ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
Within one week, Jan Frantz decided to relocate Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop and open June 7 in a new location at 503 S. Main in Hillsboro.
Frantz moved from a small two-room shop on the 100 block of East Grand to a spacious and quaint older home close to Hillsboro Community Medical Center.
“Everybody said, ‘I knew you were going to need more space,'” Frantz said. “A lot of people came in the old location and felt crowded. And here, we’ve even got a room for bridal and funeral consultations, where people can make decisions in private.”
Frantz opened her shop on Grand Street in November of 2003. In her new location, she will continue to offer fresh flowers and arrangements, floral and accessory consultations for weddings and funerals, soy candles, balloon bouquets, silk-flower arrangements and a variety of gifts.
The new location, next to Leppke Realty & Auction Inc., was already zoned commercial. The rental home belongs to her parents, LaVerne and Jane Buchholz, and recently became a vacant rental property.
“We checked around town to see if there was anything available, and there wasn’t,” Frantz said. “So I talked to my father and he said, ‘Sure.'”
Although needing more space was one impetus for the move, Frantz said she was happy to be right next door to her parents so she can help take care of them.
Other reasons to move include an expanding business, more windows, and space to add new products and services.
“And it will be a fun place to be,” Frantz said.
Walking past a front yard of mature trees, visitors step up onto a small porch and enter the front retail space with a customer counter and a three-door floral cooler. A stairway to the side leads to second-floor storage.
Functioning as a workroom, the old kitchen is located west of the front area and has a refrigerator and a double sink.
“We’re using if for a place to do our ribbons and flowers,” Frantz said. “It has natural light with the two windows here. It’s also going to be our balloon room.”
Just past the former kitchen is the laundry room-a space dedicated to process deliveries and work on flower arranging.
Along a back hallway, three bedrooms share a front bathroom for staff and customers. One of the bedrooms will be used as a year-round Christmas room and will also be used to display other seasonal gift and floral items.
A second bedroom will be an extra work room and staff lounge. The third bedroom has been designated as the bridal and funeral consultation room.
“We have huge closets for when I get my tuxes in,” Frantz said. “We didn’t have any place for that in the last place. And eventually, we’ll spread retail items throughout the whole house.”
Hours will be 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday. Free delivery is available in Hillsboro.
In addition to her other services, Frantz offers Telaflora florist ordering.
“It’s a floral service that can go anywhere in the United States and internationally,” Frantz said. “You can wire out and wire in flowers, so people can send them anywhere in the country. It works really well.”
She will continue to offer bouquets of prearranged flowers for $5 each on Fridays, a service she began in March.
“It’s been amazing, I never have any left,” Frantz said. “They’re always fresh flowers for every week-picked and ordered each week-and they’re not left overs. If we sell out and somebody comes in, I’ll make up something for them. Some people even book them ahead.”
As owner and manager, Frantz is in charge of the flower arrangements. She also counts on help from her part-time employees-daughter Laci Vogt and a second employee, Lori Bebermeyer.
Both women encouraged her to make the move, but Frantz said she had some realistic concerns about her decision. Moving out of the downtown area meant losing walk-in traffic.
“But that’s not as big as the people who purposely come in,” Frantz said.
“Relocating is always hard, but I’m hoping that I was in business long enough that people want to find me and will continue to want to have the kind of customer service we give and the flowers we offer.”
Although she had a four-day grand opening in November at her first location, Frantz said she plans a “Grander Opening” the first of August in her new spot.
“I’m excited about the space, the comfort of my customers and what we’ll be able to offer,” Frantz said. “I’m really hoping people feel they can come and browse leisurely. Atmosphere, friendliness and the customer are very important to me.”