The Zee Bee Market, specializing in handmade, fair trade and sustainable products, is set to open in the former Femme clothing shop location (7270 Manchester Road), which closed in mid-January.
The new shop will carry accessories, apparel, jewelry, products for the home and kids, plus journals and cards, according to its website.
The owner, Julio Zegarra-Ballon, opened his first Zee Bee Market on South Grand. He came to the U.S. from Peru in 1990.
In addition to helping artists and crafts people overseas, the store plans to donate a percentage to a nonprofit in St. Louis during a week in each month. Zegarra-Ballon has done this with his store on South Grand and said it’s very successful.
He said his shop is one of only two gift stores in St. Louis that are Members of the Fair Trade Federation, which promotes greater equity in international trade. The other is Plowsharing Crafts.
Zegarra-Ballon was introduced to Partners for Just Trade, an organization that connects artisans living in extreme poverty and consumers in North America in 2009. He has also completed an MBA at the University of Missouri St. Louis.