WHITE HALL — When the Marion County Chamber of Commerce named Shawna and Drew Hale Entrepreneurs of the Year in August, community members praised their prolific entrepreneurship.
In just a few years, the couple has opened a gym, a liquor store and, now, a flower shop, located in the heart of White Hall.
Spearheaded by Shawna Hale, The Flower Barn features floral arrangements as well as home goods. During opening day Monday, Hale said she was “very surprised” by the more than 150 customers who visited the store.
“It was a very big, busy day,” she added.
The idea for Hale’s latest business endeavor came from her passion for arranging flowers, and the absence of florists in White Hall. With a budding interest in holiday goods and home decor, her idea sprouted into an entire business that now neighbors another store she runs, White Hall Spirits.
Hale said her business is especially apt to serve people seeking last-minute gifts, or locally sourced items to spruce up their home. From plants to cookies, much of the inventory featured in The Flower Barn comes from local producers.
Even the store’s display of multi-colored boxes of bath bombs were created by a local entrepreneur: Hale’s 13-year-old son, Jackson.
While Hale’s degree was actually in health care, she said working with her husband on other entrepreneurial projects has turned the duo into “go-getters” always looking to create and sustain local businesses in Marion County.
And they are excited by the possibility of their work becoming a full-fledged family affair. “It was something that we wanted to be able to keep for our kids and pass it down,” Hale said.
Right next door at White Hall Spirits, Hale has already brought family on board.
Her mother Brenda Watkins helps run the liquor store on the day-to-day, watching her daughter’s hard work from a window that connects the two venues. “She’s waited for a long time” to open the business, Watkins said.
Others at White Hall Spirits emphasized that Hale is a hard worker, which meant the new business venture came as no surprise. General Manager Breann Cross said she sees the store doing “big things.”
“Shawna is good at anything,” Cross said. “Anything she picks up she can do.”
When asked about the new store just a wall away, Cross added with confidence that “the community will love it.”
Hale said that The Flower Barn won’t be her last project in White Hall, and that she is excited for what the future holds.
The family hopes its businesses will “just keep on growing and growing and expanding here in White Hall,” Hale said. “It’s a great area.”