By Becky Streeter
We all have them in our families: that one person who has everything, and you can never come up with good gift ideas for them. Well, have you ever thought of giving a flower arrangement? It’s such a simple idea with so many possibilities, and Sarah Lambert Freeman, owner of Hive & Hollow in Menomonie, can make any arrangement unique and beautiful.
With 25 years of the floral experience under her belt, Freeman decided to shift gears and open her own shop, but with a little twist. Instead of purchasing flowers from around the world and competing with large flower stores, Freeman is keeping it local. “I have always loved working with flowers,” she says. “But I don’t love what I have learned about the damage the intensive flower farms are doing to communities and the environment in South and Central America and Africa, not to mention the fuel needed to fly flowers all over the globe.” All the flowers for Freeman’s business are sourced from local growers during the warmer seasons and domestic growers in the winter months. Many of the flowers come right from Freeman’s own farm —that’s the “Hollow” part of the business.
The actual storefront of Hive & Hollow opened on September 5 in downtown Menomonie. Having dabbled in beekeeping in the past, Sarah decided “Hive” seemed perfect for the name, as it incorporates the many facets of her business. All of Freeman’s arrangements are placed in unique, vintage containers or recycled glass vases. In addition to flowers, merchandise from 20-30 local artists is featured throughout the shop. You can find everything under the sun: soy candles, goat milk soaps, handmade cards, works from local authors and musicians, printmakers, painters, felters, rock and fossil collectors, and vintage treasures.
Freeman also plans to offer classes that will be open to the public to learn about flower arrangements. Just before Thanksgiving, she will host a centerpiece making class featuring locally sourced materials in vintage containers. And when the storefront becomes more established, some of her featured artists will teach various craft workshops or provide demonstrations. Freeman states, “I want the store to be that kind of buzzing hub of activity for the community.”
If flowers don’t feel like the perfect gift for that impossible-to-shop-for loved one,
Hive & Hollow is home to many unique items. Freeman states, “We have such an interesting collection of oddities and curiosities in addition to unique handmade items and locally sourced gift baskets. The other day I sent a woman off with a taxidermied squirrel that wasn’t even out on the sales floor. You get to chatting with someone and suddenly you are like, ‘I have just the thing for you!’ It feels like magic.”
So buzz on over to the Hive & Hollow — you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.