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Chamber welcomes new owners of Country Lane Florist

Joan Schulz and her niece Tracy Russom have become the new owners of Country Lane Florist and have big dreams for their new venture.

The change has been going well for both of them as they saw a huge crowd at a ribbon cutting hosted by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce Oct. 24. Making their official debut as business owners looked good on Schulz and Russom as they were encouraged by their peers.

Schulz said their plans are to maintain the quality and reputation from the previous owner, Tina Bales, and will continue to participate in Petal it Forward.

“Petal It Forward is a FTD program and florists national holiday,” Schulz said. “It has become a tradition nationwide for florists to participate by handing out flower bouquets. Thus promoting the power of flowers.”

Russom and Schulz scheduled their ribbon cutting to coincide with Petal It Forward and everyone at the event left with two bouquets, one to keep and one to give away.

“Fredericktown is a quaint little town and has so much character with its buildings and layout,” Schulz said. “I would love to see the beautiful old buildings brought back to life and to see Main Street thrive with small specialty shops.

Schulz said she and Russom plan on working together with other shops in town to create a wedding showroom.

“We currently are working with IBS to get them to set up a display of wedding invitations for our wedding showroom,” Schulz said. “We are open to any other business owner that wants to be a part of our wedding one-stop shopping experience.”

Schulz said they hope to have the wedding showroom open in the next couple of months and plan to offer tuxedo rentals and other wedding-related items including flowers.

The two purchased the business Sept. 29 and have been working through a transition phase with the previous owner, Bales, giving them some pointers along the way.

“So far we are finding the experience of owning and running a floral shop exciting,” Schulz said. “All the business owners here in town have been very welcoming to us and have wished us the best.”

Russom and Schulz are also enjoying getting to know each other better as Schulz just recently moved back home after living in Eureka for more than 30 years.

“Since we’ve (Schulz and her husband) been gone for over 30 years, Tracy and I never really got to see much of each other,” Schulz said. “So as we are growing in our new business venture, we are also growing in our new aunt/niece relationship.”

Schulz said they have made it clear to each other that when they are running the business they are to have their business hats on and can put their family hats on outside the business.

“I think as long as we can work together in making decisions and talk things out we will be fine,” Schulz said. “We want to make this a special place to work for us and for our team. Our motto for the business is, ‘bloom where you are planted.'” 

Schultz said she really feels like she is home after being gone for so long.

“One thing that makes it nice is having family here to spend time with,” Schulz said. “I really feel like God called me to come home and to buy this business. Everything has gone so well and things have fallen into place so easy. I just feel that God is behind all this for us.”

Schulz said the idea came from Russom who was ready for a change and after a drive through town, Schulz and her husband agreed and wanted the opportunity as well. In December, Schulz retired after 31 years at a multi-million dollar insurance company.

Country Lane Florist is an FTD florist which is a program that allows them to communicate and order flowers from other florists enabling them to send flowers across the county and the world as well as receive floral orders through FTD from other florists.

“We intend to continue to broaden our horizon of floral arrangements and hopefully grow our range of costumer,” Schulz said. “As a FTD florist, we offer a numerous variety of floral arrangements, not offered by your typical florist.”

Schulz said they have added birdhouses, Christmas ornaments, a wider variety of garden angels and coffee and are looking at expanding their gift items. They also said their silks are designed in-house as well as their floral arrangements.

New owners of Country Lane Florist Tracy Russom and Joan Schulz do the honors at their ribbon cutting Oct. 24 with members of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce there to celebrate with them.

New owners of Country Lane Florist Tracy Russom and Joan Schulz do the honors at their ribbon cutting Oct. 24 with members of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce there to celebrate with them.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at

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