Thankyou for sharing our story The Campaign for Wool
Following on from last months ‘WOOL WORKS’ interview with Make Works this month we have been chatting to Andrea Freeman the founder of The Beehive Brand
Hi Andrea please introduce The Beehive Brand.
“The Beehive Brand is a young company producing heritage knitwear designs based on knitting patterns from war-time Britain, made from British wool and manufactured in the UK. Its trademark has been revived from the well-known Patons & Baldwins factory’s “Baldwins Beehive”. We have a small team of five which covers everything from design, supply chain and finance to PR and marketing.”
Can you tell us about your training and background? What made you start a knitwear brand? Was there any particular mentor or designer that inspired you?
“I studied fashion at Huddersfield and Nottingham Trent, then took a placement year out to study in China. After that I interned for Ben de Lisi, Betty Jackson and Nailah Lasharie PR in London before moving onto Barbour.
In my role as a designer for Barbour, I rose up the ranks over eight years travelling the world for research and development before starting my own business in 2011.
Born and raised in Darlington, County Durham, I was always fascinated by the Patons and Baldwins knitting wool factory, where many of my family had worked. This enthusiasm led me to collect a range of historical “Beehive” memorabilia, ranging from knitting patterns and shade cards for wool shops, through to fabulous original adverts from the post-war era of 1940s and 50s when home knitting was “all the rage”.