I knew the moment I walked through the door of Cool Bees that this was the gift shop for me. A wonderful array of local artists were showcased in a casual, inviting atmosphere. This gift shop was going to be a special place - it already was! I knew that charming old house had a story. Here it is:
Terry Henner recently opened Cool Bees in the old Kudzu Cottage, located at 4710 Highway 9, Alpharetta, originally built in the early 1940's by Everett Bettis and his late wife, Louise.
Cool Bees is themed on arts in and around the community, providing a venue where artisans of all types can showcase and sell their work. The name Cool Bees originated from Henner's experience with beekeeping and her old habit of saying, "cool beans!" when she finds something unique.
Little did Henner know when she set up her Cool Bees shop, Everett Bettis would become her friend and some of his late wife's artwork would epitomize the meaning of "cool" that every art venue strives to emanate.
One morning as Henner was preparing her shop to open, she heard a knock at the door. "I opened the door, and there stood a nice gentleman who extended his hand and said 'Hello, my name is Everett Bettis and I built this house for my wife in the early 1940’s when we got married. My wife designed the whole house. She was very creative."
Henner remembers the moment she knew Everett would become a great friend.
"He asked if he could show me a photo of Louise. Of course, I said yes and as I looked, Everett said he'd been married to the most beautiful woman God ever let walk this earth and that he missed her every day after 66 years of marriage. He started to cry. Then I started to cry," explains Henner.
Over the next few days, Everett showed Henner his late wife's own artwork and crystal collection. Coincidentally, Louise had one stipulation for selecting her crystal pieces. Each one had to have a bee engraved in it. (Now that's what you call "cool bees!")
Currently, Cool Bees boasts the work of more than 30 local artists. Among the treasures are some of Louise Bettis' creations, which can be found in each room of the house she'd designed so long ago. Featured artisans include fine art paintings and photography, iron sculptures, handmade bath and body products, hand made quilts and a wide selection of hand made jewelry.
"This house becomes funkier by the minute and I love it!" says Henner. "I told Everette I think it's pretty darn cool to showcase art from the original artist who lived in the house. Not to mention an artist who loved bees!"
Henner also sells the honey her bees have made. It's a good idea to call ahead, because Henner has been as busy as a bee trying to keep the honey in stock.
Cool Bees is more than a “must see” shop. It's a “better get buzzing over there shop” because something new arrives each day.
Feature article originally written by Kristen Berry , CummingPatch, Aug 26, 2011, Copyright © 2011 Patch. All Rights Reserved.