My husband and I own The Hive Centre (heritage church) and The Hive Bee & Bee (retro executive home) – two side by side buildings in idyllic Leskard, Ontario. The buildings have not always been used for business – in fact, they were purchased separately for different reasons.
In 2000, I fell in love with the church and its natural environment. I thought it would be a perfect place to create art. My partner, Kevin, moved in at the same time as a friend. By 2002, we were in a relationship and started a marketing & design business the year after. We were married at the heritage church surrounded by immediate family in 2005. We had our beautiful baby girl in 2007 and bought the building next door in 2008 to accommodate our growing business.
Although we have lived in both houses, our primary place of residence is at the heritage church (also used as a centre). The house next door is used exclusively by guests for a unique and homey, self-serve bed and breakfast experience.
This summer, an overbooking situation at the B&B lead to the opening of The Hive Centre as a bed and breakfast. Although we have been running a B&B for five years, having overnight guests in our home was something new for our family.
From a practical standpoint, we knew we had to remove personal items from the house to make way for guests. We have accumulated a lot in our 18-year history here!
For several months in the Spring, we cleaned and cleared and came up with a plan. We have a suitcase with summer clothing and a limited number of bins with winter, fall and spring clothing in a storage closet. What we have discovered is that we really do not need much.
Although the experience has offered challenges, it has also offered many lessons, including:
• Live like a guest in your own home
• Live with less (important step to our aspiration of living in a tiny home)
• Keep your house clean and clear at all (most) times
• Escape to nature to find solace and stillness
In business, we have found that flexibility is key. To take advantage of the high season, we decided to live transiently… and though I long for a sense of permanence, we did learn a lot about simple living.