The Lillie & Pine Story
It all started with a recipe and a hundred bucks.
Katy Miller (Founder) and her mom who she convinced to retire and help with this little hobby project. Which is now a massively growing family business. Here's how it all started.
My mother in law gave me her sugar scrub recipe and $100 for Christmas in 2015 to “do something fun.” I was amazed by the beauty and power of plant-based ingredients. Quickly, I became obsessed with creating new recipes and testing them on loved ones.
We had been married less than a year when I said, "Honey, I accidentally started a business in our home."
Lillie & Pine unintentionally became a handcrafted bath + body brand in 2017 and this little winter project became my vocation. I chose the name Lillie & Pine because they are the two streets our family called home growing up.
In the beginning, I was able to store my precious supplies on a single shelf in our kitchen. That same year we had a baby and were approached by Iowa Naturals, one of our favorite soap companies, to buy them out. So we did, a few weeks before Christmas, because we're crazy. That's when I called Mom and said "hey whatcha doin?"
Which was very timely as Sadie was now a very active baby and we got a very exciting call from Isabel Bloom asking if we would like to carry our entire line in their stores. Mom got a long weekend to enjoy retirement and we were both drinking from a firehose that first day.
A favorite memory was when she asked "where do you keep your files?" Ha! Today we have files.
Saint Sue came to help us that Christmas and we've still never let her leave.
And that little Etsy became this website.
As Lillie & Pine was starting to take over more than half of our home, an exciting new community of makers and doers was emerging inside The Spotlight Theatre building in downtown Moline. We now call this home.
Inside this bright, cheery space we handcraft and ship orders to your home and our retail partners. This year our operations expanded to include private label.
When the statistics emerged about the likelihood of small businesses re-opening after the shutdown, I started to wonder how I was going walk away from the work we love.
Late one night in March, I was gazing up at our towering shelves full of products and ingredients, wondering what to do with it all, when my mom called. She was looking at a recipe for hand sanitizer.
We had all the necessary ingredients on the list in gallons, including isopropyl alcohol, which was impossible to find on the market.
We lived to see another day and had the privilege to donate 10% of our sales each week to a different local businesses forced to suspend.
I still get choked up that we were able to grow our family of customers and make new community partners, such as Buttercupp Candles.
We became a family on
Lillie Avenue & Pine Street.
This is a family operation. From the first conversation about sugar scrub with my mother in law, to the most recent bar of soap hand beveled by Dad, every family member puts their heart along with mine into Lillie & Pine.
One of the best surprises came when my mom, Kathy, went from being my best customer to my full-time partner. Then my Dad joined our team 18 months later. My brother Eric doesn't get out of this either. From his home in Idaho he advises us on environmental resources and impact. Every time he is home, he's at the studio labeling soaps with Dad.
We intentionally package our products to send a bit of joy and happiness to your family from ours.