Trader Profile-Bees Knees Apparel
For our second Trader Profile we chatted to Bee from Bristol’s own Bees Knees Apparel – literally the coolest reworked fashion you’ll find at The Frome Independent, featuring clothing from the late 70’s to early 00’s – a fusion of classic vintage pieces and modern day trends. Bee is a regular at The Frome Independent but sadly she can’t be with us in September – we couldn’t miss her out, so make sure you head over to her website Bees Knees Apparel and we look forward to welcoming her back in October!
Tell us a bit about you and your business.
I’m Bee, I run Bees Knees Apparel. I sell handpicked vintage, reworked and upcycled fashion! I’m passionate about zero waste and sustainable fashion, and am eager to demonstrate that fashion doesn’t have to be boring and mundane, just because it’s sustainable! Stock ranges from late 70’s to early 00’s, and I sell for both men and women. My Reworks take aspects from classic vintage styles and create a fusion between retro and modern day trends! I’m 28 and based in Bristol.
Where do you get your inspiration – what motivates you to do what you do?
I’ve always had a huge love for fashion, colour and culture. I love the idea of combining lots of different worlds and styles into clothing! I am constantly inspired by streetwear and rave culture, but love classic vintage styles, cute, kits and cottagecore style! This love for so many different genres and styles inspires me to integrate them into my work.
I’m constantly in shock at the amount of waste there is in the fashion world, and therefore the impact it has on our planet. I think this really motivates me to take ‘zero waste’ very seriously, and I make it my aim to use every scrap of fabric or material I have for a rework piece. I’m inspired by the one off, and unique item’s that are constructed and made from scraps and I love the idea of there only being one of something!
Why did you choose to come and trade at The Frome Independent?
I’d be visiting the market for a long time prior to applying, and had always loved it! It felt like such a great day out. I’m a huge fan of rummaging around for bargain vintage items and clothing so it felt like a treat. The day always felt like a one day festival! The reputation and the crowd it draws definitely spurred me on to apply to trade.
What do you like about market trading – why not just sell online or through retail outlets?
I’ve always loved the face to face interactions market trading brings, nothing beats being able to see someone try on your stock, or love their purchase! It makes your business seem so much more real and personal. I also love the repeat customers, and meeting new ones. Knowing who bought your stuff is a treat, and great for understanding your market!
Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. How much work goes into creating it, why do you think this is your strongest product?
My current favourite item is my Reworked tiered sportswear dresses. I just love how versatile they are, and the contrast of streetwear and cottagecore/cute together is one of my favourite vibes! The dresses are entirely handmade minus the t-shirt, this is cropped and the dress then has puff sleeves added, and three tiers of gathered recycled materials! I think it’s my strongest product, as it’s the one that most represents me and my brand. It’s an entirely new design that I came up with, and I love knowing there won’t be another one exactly the same.
What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?
It’d have to be Botanica Studios, her plants are incredible. Brings so much beautiful green to the market, plus I’m opposite so I have a lovely view!
And finally, some quick fire questions….
It’d have to be a classic, 1984 George Orwell
Describe your dream day off.
A sunny day, a nice coffee stop, charity shopping, a cold beer and some music in the garden!
What are you listening to right now?
Currently listening to the Off menu podcast with James Acaster and Ed gamble, it’s hilarious and deffo worth a listen!
What are you cooking/ eating / drinking at the moment?
Loving the summery foods! Current fav is baked feta and tomato gnocchi!
Thank you Bee! We look forward to welcoming Bee back to The Frome Independent in October, but in the meantime check out her online shop: https://beeskneesapparel.com/