Honey & Hive bids farewell to downtown
By William F. West
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
A clothing boutique in Elizabeth City’s downtown has closed after five years following a decision by the business’s remaining partner to search for a new retail space on the Outer Banks.
In a posting May 13 on Facebook, Honey & Hive owner Erin Harrell and then-partner, Tracy Dean, announced their intentions to vacate the storefront. Harrell, in an email Tuesday, cited her living on the Outer Banks as a reason and also said Dean left the partnership because she plans to work full-time for her husband.
Harrell on Facebook said Honey & Hive is now officially located on the Outer Banks but will continue as an online store until she finds a new storefront. Harrell said her plan is to spend the summer months with her children while she scouts for a retail center.
In her Facebook posting, Harrell expressed appreciation for the support Honey & Hive received during its time in Elizabeth City.
"This new venture I’m taking will be one for the books along with kids attached to the hip!" Harrell said.
Honey & Hive had been located in the Kramer Building in the 500 block of East Main Street since late spring 2014. The boutique had moved to the site, formerly the Gregg Shoe Store, after first opening in space in the back of the Water Street Commons Building in the summer of 2013.
Elizabeth City Downtown Inc. Executive Director Deborah Malenfant said Tuesday she believes Honey & Hive did a fabulous job while operating in the city’s downtown.
"We're always sorry to see a business leave, but I believe they still plan to be involved in Elizabeth City," Malenfant said. "We've talked about them coming up and doing pop-ups and trunk shows and things like that."
Malenfant noted Harrell and Dean originally started the business as a private shopping page on Facebook. She noted the business already has a significant presence online and seems to have struck a balance between online sales and “foot-traffic” sales.
"So, in my opinion, and I've said it to them, and I've said it publicly, they understand the new marketplace very well," Malenfant said.
In an interview in fall 2013, Harrell and Dean said they had decided to open in the Water Street Commons Building after first establishing their clothing and accessories business online. They decided they needed a retail center after customers, learning about their business online, started wanting to come in and try on clothes.
Harrell and Dean said they chose the name Honey & Hive because they wanted something catchy.
Malenfant believes Honey & Hive’s former space in the Kramer Building will be refilled quickly.
"I'm not concerned about it at all," she said.