Sisters Keep Queen Bee Market Abuzz

By Pam Kragen
The San Diego Union-Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the sisters with a love for crafting who want to share their passion through expanding their craft show business across the country.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Three years ago, North County sisters Allison Gharst and Kellie Dooley were faced with terrible news.

Queen Bee Market — a craft show where the siblings sold their handmade goods twice a year — was going out of business. But rather than quit or find a new market for their wares, the siblings got another idea. They bought Queen Bee Market and are now planning to grow it into a national business.

Their next show, the Winter Expo, takes place this Friday and Saturday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. More than 100 vendors will be selling their own homemade home decor, accessories, clothing, paper arts, vintage items, furniture and more. Among those vendors will be the siblings themselves, whose wood sign business got them started on this path years ago.

Growing up in Rancho Santa Fe, Dooley, 41, and Gharst, 39, were not close. They had different personalities, different interests, different friends and, when they finished high school, they went to different colleges.

But both ended up becoming teachers. Gharst taught art and Dooley taught first-graders. And when they both became pregnant with their first children a decade ago, their commonalities outweighed their differences.

“When we had our first children, it brought us back together. We figured out we liked each other after all,” said Gharst, who lives with her husband and three children in Poway. Dooley lives with her husband and three kids in Vista.

The young moms began spending five or six days a week together and from that togetherness grew a shared passion for crafting. Their business, Peabody & Sassafras, makes quirky wood signs and home decor items, which they initially sold on the craft-marketing website Etsy.com.

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