www.carmelartsanddesign.com 111 W. Main Street, Suite 140 Carmel, IN 46032
Contact: Maureen Callahan
317.977.2206, ext. 246
Fearrin Insurance Celebrates 50 Years in Carmel Arts & Design District
By Erin Witt
Nov. 20, 2008
Carmel, Ind. – In 1958, a gallon of gas was $.24. The average U.S. household income was $4,650. And longtime Hamilton County resident and entrepreneur Bob Fearrin was opening his first insurance agency in Old Town Carmel.
This month, Fearrin Insurance celebrates 50 years of business in the Arts & Design District. Fearrin has witnessed many historic changes during the past half-century, watching the downtown area’s retail mix evolve from grocers and a handful of independent storefronts to today’s assemblage of chic clothiers, eateries and fine art purveyors.
“When I first opened, downtown was really all there was to Carmel,” Fearrin recalled. “There wasn’t anything in the outlying areas near Clay Terrace or to the south on Keystone Avenue. There was a concentration of businesses and everything else was basically farmland.”
But not just the town has changed — the way of doing business has also been transformed.
“Back then, most of the business community closed on Wednesday afternoons and worked on Saturdays till noon — Wednesday afternoon was time to golf,” Fearrin explained. “I think life was a lot slower paced. Technology changed the office a lot, too — it took longer to do things when we first got started. We had to type claims on a Royal typewriter and use carbon paper to make copies. I can remember the first calculator we got, and of course we didn’t have a fax or computers.”
Fearrin had an interest in insurance since his youth. As a high school student, he admired the lifestyle of Carmel’s sole insurance salesman at the time, a man named Friday Carey.
“I thought he had such a great lifestyle — so I made up my mind that I was going to do what Friday Carey did,” Fearrin said.
Fearrin started taking insurance classes at Butler University while also working as a housepainter. As luck would have it, he was hired to paint the home of the president of an insurance company, a fortuitous meeting that ultimately resulted in Fearrin beginning a training program with Meridian Mutual Insurance in 1956. After his apprenticeship concluded in November 1958, he opened his own agency.
Amidst all of the changes that have taken place since Fearrin opened his doors 50 years ago, one thing that hasn’t changed is the local businessman’s commitment to his clients, and his community. In fact, Fearrin’s legacy was honored by the Carmel Chamber of Commerce earlier this month in a ceremony to recognize his many years of service.
“I’m thankful for all the years people have put their trust in this agency. In insurance, all you’re delivering is a piece of paper backed by a promise. We have access to more than 30 great companies and a terrific, friendly staff, but the most important thing in insurance is trust, and it’s an honor to have that from the people of Carmel,” Fearrin concluded.
Fearrin Insurance Company (www.fearrininsurance.com) is located at 110 N. Range Line Rd. To learn more about available services or to schedule an appointment, call 317.846.4275. For a more information about Carmel Arts & Design District merchants and events, visit www.carmelartsanddesign.com or call 317.571.ARTS.
The Carmel Arts & Design District is the Midwest’s newest, premier setting for the arts and design industry. Already it has attracted well over 100 businesses, including art galleries, antique dealers, furniture and interior design showrooms, even a race track design company! There are restaurants, boutiques, creative service providers, and an eclectic variety of specialty retail stores. And the list of merchants continues to grow.