by LYDIA COBB | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

Queen Bees

faces_dooleygharst4When something is awesome, we hold on to it. Kellie Dooley and Allison Gharst are sisters and owners of Peabody and Sassafras, a salvaged wooden sign and home décor business. For two years they were vendors in The Queen Bee Market, a handmade market that features crafters’ current works and trends. When the market’s owner hinted that she’d be willing to sell and ensure a smooth transition, Kellie and Allison handcrafted their entry. They had strong friendships within the marketplace. They didn’t want to see the passion and creativity end.

faces_dooleygharst3“As small business owners we knew how important the sales at this show are to overall yearly income for these makers, and us too,” shared Kellie Dooley. “The majority of our vendors are moms with a side passion for creating, like us, and we care deeply about helping to support and foster that.” Between seasonal marketplace fairs, they host two craft nights. “We bring celebrity crafters from across the county to lead an amazing day of crafting,” added Allison Gharst. “It’s a beautiful collaborative day that brings together people throughout San Diego.” The ticketed event includes several crafts, drinks, dinner, and a fabulous swag bag.


Name: Kellie Dooley
Community: Vista
Family: Husband and three children: ages 3, 5, and 7
Hobbies: Exploring beautiful San Diego together


Name: Allison Gharst
Community: Poway
Family: Husband and three children: ages 3, 5, and 7
Hobbies: Family hiking, camping and beaches, Green Valley Church


Kellie and Allison moved to Rancho Santa Fe when they were seven and nine years old from the Pacific Northwest. They returned for college: Kellie at Lewis & Clark for undergrad and then a master’s in teaching at USD, and Allison at University of Puget Sound for both undergrad and master’s in teaching. Their lives are intertwined: working together, living close to one another in Poway and Vista, and with three children each the same age. Before they became full-time moms, Kellie taught first grade at Rancho Santa Fe Elementary. She married her high school sweetheart who is now a general contractor. Allison taught art at Maranatha Christian Schools. She met her husband, who owns a pool service company, at the gym.

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They are making plans for the next Queen Bee Holiday Market on Dec. 2 and 3 (www.thequeenbeemarket.com). The recent spring Queen Bee Market raised funds to sponsor a child for a year with Children of the Nation, thanks to donations from among the 2,000 shoppers. “Our favorite part is being able to create together as sisters and friends every day,” added Kellie. They spread joy by inspiring creativity in everything that is handmade awesome.