You may notice a location change for the Hive & Forge shop on the 4th floor of Mill No. 5. For co-founder and operations manager Jennifer Simone, it is like a homecoming of sorts as this was the location of her previous Mill No. 5 shop, Bad Moon. But she’d begun her relationship with the mill well before her first shop, as a vendor at A Little Bazaar selling her curated collection of oddities.
When Bad Moon closed in 2016, the mill offered Jen the opportunity to manage A Little Bazaar, and she did so for two years. She continued to develop the market and built strong relationships with its vendors. Then, in June of 2018, Rachel Chandler from Red Antler Apothecary came to Jen with an idea. She remembers, “Rachel came to me and said, ‘Jen I found this place in Salem Mass. let’s do this thing that we talked about a while ago. Let’s make this thing happen!’ And me, I’m like, fuck it, I’m down for anything.” Rachel wanted to open a second location for Red Antler, but wanted to sell more than just apothecary items. They decided together that the new shop, Hive & Forge, would offer a collection of products from local vendors. They invited creators that Jen knew from A Little Bazaar and other communities to be part of their new venture. “These folks trusted us that it was going to work out.” The shop in Salem opened in September. “We still have the majority of those same people who started with us in Salem and they are with us in the new spot in Mill No. 5.”
The path to “the new spot in Mill No. 5” began in the fall of 2020. owner Jim Lichoulas asked Rachel and Jen if they would create a Hive & Forge pop up shop for the holiday season. “It was chaos” says Jen, “but our team works well under pressure.” They opened the pop up shop on Halloween that year and never left.
The move comes at a time when Brendan Pelley, Mill No. 5’s food and beverage director, is expanding menu options in Coffee and Cotton and Dows Soda Fountain. The old Hive & Forge space will become “The Parlor” and provide additional seating and a small function room for the mill.
Hive & Forge is a collective of approximately 30 local artisans and curators from New England. The items range from jewelry to soy-based candles, clothing, handmade prints, tarot cards and taxidermy. Its customers are from a wide variety of backgrounds, ages and ethnicities, which is something Jen is proud of. This shop has a slightly less ‘witchy’ vibe than its counterpart in Salem. Those who are familiar with Jen’s artwork and curated items are happy to see her return.