Store opening

The Baltimore Sun

Funky Beehive

906 S. Charles St., Federal Hill

Hours: Noon-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.


Breast cancer survivor Kara Hanson wanted a life change, so she left behind careers in both commercial real estate and the law to open a charming gift shop in December. On a Federal Hill block burgeoning with retail activity, Funky Beehive offers creative items at a variety of price points - for bachelorettes to babies to Baltimoreans who appreciate presents with local roots.

Shelves in the cozy space are stuffed with whimsical pieces - gadgets for the kitchen, barware, jewelry, art and little tidbits just to show you care. For instance, there are the canisters that hold "message beans" that, after the recipient waters them for a few days, will sprout well wishes. They cost $14. And there are the 24 paper party cups for $9, each printed with a different life-size nose so the drinker taking a deep sip will look like he got instant rhinoplasty.

The kitchen gadgets are quite creative: wind-up salt and pepper shakers that crawl across the table, a wind-up timer in a cute mouse-and-cheese motif and onion goggles, which cooks can strap on to prevent tears. Hanson said people are snatching up the goggles.

Hanson, who owns the shop with her husband, Oscar Fontana, emphasizes environmentally friendly products and the work of local artists.

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