manageable for them”.

It’s unique how Paula manages and promotes Little Beehive, and with each artist rostered to be in the shop one day a month makes it so much more personal to connect with the artists.

E-commerce is relatively new to the business. Paula says it’s been two years since she started that. “It’s a full-time job in itself. I manage this side of the business by uploading products onto the website to keep things current and updated. During Covid and lockdown, it’s been a great advantage to our business, selling online. I love all the analytics; it blows my mind to see where people are coming from all around the world to visit our website. We have clients in Germany that purchase for their families in New Zealand. Even in Auckland and Christchurch, our reach has gone out of Nelson, which is pretty cool to know that our reputation is that good.”

Like most businesses during Covid, it has been an interesting experience for Little Beehive. Paula’s comments on this are so true. “This is where we need to thank our community for supporting local. I think that Covid has made everyone consider where they spend their money and support small businesses. After each lockdown, when we re-opened, we were having sales like it was pre-Xmas.

Little Beehive is unique, with fabulous art/gifts, where you can engage with wonderful artists.

Be sure to pop in at their store, located at 123 Bridge St, Nelson or shop online at

With Paula being greatly involved in organising The Great Christmas Market, taking place on Sunday 21 November 2021, at Founders Heritage Park in Nelson, she says “things may look a little different this year with precautions in place for Covid19 but we are so happy to be able to bring our event to you for another year. We have ticketed the event to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Tickets are only $3 each and $1 from every ticket is going to our 2 charities Kidscan and Life Education Trust.”

Purchase your tickets here:

We decided to offer you a chance to be in to win one of five double passes to this fantastic market.
Enter here

Explore the virtual tour here

Click here to find out more…

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