Several years ago, Jan Frantz said she would never go into the flower business again. But with the biggest floral holiday of the year coming next week, and 600 roses scheduled for delivery by Saturday at her new shop, Jan’s Floral Design in Hillsboro, she knows there is truth to the old adage, “never say never”.
“I keep coming back to the flowers,” Frantz said. “It is just part of who I am. The creative part of me just loves to play with them. This doesn’t feel like work, it’s just like playing.”
It was with a bit of skepticism that Frantz accepted Marie Kessler’s invitation to check out her building as a possible place for a flower shop in Hillsboro last July. However, by Aug. 19, Frantz had flowers in her cooler and was taking orders from customers at 108 S. Main.
“I just love the atmosphere here,” Frantz said. “When I saw the mirrors and the spacious room, I knew I could work here. I love the neatness of this shop.”
Other building plusses for Frantz included the close-by, rear outside entry, allowing easy access to bring flowers into the staging area. A nearby water source and open handicapped-accessible floor space added to the positive feel of the whole situation.
Frantz also appreciated the fact that, as part of Kessler’s vendor-orientated mini-mall shop, she was never alone and could have someone cover her area when she needed to make deliveries.
“It’s so nice to have other people around all the time,” she said. “With all the consignors that are part of this, I don’t have to have all my funds tied up with inventory to bring people in.”
This aspect allows Frantz more time for her favorite activity, arranging flowers.
“I always have flowers and arrangements available,” she said. “I do weddings, proms, etc., but my favorite is funeral arrangements. I love to work with family members to make something especially meaningful.”
Frantz said she has incorporated tractors, Pepsi cans, and other unique items into funeral flower displays, as requested by family members of the deceased.
Family is important to Frantz in other ways. The spacious area in her flower shop makes it easy for her to bring her wheelchair-bound mother in. The extra income from working with something she loves is good too.
“I guess one of the other reasons I am back at work is because of family,” she said. “With four grown children, several in college, they all need money.”
Frantz and her husband, Leonard, live five miles north of Hillsboro, where they farm and raise hogs along with a son, Ethan, who is a student at Tabor College. Leonard is also a mail carrier in Hillsboro.
Frantz’s family also includes a son in New Jersey, a son in Oakley, and a daughter in Junction City. It was on a visit to New Jersey that Frantz noticed the success of several mini-mall buildings and brought home ideas to her Hillsboro flower shop.
“There was a small town there that had just about died out,” she said. “They converted several old buildings into mini-malls, much like we have done here, and they are thriving now.”
Frantz hopes to add a sitting area on the west side of her current flower shop area, providing a space for men who might accompany their wives or girlfriends shopping.
“We have Wi-fi available here, and I want to put up a television for the men. I know I often make my husband wait while I shop, so I think it would be a good addition.”
Frantz is also working on a website for Jan’s Floral Design, and she hopes to have that up and running soon. In the meantime, she plans to spend every spare moment from Saturday on, pulling leaves and thorns off roses in preparation for Valentine’s Day.
“My hands will get sore,” she said. “But the flowers smell so good and I know they will make someone happy.”
Frantz shares her flower shop building with Kessler’s Kreations — a quilt and fabric store — and several individual vendors whose shops feature jewelry, portraits, aprons, tea towels, antiques, crock pottery, painted saws, hand-painted lampshades, and many other unique items.