When Dana Freeman is asked why she opened The Red Poppy, 4910 Lincoln Ave., she has an easy answer.
“I always just knew after working for people in small, locally-owned shops that this was for me,” she says. “I feel I’m in my element.”
A Vincennes, Indiana, native and graduate of Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, with a degree in interior design, Freeman says for as long as she can remember, design and displays have been her niche.
“I worked at Ethan Allen for 10 years in Evansville and New York City,” she says. “I always loved design and just every sense of what it is to have a store.”
Stepping into the new space The Red Poppy has occupied for just over a month is akin to coming home, her customers say. It’s a compliment Freeman takes great pride in. When she purchased the building, located near the East Side water tower, in August 2016, she and her husband Ethan started nine months of renovations.
The move came at the right time for Freeman. Though her former location at 2820 Lincoln Ave. had faithfully served her for almost 10 years, she knew she was ready for a new place to fit her store.
“I had been looking for a while and the right thing came along — a little house for my shop,” explains Freeman. “It just seemed to be the perfect setup to have home accessories and furniture in an actual home.”
Freeman describes The Red Poppy — named for her favorite flower — as a lifestyle store. Her shelves, tables, and spaces display everything from kitchen accessories, living room furniture, and rugs to bath and body products, clothes, and jewelry. She tries to keep her displays clean and uncluttered, she says.
“Packed stores just overwhelm me. It’s almost like you can’t think,” she says. “I try to be aware of that and keep things clean and more simplified.”
Freeman also offers bridal registry options and hopes to add curated gift boxes for weddings, holidays, and other events to her items. With her new space, she is excited to offer a tea bar to her customers as well, not only in the store but also at private functions.
“You know how events have cocktail bars? I want to offer a non-alcoholic alternative that’s more family-friendly,” she says. “I want to serve the tea we feature in the store. I’m really excited about that.”
The best aspect of her new location, however, is the windows, says Freeman. The Red Poppy boasts large windows all around the building, which formerly housed the Excursions women’s boutique. This allows lots of natural light to highlight the space and products.
“It just makes you feel good to be surrounded by nature.” says Freeman.
For more information about The Red Poppy, call 812-759-3312 or visit theredpoppygifts.com.