Q&A with The Flower BoysDecember 3, 2018
Since 2017 the City Market has been happy to have smiling faces greeting market-goers with bright bouquets at The Flower Boys! We asked them a few questions about their flowers, the DIY arranging workshops they put on, and more!
- What’s your background (each of you)?
Jake Rupp: I grew up in a family business that grows and sells seed in rural area of northwest Ohio. After gaining a couple business degrees from Indiana Wesleyan, I started a Financial Practice here in Indianapolis. After a few years of owning and operating that, I sold the practice to pursue other interests. Around that time, [Jake] Smith and I started a holding company that houses a flower shop and another business. I am also a Real Estate Developer for Hendricks Commercial Properties here in Indy.
Jake Smith: I grew up in an entrepreneurial family that started their own flower shop in Dayton, Ohio, called The Flowerman, which also began in a market. I was home-schooled and worked with my family all the way up to 8th grade and absolutely loved the ambition and creativity my parents displayed while trying to grow their own business. I went to Indiana Wesleyan University to study marketing and business administration in the hopes of owning my own business some day. After school I was accepted into an entrepreneurial group in Indianapolis called the Orr Fellowship and began to work at one of the fastest growing e-commerce retailers called SupplyKick. After my two years in the Orr Fellowship, Jake Rupp and I began to get together frequently to discuss different ideas and The Flower Boys was something we both kept coming back to. We eventually decided to move forward and it has been an incredible experience thanks to our team.
Jeanette Logan: Growing up in a farming family in rural central Ohio, I learned the value and importance of hard work and an appreciation for nature’s beauty. After graduating high school, I earned a degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Indiana Wesleyan University with the hopes of teaching internationally. After graduation, I ended up teaching online to children in China along with working as a barista at Foundry Provisions. One year of teaching passed, and I discovered that I had a passion for people and a desire to help them through avenues outside of teaching. I started working for Jake Rupp’s financial practice as his administrative assistant. I like to think of myself as a jack-of-all-trades. I like learning on the go, and all of the jobs I have done have definitely lead me to this position at The Flower Boys.
Beth Ann Thomas: I studied fine art at a small college in Chattanooga, TN. I moved to Indy for an internship at The Harrison Center after graduation, along with my then-boyfriend-now-husband. We both found jobs shortly after our internships ended and decided to stay (and get married!) and live in the city. I’m currently a practicing artist, which is highly influenced by my work here at the Flower Boys!
- How did you guys come to get involved in flowers and floral arranging?
JR: Entrepreneurs at heart, we wanted to start businesses that create jobs and benefit our economy. A flower shop made sense to us to start because of my business partner’s family business. Since they were in the floral business, we were able to borrow connections to local growers, and found an opportunity in downtown Indy. Learning about flowers and floral arranging has been a great deal of fun, and i’m continuing to get better! My passion specifically for flowers has grown as well!
JS: With both my family background and Jake Rupp’s family background it made a lot of sense in terms of experience, buying power, opportunities within Indianapolis, and people we knew who would be perfect to help us build up the business. Thankfully, with my family’s 30+ years of experience in the industry we have been able to bypass a lot of the issues many smaller florists face and can focus more on the creative side of this business.
JL: I was really involved in community theatre growing up, and my family would bring flowers to the show. After getting the flowers, I would arrange them to my liking as well as adding in flowers from my mom’s garden. Fast forward to being engaged and looking for a florist! I asked some friends for suggestions of a florist and everyone I talked to highly recommended The Flowerman! I met with them and learned about their DIY option that gives brides the opportunity to be hands on and put their flowers together with a floral coach. This was definitely what sparked my interest into this career now! Little did I know that The Flowerman himself was Jake Smith’s dad and that I would eventually end up managing a shop of his and be the head designer for weddings! Obviously there are a lot more details in the story that I left out, I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with flowers and friends.
BAT: The design and construction of flowers has always really intrigued me. I put my own flowers together for my wedding, which furthered my strong desire to learn more about floral design. I was lucky enough to meet Jeanette when we worked together at Foundry Provisions, a coffee shop on 16th street. We immediately bonded, and dreamed of working with flowers together someday. Jeanette caught wind of the Jakes’ plan to open a flower shop and BAM-- our dream came true! I was brought on about six months after they opened shop, and we’ve put in so much hard work and had tons fun together since then!
- What brought you to the Indy City Market? How did you come to be here?
JR: We were looking for downtown real estate to open our shop. Space that was highly visible, at a good price. The City Market seemed like the perfect place for us to land!
JS: My family got their start in markets and have been involved with starting quite a few within Ohio, so I was very familiar with the appeal that they bring to new businesses. City markets like the one we are in provide great traffic and visibility all for an affordable price. They are also a great place to spark creativity since there are so many other vendors around you who are constantly developing new ideas for their own business which can inspire you.
- What sorts of flowers, and other products, do you offer on a regular basis?
We pretty much always have roses, daisies, various greenery, and mixed bouquets on hand. For more specialty flowers, like lisianthus, delphinium, solidago, or waxflower, we have standing rack filled with individual bunches that we can put together into any sort of arrangement you’d like! We also love to do seasonal, hand-mixed bouquets with flowers and foliage that are local for a grab & go option!
Along with our flowers, we offer handmade soy candles made by Unplug Candle Co. and locally designed cards by Haven Paperie. Original artwork by our own Beth Ann Thomas is also on display and for sale!
- Where do you source your flowers (and other products) from?
We get our flowers from all over the world, including right here in Indiana! What’s different about us, though, is that we actually get them directly from the growers instead of using a middle man.
- If people are looking into the DIY arranging workshops you put on, why should they sign up?
We love teaching others the joys of flower arranging! It offers a great break in your routine to try something new. We have found that those who take our classes walk away with tools and ideas that they can use in the future on their own. With the help of an instructor, you are able to take something home that you love and is unique because you made it!
- Why should people stop by your shop? What’s great about fresh flowers or a bouquet?
To say hi, of course! Also, our stock is refreshed weekly, so it’s always worth it to pop by and see what’s new! We love interacting with our customers, and we love helping them make their day a little more beautiful. We often hear people say that fresh flowers just die, so they aren’t worth buying. We think that’s actually what makes them so precious and lovely! It’s a way to bring someone, or yourself, a little bit of fleeting joy during a difficult, exciting, or everyday moment.
- How can people contact you if they’re interested in your arranging services for weddings or other events?
You can contact us through email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on our website through the contact page! We love helping our clients create a wonderful vision for their big events!
*Pictured Here: Açai Bowl from Twenty Two Juice decorated by The Flower Boys*
- What’s next for The Flower Boys?
Our hope is to grow and expand to be the premier Wedding Florist in the Region, as well as continuing to grow our flourishing partnerships with local businesses. Additional retail locations are on our radar, and our footprint in Indianapolis is being solidified more each day.