Honey creating oasis for mothers in Ferndale

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and that essentially sums up how Brooke Miller created honey, a comprehensive wellness space for mothers and mothers-to-be in Ferndale. The mom of two was then inspired to open honey because it was something she wanted—and couldn’t find.

She first opened in Royal Oak after sharing the idea with a friend who had a room to rent. It took a year to build relationships with other moms, find out what they wanted, and write up her business plan. She then relocated to Ferndale, significantly expanding her space. Honey recently marked its one-year anniversary in the Ferndale location.

“I went from a room to a business,” Miller says. And the business has been flourishing since the move, with the addition of new services and staff.

The 2,000-square-foot space on Hilton Road is an oasis for mothers whether they need some rest or to do some work. It looks and feels more like a good friend’s living room, with candles and flowers decorating the calming space, a dark gray couch with plenty of pillows and a large chalkboard that communicates honey’s mission and vision. 
 
The foundational programs are the six-week group sessions, separated into different sections depending on the age of the child. In addition to the groups, honey offers psychotherapy and counseling services (Miller is a licensed psychotherapist), a full-service salon, a photo studio, and business coaching and networking.

The business services have been so successful that honey is launching a six-month business program called Final Push to help women entrepreneurs not only build a foundation upon to create their business but also to give them the resources to ensure their long-term success. 
 
Miller, a Michigan native who moved to California for several years for college and work and recently returned with her family, took some time to answer questions about her business and show Metromode around honey, which was in the middle of upgrading its childcare room and co-working space when we visited recently.

What inspired you to come up with the idea to create a comprehensive wellness space for moms that includes yoga, beauty services, and co-working?

What inspired me in the first place was simply that I was looking for this space. I couldn't find it. So I started it myself. My daughters were two and four months at the time, and I started honey with the hope that there were other moms out there who wanted the same thing I did: community.

My job has shifted though, from building what I needed to building what the mamas in our community want, need and deserve. Honey belongs to our mamas. We've added healing and supportive services along the way that they have asked for. It's been an honor to run a business where I'm most often able to say, yes ... we can do that for you.

You cater to moms and moms to be. On your website, you share your personal struggles and how it was motherhood that brought you to your knees. What was it about motherhood that was more challenging than brain surgery, depression, and a childhood fire?

Everything I've been through in my life like depression, brain tumors, fires, and anything else, was and has been about me—my body, struggles, my traumas, my choices, my healing. Becoming a mother has been a personal journey, but the act of mothering, although we like to pretend is about us, isn't at all. 
 
It's about ushering another human towards their path, giving them as many tools as they are willing to receive, and taking a big deep breath as they do life in the way that is best for them. … There is nothing more transformative, scary, messy, beautiful, magical, nauseating, joyful than motherhood. Brain surgery is nothing compared.

Moms are often bombarded with conflicting information. What are some examples of this?

There is a lot of information out there—people want to express themselves. People who just want to “help.” It's not specific information that's bad per se, it's just … too much information. Too many people getting their help all over the place. Everyone thinks they have the truth ... and they share it online, in line at the grocery store, when they come to see the baby. 
 
When a new mom who isn't sure what her personal truth is yet, isn't sure what her unique right is, and isn't confident on her way yet … it can be mind-numbing-heart-racing-self-judging-overwhelming.

My team and I always focus on calming those outside voices, helping moms connect with the inner wisdom they were gifted when they became mothers. Their maternal instinct is powerful, and it's always there—although sometimes pushed down by the stampede of information coming towards them at all times. From our space to our programs to the music in the background. We strive to have less noise, more heart.

Honey is located at 3136 Hilton Rd., Ferndale, MI 48220. 248-232-2555.

Read more articles by Dorothy Hernandez.

Dorothy Hernandez lives, eats and writes in Detroit. Her areas of interest and expertise include food, community, and entrepreneurship.
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