COLUMBUS — If you think you put a lot of thought and preparation into your Valentine’s Day gift this year, try being a florist.
Kristi Lloyd, owner of Seasons Floral & Gifts, doesn’t mess around when it comes to planning for the holiday. She started the ordering process in November.
Whether it's stuffed bears, balloons, candy, vases, real or silk flowers, she makes sure to have all her ducks in a row before the big day, with the cooler at the downtown business resembling a colorful, fragrant jungle of love by the time Valentine's Day rolls around.
“It’s a lot of work, a lot of hours and a lot of beautiful flowers and arrangements,” Lloyd said.
The process is no different for Renee Norris, first-year owner of Blossoms. Although she’s been in the floral business for a few years, she said it’s always hard to determine exactly how many flowers, specifically roses, will be needed. This year, she ordered about 2,000 roses and she has another shipment on its way to finish the holiday weekend.
According to the National Retail Federation, 54.8 percent of U.S. consumers will celebrate Valentine’s Day, spending an average of $146.84 on flowers, jewelry, candy and apparel, an increase from last year’s $142.31. Flowers are expected to be the second most popular gift, behind candy, something both Norris and Lloyd also deliver.
“It’s kind of interesting to see how each day goes and how many orders we take,” said Norris, adding that orders will stretch across the weekend since the holiday falls on a Sunday. “It’s different when you have a certain weekday to send (flowers) to them at work.”
Whatever the customer orders, Norris and Lloyd are sure to deliver, even if it means spray-painting flowers an unnatural color, such as teal, taking down a long love letter over the phone or dressing up in a sharp tuxedo to make the deliveries. There is no limit to what these florists will do to bring romance to the community.
“It’s about making people happy and seeing the joy it brings them,” Lloyd said.
Since Valentine’s Day is the biggest time for flower purchases each year, both owners plan on staying open as late as they need to Sunday to fulfill orders.
“I think that’s why florists get into the business, is to give others feel-good moments,” Norris said. “It’s part of the passion of it, getting the satisfaction of making people smile.”