About Us


On a 12 hour car ride home from a summer vacation in Maine, the kids finally fell asleep in the back seat, and the idea of a new kind of store awoke. What if someone assembled all your favorite things together and invited you over. It would be like a gathering of friends under one roof; a retreat from the ordinary, and everyone’s favorite spot to escape the everyday. The store would have to have a story -- as all good treasures do – about the person, the rust, and the life before.

Primitive Beginnings began just like that, in the front seat of a very ordinary minivan somewhere along the monotonous stretch of Route 95 outside of Maryland. This idea was a beginning, and founding owner, Katy Miller, was happy to have at least that as a place to start. 

american made

Over the next 10 years, Primitive Beginnings collaborated with artists from across the country and became a source for unique American-made products. Keeping the story in mind, Primitive Beginnings sought after upcycled goods, and those with history and a life beyond their original design. Some favorites include license plates turned fashion as bracelets, and forgotten children’s books reborn as reminiscent journals. Giving something the chance to be new and useful again -- despite its primitive beginnings -- became the theme of the store.



In addition to gifts, Primitive Beginnings brings its repurposed approach to home décor. Grain sacks from Germany become pillows with European lineage, architectural salvage turns into one-of-a-kind lighting, and discarded turn-of-the-century iron work is re-imagined as intricate wall art. 



Our team travels throughout the state of Maryland, and beyond, to find forgotten memorabilia, posters, and industrial salvage, not to mention anything else that catches our eye as different… or often times familiar in a “life story” sort of way. We bring all these treasures back to our Main Street store, and while some serve as props to tell our story, others become an uncommon picking experience for our customers. We’ve already traipsed though the mud and the tall weeds of that Pennsylvania barn for you, so you can enjoy the hunt on our “pickin porch” without your Wellies! These unique finds are only available in store, in our Historic Ellicott City location. 


Expanding the story

With the launch of our Historic Ellicott City Main Street storefront in 2017, Primitive Beginnings began a new chapter. Our story expanded to include the visionary talents of Jeff Braswell, who brings over 10 years of e-commerce and product development. This partnership has produced exciting new product lines for Primitive Beginnings, including exclusive apparel, jewelry, and gifts. Co-owners Jeff and Katy look forward to sharing the continued story of Primitive Beginnings as they transition into their first brick and mortar location. So gather your friends, bring the rust, and share in the life of our primitive beginnings.


We hope that you enjoy your experience at Primitive Beginnings.

Check back often for our latest found treasures!