Feather your nest

Feather your nest

Robin’s Nest Flowers & Gifts

Story and photos by Jennifer Woods

From the time she first opened the doors to Robin’s Nest Flowers & Gifts over 26 years ago until today, Robin Beekman has been actively involved in Fayette County and has kept the shop in the same Jeffersonville location.

Beekman worked for other businesses prior to starting her own — adding to over 39 years of experience working with flowers. When the opportunity knocked to open her own store as a florist, she took it. Although she used to rent the space her shop is in, she now owns it and loves being her own boss.

Beekman grew up in Fayette County. She and her husband, Gary, have been living on his family farm since they wed and will be celebrating their 39th anniversary in August.

The couple raised two sons together — Jayson and Jonathon. Jonathon is 29 while Jayson is 32 and married to Kelli. Beekman has one stepgrandson named Tommy. He has been part of the family for approximately two years and attends Miami Trace Elementary School. Beekman gave a large smile as she spoke about spoiling Tommy for Christmas with so many toys that she was asked to not buy as many the next holiday season.

Life wouldn’t be complete for Beekman without her German Shepherd/black lab mix, Brutus, who she said is “the light of my life; I love him.” The other pet in her heart is Stubby — “He is a black cat with a little stubby tail.”

She spends countless hours working at her business, which offers a variety of items — afghans, candles, lanterns, stuffed animals and wind chimes, among other items. Latex and Mylar balloons can be purchased or filled with helium if customers bring them in.

Fresh flowers are delivered daily from four suppliers and then arranged by Beekman into colorful and elegant bouquets. She hand delivers many of the orders and travels outside of Jeffersonville to do so. She said being centrally located is helpful as it allows her to more easily travel to various places.

Beekman creates many types of arrangements, including fresh-cuts, planters, silks, balloon bouquets, funeral baskets, wedding bouquets and centerpieces. She has stuffed birthday party baskets with candy depending on the age of the person whose birthday it is.

As Beekman cuts stems for arrangements, many times they fall to her feet. She said Gary wants to get her a larger trash can to make clean-up after arranging flowers easier, but she laughed as she explained her preference to just toss and go. She cleans the leaves and stems up once her arrangements have been completed and delivered.

According to Beekman, the items she sells the most are roses. The yellow rose is her personal preference as “they always have a really pretty smell.”

Her favorite arrangements to design and deliver are the ones with “fresh flowers. Each bouquet is different — it’s for a different reason, a different occasion.”

As warmer months approach, Beekman will sell a mixture of items, especially funeral baskets. Some of her busiest days during the year come from occasions such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Centerpieces are popular for larger gatherings, especially around Christmas time.

Beekman also takes pride in helping her community and does so through various means.

Last school year she donated school supplies to the Early Learning Center (also known as Head Start) in Jeffersonville.

When children sign up for the Carnegie Library Jeffersonville branch’s summer reading program, the children can bring a slip of paper into her shop and redeem it for a balloon.

Candie Rhoads, a local who recently brought in her grandchildren to collect their balloons after signing up for the reading program, thanked Beekman.

“She does a wonderful job,” Rhoads said. “My brother — for Mother’s Day — ordered my mom a bouquet and that thing is still beautiful.”

Her customers are a mixture of younger and older with many people who stop in just for a chat and a listening ear. Beekman explained that people feel comfortable when they come into her shop and she enjoys talking with them. “You build your customer base and they’re very loyal, they’re like family.”

There are several organizations throughout Fayette County that Beekman has been involved in outside of her business. She served on the Farm Bureau Board for 37 years as either a board member or committee chair. She is a Fayette County Board of Elections member, is a member of the local Republican Central Committee, on the Zoning Board of Appeals and serves as both secretary and treasurer for the Livestock Sales Committee for the Fayette County Fair.

She said, “I like volunteering — doing something to put a smile on someone’s face.”

In the past, Beekman has assisted her local church, Jeffersonville United Methodist Church, with summer meals for kids, and has volunteered for The Well at Sunnyside, a local organization that assists families with various needs. She has also served as president of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce Board.

Keeping busy with her business and community leaves Beekman very little free time. With the free time that she does have, she enjoys sitting down in the evenings to read her local newspaper, the Record-Herald, and occasionally watching her favorite television show, “The Big Bang Theory.”

Beekman laughed, “I just enjoy life.”

“You need to support the local businesses,” she said. “Amazon and Walmart are wonderful, but they don’t come back into the communities and support the ball teams, the PTOs, the schools. The small business persons are the ones keeping the community going.”

She said she wanted to give her customers “a very heartfelt thanks to supporting me for all these years and the years to come.”

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Robin’s Nest Flowers & Gifts

6 E. High St., Jeffersonville

740-426-8897 or Teleflora ordering available

Salt Magazine