It began with silk flowers, 35 years ago, as a business venture on West Virginia Street by Charles and Anna Mae Haury, a couple passionate about home decoration. Gehlhausen Floral, once an arts and crafts supplies store, now commands a strong presence in Evansville’s retail world of home decor.
According to sales associate Lisa Schaefer, Gehlhausen Floral brings a unique atmosphere to its location of six years on Green River Road — an atmosphere that goes a long way in promoting the East Side’s economy. Laura Smith, Gehlhausen Floral’s director of operations, agrees. “Over the years, we’ve evolved,” she says. “It’s been a long process.”
After two decades of development, Gehlhausen Floral is now a sprawling building with several large adjoining rooms filled from wall to wall and floor to ceiling with eclectic home decor. The styles, arrangements, and occasional pieces of furniture pack the store in thoughtfully assembled displays, complementing each other with brand names such as Nora Fleming, Beatrice Ball, and Tag to create a home-like environment. Nearly everything in the store, with the exception of a few display cases and shelves, is for sale.
Schaefer emphasizes that furniture is one of the better-kept secrets at the store. Featured are couches, desks, and other furniture items Schaefer describes as “accent pieces.” Visitors to the store can peruse outdoor furniture in the solarium, which used to belong to Colonial Garden Center.
Gehlhausen Floral’s biggest makeover comes before Christmas, when the entire store is ornamented with Christmas trees, lights, and holiday decorations, but the displays change with other seasons, as well. “The accessories are always changing with the seasons, too,” Schaefer says, referring to jewelry and other popular items. Candles are one constant, she points out. No matter the season, they can’t keep Candleberry Hot Maple Toddy scented candles on the shelf.
The store’s variety comes from a number of influences, Schaefer says, from Gehlhausen Floral’s beginnings to the staff’s desire to stay on trend with the latest in home decor. “It’s not one specific product, with one specific customer base,” she says. “We have a nice variety that blends well together."
Gehlhausen Floral, 735 S. Green River Road.
Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; until 5 p.m. on Saturday. 812-428-2320.