Special to The Times
Its beginnings were very humble indeed when a family decided to open its doors to offer clients a different idea in communication … the unspoken words of colors and scents from nature.
Forty years ago this month, Adriene’s Flowers and Gifts of Noblesville will celebrate 40 years of “providing the community and beyond an expression of love and joy.”
Jessie and Stanley Robinson and son, Doug Robinson, started the family business in 1979 believing there was a special need for a floral business that would serve the community and its customers much differently than other floral companies.
From the beginning and even today, many people believe that Adriene was the proud owner of Adriene’s Flowers. Adriene’s, as Jessie Robinson told the story, “was created for the purpose of being the first florist listed in the Yellowpages. There is no ‘Adriene!’” It was a smart move from her business savvy that lasts beyond today.
If you traveled south on Eighth Street from Conner Street in the late 1970s and early 1980s, you were most often fighting the steering wheel against the railroad tracks to get to the new store. With limited parking and a bar next door, you might have thought you entered a western town with boarded sidewalks. Upon entering the front door, you were most often met by Jessie Robinson, who always asked about your day, or part-time employees, Moffett, who was Mrs. Robinson’s daughter, and Stephen Craig, son-in-law, ready to take your order for that special occasion.
A leaky roof that always required one of the grandchildren to place buckets under drips and the need for a larger workroom caused the Robinsons to seek a new location.
Within a few years of its grand opening on Eighth Street, the store moved to 1249 E. Conner St., in an 1893 two-story house across the alley from the Craig House and First Presbyterian Church. It is here that the love and joy would continue to thrive throughout the last decade of the 20th century and continue on its mission through the eyes of Moffett and Stephen who bought the business from Moffett’s mother, father and brother in 1989.
Moffett, a professor of communication at IUPUI, and Stephen, a former farmer, did all they could to continue the tradition of providing love and joy to the community and its customers.
They became floral designers through classwork and continued to attend conferences to master the art of floral arranging. They became active members of the Indiana Floral Association, FTD, Teleflora, and other nationally known floral organizations. Moffett’s mom persuaded the continued education of the current owners and staff in order to have a reputation of being experts in the industry. In fact, you can find many of the owner’s designs at many regional shows and the FTD Convention in Chicago.
One of Jessie Robinson’s ideas was to increase the geographic area to Fishers and then on to the entire Metropolitan area of Indianapolis. Adriene’s Flowers continues to deliver floral arrangements to the Indianapolis area with the help of a co-op of 25 other Indy drivers.
She also believed that Adriene’s remain an integral part of the evolution of the community, and it continues to be involved in Noblesville Preservation Alliance’s annual Historic Home Tour, Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission, Tri Kappa Sorority, Noblesville Lions Club, the First Presbyterian Church of Noblesville, and many other local organizations.
Stephen and Moffett Craig continue to carry on the service and quality of product that the Robinsons began. Both of the couple’s sons, Aaron and Cameron, worked as drivers and in customer service. Later, Cameron went on to become a designer. Their grandson, Johnathan Baker, currently works in the shop.
Moffett pointed out that, “We have been blessed with many wonderful employees, but our stars are longtime associates Lupe Swindford and Nancy Hernandez. Lupe worked for my mom, dad, and brother and continues to expertly serve our customers. Plus, Nancy, out computer guru, who began working 23 years ago. They are family and Mom would be happy that we have kept the family feel in the shop.”
While there are many corporate floral companies around the nation, Adriene’s Flowers is one of those that cares about your message to loved ones and friends. Adriene’s Flowers is one of those that is your local destination for whatever you need help in expressing to another.
In that mission to serve the community for another 40 years, Adriene’s is celebrating its 40th anniversary from Monday, Sept. 9, through Saturday, Sept. 14. During the celebration, Adriene’s is asking for your help to give back to thecommunity in making contributions to the Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County, Coats for Kids, local food pantries, and Backpacks for the Lions-sponsored Leo Club at Noblesville High School.
Moffett and Stephen Craig said, “Bring what you can to show others love and joy in a community that is brighter than the most radiant flower.”
-Cameron Craig grew up in Noblesville, the son of Stephen and Moffett Craig, and is a geographer, climatologist, composer, and documentarian in the Department of Geology and Geography at Eastern Illinois University.