I don’t really have free time because I own two businesses, The Brass Cactus and Bee Season Floristry. I have a new dog, so I take him for walks. I’m a crafter. I have a lot of other women business-owner friends, and so when I have free time I try to make sure I have quality time with them because they really help recharge. They understand the craziness that is business owning.
The Brass Cactus I co-own. My business partner is Emily Keisler. She actually lives in Fort Wayne.
Bee Season Floristry is formerly Flowers by Phoebe. Phoebe (Brubaker) is still a partner. She really helps with consulting, and then also research and development. So future products, and really developing some things that she would have liked to have been developing when she was here, but because of how fast the business grew she just wasn’t able to do that. So now she’s able to take some of those dreams and really help develop that to help the business grow.
It was wonderful because Phoebe is so well-loved. Her style is so different for this area. What we’re doing by really supporting local farmers is very different for the area. It’s very different from your traditional florist.
As soon as we started looking for a retail space here for the bridal shop, we went over to Common Spirits. We were chatting with Jami (Hawkins) and she’s like, ‘Oh, you should talk to this person and this person.’ Every place we went, even though we were brand new to town, people were like, ‘We want you to do well, here’s this information, here’s this person, here’s who you should talk to.’ Part of it is just the people. The business owners here, by and large, are welcoming. They want other businesses to do well.
The other thing, too, is being in such a small town but still having Downtown Goshen Inc. and the Chamber of Commerce that are built-in ways that make it so small businesses can have a platform that maybe they couldn’t have if they were in an area that didn’t have those services. …Having those two resources is huge, and just having a community that cares about local businesses.
That’s not something you can plan for or cultivate yourself. People either care or they don’t care. Here, the support for local businesses is impressive. It is very similar to the kind of community I was a part of when I was in Indianapolis. It’s very surprising to see that in a northern Indiana city, because it doesn’t exist everywhere.
Writing, editing, and photography by Scott Weisser and Neil King
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