Local Hinesville small-business owner Beate Wickham has been in business since 1996, but has had an actual storefront since 2004. Since starting her business, Wickham has been selling her personalized creations to both the military and community.
After immigrating to the area from Germany in 1992, Wickham became a military wife, and raised three kids, she said.
Wickham started her business at her kitchen table, and taught herself to use her creative talent to an advantage, she said. She creates hand painted crafts, some of which are still sold in store.
She began the business when her ex-husband of 19 years got stationed at Fort Stewart. He was a general’s aid, Wickham said, and the general received the very first frame creation Wickham made.
“He was so impressed, he referred me to the Fort Stewart Museum gift shop,” Wickham said. “I started to sell framed art there, until it closed. I was asked to sell in the PX because no one in the area provided the kind of gift.” Wickham changed the name of her business from Buzy Bee to Bee’s Creations after she opened the store in 2004.
“Starting out with nothing, and with hard work, long hours, patience and determination, I managed to never owe a penny on my shop, and create a base of satisfied and repeat customers,” she said.
Wickham serves about 80 percent military, and the rest are teachers, churches and schools, Wickham continued. Bee’s Creations specializes in military awards, specifically: military awards and plaques; guidons and personalized gifts, she said.
Being a small business means that the shop only has about two knowledgeable employees. Although, the best part of being a small business in Hinesville is the opportunity it presents, she said.
“Working independently, being your own boss, and being able to bring smiles to peoples’ faces with your own unique ideas,” Wickham said. “Thank you to my valued customers, past, present and future for helping me become successful in many ways.”
Bee’s Creations is located at 229 W. General Screven Way, Hinesville, and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, questions or interest in placing an order, call 912-368-4774.