Ideas tend to be fleeting but, as the only food source with no known shelf life, honey quite literally lasts a lifetime. Aiming to combine the two and, in doing so, live up to its name, NYC-based agency Chandelier Creative set up a Montauk retreat to farm fresh honey, and give employees a place to go for rest, relaxation and inspiration. Presenting a new kind of bohemian enclave, Chandelier’s beautifully appointed, multipurpose Surf Shack fosters morale from within, while productively churning out an actual product for a whole new way of marketing itself.
As the son of Australian honey farmers, Chandelier founder Richard Christiansen outfitted his digs with the proper authority, hand-selecting a range of coastal flowers native to Montauk to ensure his bees would produce a special kind of honey. For the Surf Shack he chose an array of black-eyed Susans, honeysuckle and echinacea and, much like he did with the Shack’s carefully decorated interior, Christiansen built and painted a custom hive to befit the Chandelier bees. “Making honey is a true labor of love” he explains. “My family has always said that happy bees make sexy honey. And the same is true for creatives.”
With a keen eye and trained tongue, Christiansen describes the honey as slightly lighter in color than most, due to the native Montauk nectar, with a taste that’s “very soft and gentle,” but “a little salty, too.” Packaged by members of the Chandelier Creative team, the honey is gifted to every weekend visitor, be it boyfriend, girlfriend, client or friend as a sweet reminder to keep creating with the dedication and vigor of a honey bee.
Throughout the 2011 summer the unique blend of flora led the Chandelier bees to produce an end-of-season surplus of 300 jars, of which some 75 are still available. The remaining jars can be purchased exclusively through the Chandelier Creative online shop, along with a rotation of “special collaborations with our favorite people.” Chandelier Creative aims to re-open the Surf Shack in May with the addition of chickens and vegetables, likely to help continue the expansion of the Chandelier brand from the ground up.