Heather Zickler has always ensured Jubilee Flowers and Gifts maintains a community-first focus.
While making a flower arrangement or a gift basket, handling flowers for weddings and funerals and adding unique gifts and home decor to her showroom were keys to a successful business, it was equally important to give back to the community whenever she could.
That’s actually how she got to know one of the people who took ownership of her business at the start of 2021.
She and Luke Nolting were serving on the Jackson County United Way board of directors together when they began chatting about something they had in common: Owning a flower shop.
Zickler opened Jubilee in Seymour in 1997, while Luke and Caitlin Nolting and Lonny and Jackie Gibson took over Anytime Florals and Gifts in Brownstown in February 2019.
A couple of years ago after a board meeting, Zickler said she asked Luke about buying her business. She was pondering retirement.
“You’re 24/7,” she said of owning a business. “I was getting to the point I couldn’t make this go any further because I’m an accountant, I’m human resources, I’m making sure we have drivers.”
Plus, social media was becoming more prevalent for businesses.
“I knew that it was just something I could not put on my plate. I didn’t have time. I was just trying to juggle so much,” Zickler said.
“It’s time for the younger generation to push it forward,” she said. “To push it forward, I didn’t know what I had to do, but I had to do something else. This is my solution. It’s time for the younger generation to shine.”
As of Jan. 1, the Noltings are the owners of Jubilee.
After the couple had their first child last year, Luke said he hoped to give Caitlin more flexibility with her job as a nurse in the intensive care unit at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.
“When we bought Anytime with Jackie three years ago, that was just such a learning experience for all of us,” Luke said. “Caitlin is so creative and reminds me so much of Heather just in how they act and how they put things together, and Caitlin really enjoyed Anytime, and when Heather mentioned this opportunity, I thought it was just a wonderful way to grow the business and be able to serve both towns.”
Now, along with managing the two flower shops, Caitlin works at Schneck as needed as a PRN, and Luke is a funeral director at Spurgeon Funeral Home in Brownstown.
“Luke knows all of the business portion of owning a business, but he instills the confidence in me that I am capable to be creative, and he pushed me into Anytime and how to make that business better, and it did. It just blossomed,” Caitlin said.
“It didn’t take near as long for him to persuade me into Jubilee as it did Anytime, the first time me not knowing anything about business having a nursing degree,” she said. “I’m excited about what we can do.”
Zickler graduated from Indiana University with a history degree and then didn’t know what she wanted to do for a career.
Since she is creative, doing everything from hair braiding to sewing to making jewelry, she said she decided to take a shot at opening a gift shop.
“I thought I’d try it and loved it,” she said. “It wasn’t easy to get off the ground.”
Jubilee opened at the corner of Walnut and Tipton streets selling gifts and chocolate. A year later, she added flowers.
“It took about a year to figure out I wasn’t going to make it on chocolate and gifts,” Zickler said. “I just kind of took that next step.”
She and her staff then became busy making flowers for weddings and funerals and also for the holidays and the everyday.
The shop later moved to the southwest corner of O’Brien and Tipton streets before eight years ago moving to 801 W. Tipton St., where it remains today.
As for what helped the business thrive and grow, Zickler said determination and good employees. Two employees stayed with her for 20 years.
“I had a great supporting cast around me,” she said.
Through the transition of ownership, all of the staff will remain the same.
“We are very thankful for them and the working relationship we have with them,” Luke said of the Jubilee employees. “All of them have been great to work with through this transition, so we’re very thankful to have employees that are so knowledgeable in the industry to carry on.”
The Nolting also appreciate Zickler.
“We are so thankful for Heather and the relationship that her and I have had just to be able to walk in and have such a smooth transition to this business,” Luke said. “Obviously, we know the industry, but this is a step up, and we’re just so fortunate that she trusts us to continue on the legacy.”
Zickler said the Noltings are the right fit to keep the business going.
“They are awesome,” she said. “They are young, for one. I am such a firm believer in it’s the youth. Things have changed so rapidly, and they have an understanding of things that I can never comprehend and I’m in my 40s, so I knew they would do well.”
She also has seen what they have done with Anytime Florals and Gifts.
“I watched that and how well they did, so I was just confident,” Zickler said. “And we share the same philosophy on community and what it means to be involved in the community and part of a community.”
The Noltings already have made one addition to the business: A flower club. For $35, $55 or $75, an arrangement can be sent to a loved one, a family member, a friend or yourself.
Kraig Klosterman plans to host some fresh flower and seasonal classes while also continuing to promote products, services and special events via social media, and Jubilee will be adding home decor and unique gifts.
Now that she’s retired, Zickler said she’s excited to see what gift lines the Noltings choose for the shop, and she plans to enjoy her well-deserved time off.
“We’re drifting west, and we’ll just see,” Zickler said of her family’s plans. “You never know what is next.”
At a glance
Jubilee Flowers and Gifts is at 801 W. Tipton St., Seymour.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
For information, call 812-522-3655 or visit jubileeflowers.com or facebook.com/Jubilee-Flowers-Gifts-141139802710819.