“It was difficult to give it up,” she explained. “It wasn’t a decision I made overnight. My family, close friends and I had a lot of discussions and prayers before I decided to go for it. I have no regrets. I’m very happy, even though I miss my students. I’m blessed we took this on.”
Today, in addition to selling the fresh flowers and plants they grow in their greenhouse, they offer a variety of unique home and gift items, such as candles, knickknacks, wall hangings, pictures, crafts, and much more.
As they continue to grow, they expanded the Old Watering Can grounds this year with a lovely, shaded garden area, which they rent to their customers for special events, particularly weddings. Nan personally works with the wedding parties on everything from flowers to decorations.
“I’ve got several very large weddings in the process,” she said. “It’s exciting to say, ‘This is what you should do here, and this is what you should do there.’ It’s a lot of fun, and I enjoy it.”
What’s even more exciting, she says, is that they still have room for even more growth.
The Old Watering Can is more than a business for the Coppesses, Nan says. It’s a family affair.
“My mom does a lot to help out,” Nan explained, “and is instrumental to the business. My husband is a jack of all trades and is helping to rebuild the business. My daughter and son help with sales and landscaping, and I’ve even had help from my niece and nephew and brother.
Elwood Chamber Director Marcy Fry remembers the first time she stopped by the Old Watering Can and the impression the Coppess family made on her.
“The entire family was at work – mom, dad, and kids,” Marcy recalls. “They were mowing, weeding, sweeping, moving things around. Nan had a vision for how she wanted the location to look, and what impressed me most was the family working together to make Nan’s dream a reality.”
Marcy praises the Old Watering Can for enhancing the aesthetics along that stretch of State Road 28.
“It brightens up the east side of town,” she said, adding “Nan and Terry are a welcome addition to the city of Elwood, as well as to the Elwood Chamber of Commerce.”
Marcy calls the Coppesses’ commitment to the community wonderful. “They jumped in right away and became Chamber members,” she said, “and are always looking for ways to give back. On behalf of the Chamber – Thank you!”
Both Nan and Terry grew up in Madison County – she in Frankton, and he north of Elwood. After high school, Nan graduated from Purdue University with a degree in special education, and Terry graduated from Northwestern Business College and Technical School. They married August 3, 1996.
Their daughter, Rachel, will be a sophomore this fall at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville. Their son, Cole, will be a senior at Tri-Central High School.
After living her entire life in the Elwood area, Nan knows the people are the city’s Number 1 resource for building goodwill and good public relations for the community.
“You kind of always know what you’re getting,” she said, “and I admire that. We have a lot of hard workers who want to see Elwood strive and get better.”
In keeping with that goal, she is doing her part, too.
“As we continue creating our gardens and growing our greenhouse,” she said, “I’d like to make The Old Watering Can a destination for people from other cities. I’d like to make our place one of the go-to’s that would encourage people to visit Elwood.”
Of all the fun-filled annual events and activities that attract visitors to town, Red Gold’s Chili Cook-off is Nan’s favorite.
“I don’t run,” she said with a chuckle, “but I do like to walk around and eat.”
Nan invites everyone to run, walk or drive out to The Old Watering Can and check it out.
“At the moment,” she said, “we’re in the process of changing over from summer and getting ready for fall. So all the prices are 50 percent off, and we have a lot of great hanging baskets.”
The Old Watering Can is located at 7681 West State Road 28. Its hours are seasonal. Right now, the doors are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It’s closed Sundays and Mondays.
Check out The Old Watering Can website at www.oldwateringcan.com and visit its Facebook page. The phone is (765) 810-4852.
Click photos to enlarge.