The story of Honeybee Home begins in 2007
Katy at Primitive Beginnings storefront on Main Street, Ellicott City, Maryland (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)
What started out as selling a few textiles through her e-commerce store evolved into a larger operation when Katy learned of a retail venue that attracted national attention. Katy made the decision to take her products on the road in 2012, and traveled to her first Country Living Fair in Ohio. Over the past 5 years Katy participated in 1-2 Country Living Fairs a year, including shows in Rhinebeck, NY and Columbus, Ohio. After the birth of her third child, Katy made the decision to put down roots on Main Street, and opened up Primitive Beginnings in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Main Street Beginnings
In 2017, Katy moved in to Taylor’s Collective, a retail store consisting of 20+ independent vendors. Katy set up in 6 adjacent spaces on the first floor then took an additional 2 spaces upstairs. One the main level, Katy featured small gifts, including jewelry, clothing, accessories, candles, wall art, and antiques. Upstairs Katy set up a room scene showcasing textiles from one of the last remaining mills in the country.
By KAY WICKER FOR HOWARD MAGAZINE OF THE BALTIMORE SUN, MAY 03, 2017
Driving back from Maine in 2007, Katy first devised the plan for the e-commerce shop Primitive Beginnings. “I’ve always been creative and artistic…my business became an outlet,” Miller says. The concept was reflected in the name: taking something that once was, and turning it into something else.
In 2017, that concept became a new addition to Ellicott City’s Main Street. After a pop-up in nearby Taylor’s Collective, Primitive Beginnings opened in its own space in late March. Inside the light blue and white storefront were vintage-looking dresses; T-shirts with cheeky sayings, like “Whiskey & Yoga;” one-of-a-kind jewelry; succulents planted in ceramic heads, homewares like Edison bulbs and men’s items in the shop’s “mantiques” section.
After the successful run at Taylor’s, Miller found opening up on Main Street to be a no-brainer. “I liked the idea of being a part of the culture and renaissance that is Main Street,” she says. Now in the building that once held A Journey From Junk (which is holding court next door), Primitive Beginnings fits in, offering up-cycled children’s books turned into notebooks, and other repurposed items.
Transforming the Main Street store was a family affair. Daughters Ella and Abby helped add a fresh coat of paint to the walls and floor, and husband, Mike, wired lighting to the ceiling. Son, Drew…well, he played in the dirt.
Katy spent many late nights into the wee hours adding mounted shelfing, wall paper, and other custom touches to turn the storefront into one she was proud to call home. “One of the best parts of the store was actually the basement. There was so much space to organize my displace pieces as well as inventory…it was a welcome change from the cramped boxes in my garage where I’d been keeping things.” Although the store was on the smaller side, Katy said it offered everything that she needed for her first brick and mortar experience.
Miller says Primitive Beginnings grew as her children got older and she had more time to commit to the business. She took it on the road to trade shows like the Country Living Fair.
In 2017, Katy sold Primitive Beginnings and a year later began Honeybee Home. Honeybee Home celebrates interior design, specifically vintage, industrial, and upcycled goods. In 2019, Katy produced the first Hive Market, a seasonal vendor event designed to celebrate vintage and hand made artists in the community.
The first Hive Market took place in the fall of 2019, at Mary’s Land Farm in Clarksville, MD, and consisted of over 75 vendors. One-of-a-kind vintage / handmade goods, live music, food trucks, and a full cocktail bar drew over 2,500 people, making the first Hive a buzzing success.
Honeybee Home at Windmill Ranch
In 2022, Katy returned to her home state of Arizona and changed business focus to a different kind of decor: flowers. Having participated in barn sales and produced markets on East coast farms, she brought her knowledge back to her family’s North Scottsdale ranch. Planting a cut flower garden is the first step in transforming her grandfather’s homestead into a multi-faceted event venue.
Gallery: A look back
Over fifteen years in business. So many memories of beautiful places, amazing finds, and incredible people met along the way.