When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, Kaitlyn Makers reconsidered her career in entertainment. The 25-year-old founder of the Frederick Jams concert series knew there wouldn’t be much work available for quite a while.
So she turned to her other interests for inspiration. Spending a lot of time at home, she was surrounded by her many houseplants, a hobby she continually pursued since high school.
“When I was spending all this time going to different nurseries and collecting more for my houseplant collection, I thought, you know, it’d be really cool to have a boutique-type place in downtown Frederick,” she said.
Take Root, Makers’ houseplant shop, opened in Everedy Square Oct. 10. Makers sold about half of her inventory in her opening weekend alone.
The shop sells a large variety of houseplants including succulents, snake plants and other hard-to-kill varieties. While Makers does carry a few varieties that are a little more finicky, most of her 200+ plants would be suitable for a beginner. She can also offer tips and advice to customers.
“It’s one of those things where just because you’ve killed plants in the past doesn’t mean you can’t keep them alive in the future,” she said.
Now is a great time to get into houseplants, Makers said, with so many people spending time at home. This is especially important with winter coming.
“They’ve actually done studies on [plants], that it does help with seasonal depression because it kind of brings that green that everyone’s missing from outside, indoors,” Makers said. “Plants are actually fairly simple during the winter because they kind of go dormant.”
Makers gets her plants from a variety of family-owned nurseries on the East Coast, some of which are up to four hours away. She plans to have new plants every week.
“I try to find different nurseries because each nursery offers a different style house plant,” Makers said. “So I try to curate from a bunch of different places to get a large variety in here.”
While Makers has previously worked in entertainment and marketing, she has always wanted to start her own business. Her mother has owned Primitive Homespuns Wool and Needleworks on Shab Row since Makers was in the fourth grade.
“It’s helpful to have family that’s also been there because starting a small business is not the easiest thing to do,” Makers said. “... But I have such a supportive family with it, because they’ve been there and done that, so they totally understood.”
Now that the shop is open, Makers is excited to meet more members of the community and talk plants. She said the community has been very receptive and welcoming so far — one customer even brought her champagne on her opening day.
And while she did not expect to open her own business this year, she’s glad that’s the path she’s now on.
“I just kind of jumped in. It was kind of the time,” she said. “It’s either gonna be now, during a time where careers are weird for people, or I’m gonna get back into the swing of things and then always wish I had done something like this.”