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A ‘farm’ in the city

A ‘farm’ in the city

By Rick Hinton

Queen Anne’s Farmhouse & Flower Shoppe is a unique business venture in Greenwood. The shop offers a philosophy on what we should be contemplating and how we can improve the quality of our lives.

Old houses carry a certain kind of romance – and opportunity. However, sometimes, a brick-and-mortar operation achieves the same goal. Queen Anne’s meets those expectations.

It’s not easy to find. Melinda (Mel) Smith’s business, evolving in August 2018, is located at 200 Byrd Way, Suite 105, in Greenwood, next to the purring traffic of southbound I-65. If you find Brickhouse Coffee Co. and then The Nest Event Center, you have arrived. Go to the door inside The Nest, into the indoor mall and you will find Queen Anne’s Farmhouse & Flower Shoppe on your left. For a new business, it’s a frustrating location obstacle.

Owner Mel Smith, left, speaks with
first-time customers, Sonia & Elizabeth Kemper from Greenwood. (Photos by Rick Hinton)

“We are trying to figure out creative means around zoning and regulations to let people know we are here!” Mel stated. “It’s definitely a barrier. I wanted to stay close to the ‘Farm’, 10 minutes east in Rocklane. I knew I needed a storefront as a platform to start sharing info on what our ministry and journey was about. The Southside of Indianapolis has small business charm.”

Regardless, there are those who have found it. And, glad they did!

A mission of wellness

The mission statement reads, “To create a community spirit of kindness through a simple business principle of selling time and quality … with customers to be cared for as family, and products which reduce and reuse our carbon footprints and educate the relationships between nature and people.”

The mission strives on beyond that — everyone matters … it takes a village … diversity IS community … change is growth. Simplified, it’s all about building a stronger community, one flower at a time.

Smith, born and bred in Richmond, Indiana, studied biology at Purdue. Deciding it was not to be her future occupation, she went into nursing, practicing for 14 years in the inner-city involving kids residing in an undeserved population area.

Trisha Hassfunder is a partner in the business. She studied agriculture education at
Purdue University.

“I got to a point where healthcare changed. It wasn’t what it was when I went into it,” she stated. “It was cattle herding kids in terms of productivity and numbers, not the quality of spending the time they needed. I’ve always wanted to have my own business … a ministry. To raise awareness of social platforms of kindness and healthcare reform. And, taking a holistic approach.”

The business was not named after a particular style of Victorian house, but rather after the wildflower — Queen Anne’s Lace.

Trisha Hassfunder, a native of Madison, Indiana, is a partner in the venture. A graduate from Purdue, she studied agricultural education for three years. Through the 4-H extension program, she met Smith. She asked her for the opportunity to work with her in her new venture. She has been at the Greenwood business for three months, calling Bargersville home.

“I hope it will grow into what we’re expecting,” she said. “I came here for the flowers but stayed for the teaching. I want to be a good resource for people. Being out on the farm, having the sun fall on your face and to hear and smell the animals, to groom a horse or a cow. …”

It doesn’t get much better than that!

An agrotherapy approach

Queen Anne’s offers a variety of health-based options centered on agrotherapy concepts. “A connection to nature in terms of mental and physical health, blood pressure and pulse. Here, in Western medicine, there are only presently pills and instant fixes,” Smith said.

Fresh flowers are available for customers.

In the shop are offerings of custom-made gifts, art, flower arrangements, piano lessons, fund-raising opportunities, faith-based classes encompassing the fruits of the Spirit, a book club, membership opportunities and field trips to the ‘Farm’ for science, nature, health and leadership training events.

What’s been the community response thus far? “It’s been absolutely amazing!” Mel responded, sitting behind the large farm table in her shop. “These are loyal, faithful, amazing customers! I don’t even call them customers … I call them family! We are very appreciative!”

Hassfunder added, “Building a community — one flower at a time — is not an overnight process. It’s building a relationship — one day at a time! Faith drives you to that. The past is past and tomorrow’s the future. You focus upon today, and God takes care of all the rest!”

Why did you decide to open this business?

Because I looked in the mirror, saw my gray hair and thought, what’s my contribution? My contribution has to be more than clicking a button and sticking a stethoscope up to a kid’s chest. That’s not why I went into healthcare. I have to leave a legacy of mentorship … that you can dream big, and it doesn’t happen without hard work and dedication. You have to be willing to be obedient and serve.

What did you do to prepare for opening your business? Prayed. It’s more than a business, it’s a ministry. You have to trust that it’s going to be OK. If He brought you here, He’s not going to abandon you. He’ll open up paths and doors to make it work!

Who is your ideal customer? Anyone. We want everyone to feel welcomed here, to feel they have a place to come. To have a place at the table to be open and honest.

How do you plan to be successful? By prayer … and staying true to our mission. Everything we do and create has to meet that. That’s where we pour our time and energy. If we do that, everything will fall into place.

What would people be surprised about your business? That’s a very good question! Our business is unique. How many places can you go where you can get truly local and know the story of it? I think that’s our niche – that stories matter!

How would you describe your atmosphere? Calming … inviting … homey … friends. Something for everyone. We are just two farm girls who have a vision and a dream.

Queen Anne’s Farmhouse & Flower Shoppe • 200 Byrd Way, Ste. 105, Greenwood, IN 46143 • (765) 994-9699

Monday, by appointment only • Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. • Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. • Sunday: closed

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