The Altered Bee, a shop featuring vintage inspired jewelry, antique ephemera, upcycled and reclaimed merchandise, funky T-shirts, and a variety of handmade items, is celebrating its grand opening this weekend in downtown Bristol, New Hampshire.
The event, which runs Thursday, November 29 through Saturday, December 1 will feature special discounts, a raffle for a salvaged window turned chalk board, and loads of Christmas cookies.
The new shop is a dream come true for long-time Bristol resident Debbie Gilbert. Many Newfound area residents will remember Debbie as the Director of the Minot-Sleeper Library. After 9-years with the library and only being able to pursue her love for paper crafts in what little free time she had, Debbie decided to step down to pursue her dream of opening her own shop filled with hand-crafted and vintage items.
She started by doing local fairs and craft shows including the Hebron Fair and the Santa’s Village and Craft Fair at the TTCC in Bristol. She also hosted craft classes in her home and ran a workshop on Steampunk crafts at the Boscawen Public Library. Local shoppers may have seen Debbie’s work last year at the Cardigan Mountain Orchard holiday store and visitors to the Gordon-Nash Library in New Hampton certainly enjoyed the display of ACEO cards she created. In the year leading up to opening her own shop, she documented her journey from hobbiest to business owner at www.TheAlteredBee.blogspot.com.
When asked why she chose downtown Bristol for her shop Debbie replied “A year ago on Small Business Saturday, I wandered into Horsefeather Traders with some of my family. We were instant fans! The store had started as a pop-up shop for the holidays and wound up staying in the square for the next year. When I recently learned that the shop was for sale I could think of nothing else! It was perfect, mixing my upcycled and reclaimed merchandise with the funky vintage items that Horsefeather Traders is known for. I have always had a heart for the square and am very excited to be downtown and a part of the exciting things that are happening there.”
The Altered Bee is truly a family affair. Along with her handmade books, paper items and vintage finds, Debbie will be featuring T-shirts designed by her son Bobby and his wife Sue of Curbside Designs and Soda Bomb Apparel as well as vintage inspired jewelry using a combination of new/old stock chain, bits and pieces of broken and discarded jewelry and gemstones created by her daughter-in-law Carla of I Want a Pony.
The Bristol square is currently going through a major renovation, but be assured there is plenty of parking available. The well dressed window of The Altered Bee has given a face-lift to the downtown area and more improvements are on the way. The store hours for the month of December will be Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the store or being a consignor, please call 603-744-2331.
Just in time for the holidays, the Altered Bee in downtown Bristol, NH makes it easy to shop local, shop handmade and support the local economy.