Abeille – The Joy of Creating

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Many of us map out our lives in 5 to 10-year increments, starting off with a 4-year college plan followed by a career path in some profession that we think is set in stone and that will make us happy. This leaves us without much room for unexpected adventures . . . until one day we diverge off the mapped path and take the road less traveled (but more rewarding) as Lisa Trachtman did.

Lisa never expected to leave her fun-filled job at a global technology company to explore her creative side as a boutique and studio owner of Abeille in Brookline Village.  Taking this serendipitous and unplanned journey has allowed her to uncover the joy of creating – from her Hot Moroccan hand-made earrings (sold in the store and at Bloomingdales) to building out the floor and walls of her studio. Nearly everything in this unique and adorable shop has been handmade with love by Lisa, her staff, or other locally sourced artists.

While the store has been around for 5 years, we only recently discovered this hidden gem, which has surprised us on each and every visit. Our favorite pieces in the store are the leather wrapped semi-precious and precious stone bracelets, which you can learn to make in their Leather Weave Wrapped Bracelet classes. There’s one on Small Business Saturday, November 30th, at 1:30 PM. Register for it soon before it fills up.

If you have passed by Abeille but have not stopped in, we encourage you to BEE adventurous and visit this wonderful store; you never know what you will find, but we guarantee that it will be nothing short of extraordinary.

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Abeille
45 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02445

What inspired you to open your store?

Life! I came from a background where I had two cellphones and a laptop while running a 24×7 global technical support division. I traveled often and rarely took a moment to relax. For many of us, life is too fast paced.

So I wanted to create a place and safe haven that would allow others to escape – whether it is to make jewelry or explore a store full of treasures. We understand that hectic frenzy and provide a full-service solution for shoppers on the go.

Since I’m a do-it-yourselfer, Abeille has allowed me to create everything from jewelry to building out the back room from the floor to the walls. My husband and I added a floor and walls lined with shelves. The do-it-yourself is in all facets of this store and my life.

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What does Abeille mean?

Abeille is French for bee. I love bees! My long-term goal is to be a bee-keeper once my son is old enough to help.

Bees are beautiful creatures with an amazing community that works together. Being a mom and a business owner, I believe, it takes a community to raise a family, and I believe in this community helping each other.

What do you like best about owning a store?

I truly love being part of the community. Owning this store and living in the neighborhood has allowed me to become a part of this community.  While I live in the Lincoln school district, I have become intrinsically connected to the Pierce and Saint Mary’s schools, activities and families.

What makes your store unique?

We support over 50 local artists. Many of our pieces are one of a kind. Every jewelry piece can be personalized and customized. This uniqueness makes it special. It’s not uncommon that we shorten or add something to any of the pieces for our customers.

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A wide selection of hand-made jewelry, gifts, and clothing.

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Beautiful glass plates made in Brookline by Jill Winitzer

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Re-awakened Hats by Nancy Atkins

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A collection of hand-made silk and felt scarves

How do you set yourself apart from big retail chains or online commerce?

Personalization! We know our customers. We know their wish lists. We also focus on the traditional loyalty program where we extend exclusive offers to our customers.

As a local store, we contribute 50% back to the community. We hire from Brookline – accountant, insurance agent, web designer, photographer and our team. For my personal purchases, I shop local first.

You mentioned that you work with a group of cancer patients, can you tell me more about that? 

We are proud to partner with Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. We share our jewelry making skills with teen and tween patients and care providers at Dana Farber and Children’s Hospital. This month, Dana Farber invited us to participate in their annual teen weekend. Thirty girls spent an activity filled weekend in Boston. The Abeille team along with members of the Boston Volunteer Group, provided a one-on-one jewelry making experience with each of the girls while they were awaiting a professional photo shoot. It was amazing!

How do you balance everything as a mom and a business woman?

I hardly sleep. I eat kale three times a day and it keeps me going. I also have an amazing husband who is an amazing father. I have a great staff whom I consider my family.  I adore them and I’m very thankful to have them be apart of my life.

What motivates you?

I’m one of those people who is constantly doing something. I enjoy life and get the most out of it. For me, that’s interacting with people and sharing what I love.

What would you advise other women?

Running your own business is not for everyone. Before pursuing something non-traditional, you need to ensure you and your family are on the same page. Being in it together is really key to ensuring success and happiness. My husband and I both run our own businesses, and we help each other.

What are your favorite items in store that would be great holiday gifts?

There are so many great items in the store, but here are my latest picks:

1) Candles by Kirsty Allore ($26) made in Cambridge, MA. My favorite is the Tuberose. Pomodoro across the street uses these candles in their restaurant.

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2) Hand-painted Boston ornaments ($28) are a great gift for anyone, especially for the Red Sox lovers.

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3) Zodiac Constellation Necklaces ($38) made by a California designer.

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4) Mixed-metal layered necklaces ($48 – $88). We make them ourselves. I love this collection of necklaces!

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5) The Hot Moroccan Swarovski Earrings are made by me. They are sold at Abeille for $68 as well as at Bloomingdale’s. These earrings are replicas of vintage Swarovski crystals.

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6) Organic cotton screen printed ninja shirts ($32) by Uni-T in Natick.

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7)  An Li Liu hand printed t-shirts ($28). I love the owl print tees.

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8) Handmade Nuno felted wool and silk scarf ($60). These scarves are absolutely beautiful!

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