Highlighting local businesses


Owners of Dahlia’s Gifts and Unique Finds invite shoppers to enjoy downtown progressive shopping event

By Beth Taylor

Dahlia’s Gifts and Unique Finds

Zoa Hackman’s dream of opening a home décor and gift store became reality after much planning. Partnering with her mother, Susan Levering, they found a quaint downtown Fishers shop at 11631 Maple St., seemingly perfect for Dahlia’s Gifts and Unique Finds.

Hackman didn’t think twice about working with her mom. “We’re fortunate that we get along so well. We have similar tastes and we always have,” said Hackman.

Named after the flower that Hackman’s grandfather loved most, the vision was to offer uncommon gifts and household items. The building itself has a unique layout. The Maple Street storefront features gift items, such as jewelry, Indiana-made lip gloss and items for children. The back building showcases seasonal home décor and art.

“We wanted to offer unique things, but also affordable things,” said Hackman.

They opened on May 16, 2014. On June 15, construction began on Maple Street, outside Dahlia’s front door. “The construction has been a challenge because people have purposely avoided the area,” said Levering.

To help bring attention to some of the businesses that have been affected by the road closures in downtown Fishers, Hackman thought of an idea: getting together with other downtown businesses to host a progressive shopping event. Similar to a progressive dinner often held in neighborhoods during the holiday season, each stop along the progressive shopping tour will offer one course of a meal.

After months of construction, the event’s main purpose is to let the public see that the small downtown businesses are open and ready for the holiday shopping season.

After a rough start, Levering is confident that business will improve after the construction is finished. “With Bub’s (restaurant) coming, once everything is done this area will be thriving. People want to shop and walk,” she said.


Next to Dahlia’s Gifts and Unique Finds, Twigs, a European-influenced home décor and gift shop, is also ready for holiday customers. After 18 years in Fishers, owner Debbie Cook feels well established. Twigs has been at 11643 Maple St. for four years.

“I’ve been here long enough to sustain clientele through the construction,” said Cook. “I used the downtime to work on (my own) construction.”

Formerly a home decorator, Cook decided to add a tea room to Twigs. The central dining room of the tea room’s plans includes seating for 26 people. In the spring, Cook will add a solarium. “The solarium will have remote control walls, so we can put them down to make an open-air space. We’re really excited about it,” Cook said.

She plans to hold events such as candlelight dinners for couples and rent the space for private parties. “Construction has been horrible, but in my eyes, it will be well worth it. I have embraced it,” she said.

Twigs is ready for the holidays. Home décor staged to look like the loveliest of holiday dinners takes two weeks to arrange.

Lily & Sparrow

Sisters Jen and Steph Miller opened Lily & Sparrow clothing boutique in March at 11720 Maple St. Both in their 20s, they realized it was a big endeavor. “We had a dream to have a boutique. We started praying about it two years ago and then we just decided to pursue it,” said Steph Miller. Everything fell into place.

“It happened really, really quickly. We were both working full-time jobs, but it’s been awesome to see the dream happen,” said Jen Miller.

Inspired by two passages in the Bible from the Book of Matthew when choosing a name for their store, the two women incorporate their shared faith into their business decisions.

“We pick good quality pieces in a range of prices. We want customers to feel welcome and find at least one piece that they love,” said Steph.

“In our hearts, we want to reach people and build relationships,” added Jen.

Both women want to combat society’s image of the perfect woman. They want customers to feel confident when they look in the mirror; they make buying decisions to reflect this goal.

“We’re excited about participating in the progressive dinner. When Zoa came to us, we thought this was a great way to combine our customer base with theirs to help support small business,” Steph said.

The Downtown Fishers Progressive Shopping Event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4. Other stores participating include Vardagen, a T-shirt shop, 8684 E. 116th St.; Roman & Leo, a trendsetting boys’ apparel store, 8664 E. 116th St.; and Best of What’s Around, a vintage furniture and gift store, 8745 E. 116th St.