Just a few minutes west of the Park Cities in Dallas near Love Field Airport, is a charming artisan and design community teeming with showrooms, studios and offices in warehouse spaces where creativity thrives. This flourishing locale is set on simmer and heating up fast. It’s the home of Bee Street Studio, owned and operated by Ann Catherine Easterling and her mother, Delaney Campbell, who represent artists from around the country.
“Bee Street is our happy place,” says Easterling. “This area appears to be semi-industrial from the outside, but you will be delightfully surprised when you walk into the open and inviting space, full of color and inspiration. It’s such a wonderful and cheerful environment. We take pride in making it comfortable and welcoming so that visitors are encouraged to browse.”
Easterling and Campbell have transformed the 20-foot ceilings and steel beams into a mecca of artistic expression in every medium, from oils and acrylics to sculpture and photography. Soft and inviting pieces from emerging and established artists are aesthetically placed from floor to ceiling for art lovers, connoisseurs and dreamers to admire and purchase. Eclectic music plays softly in the background to add to the informal and approachable atmosphere.
Bee Street art is always in flux, so what is showcased one week may be completely different on a client’s next visit. “We change and rotate the art on the walls every two weeks for a fresh look. When we sell a piece, it’s like losing a friend, but we also make someone very happy and that’s our primary objective,” Easterling says.
“We spend a lot of time developing loyal and honest relationships with artists and strive to match their artwork with our clientele,” she says. “We choose each and every piece from our artists, and we are attached to those pieces, so the most rewarding part of our job is when we find the perfect match—client to piece of art.” Both women are Dallas natives who studied art and have gallery experience; they clearly have a natural eye for what will appeal to clients. Campbell coowned a gallery in Dallas and Easterling worked in a gallery in Charleston, South Carolina.
“I came up with “Bee Street” while in Charleston, my favorite city,” Easterling explains. “I knew that I wanted to use a Charleston reference as well as a family reference when naming the company. Bee Street is one of the oldest streets in Charleston, and it was just perfect since McBee is a family name. In fact, my daughter’s name is Anna McBee.”
Interior designers comprise the majority of Bee Street’s repeat clients. They may design a room around a selected piece of art or use the selected piece to complete the project. Bee Street offers a compelling range of price points that satisfies both individuals looking for original art for their home and high-end buyers who want striking accents for every room in a home or work space. The women entrepreneurs work closely with every buyer, often visiting the working space with artwork options and suggestions, to provide hands-on customer service.
While they rely on word of mouth and social media as primary marketing tools, they also make road trips with selected pieces to promote and showcase inventory. “Next year we plan to visit four cities in Texas,” says Easterling. “We’ve found this kind of on-site exposure is one of the best tools for triggering the buzz.”
It’s easy to find this alluring space amidst the 20 or so other warehouse spaces. Just look for the logo of the friendly honey bee on the front door. Ann Catherine or Delaney will buzz you in.
Claire Fernanda Dobie is a freelance writer living in Northern California. She blogs at claireifyblog.com.