Yes it's true Valentine's Day is our favorite holiday. Why? Because for a florist this is the holiday that sets the tone for the entire year. Valentine's Day is a true make it or break it holiday for a florist. Like the average retailer waits for that Black Friday, us florists wait for the Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day is a day of love, adoration, and an excuse for us women to break our New Years resolutions and devour entire boxes of chocolate. We celebrate with dinners, movies, cards, boxes of chocolate, and of course flowers.
Now Florists did not invent this holiday, and contrary to popular belief Hallmark did not either. You can read the long boring history here but for the blogs sake we will just say: It started a long time ago in a land far far away.
With so much riding on one day it's no wonder we start our planning back in October. Yes October, before the Christmas lights are strung and the turkey is carved, we are planning Valentine's day. We start by sorting through book after book and idea magazines galore.
We always have our own designer styles, we like the teleflora options but it's just not the same. We like to have 6 - 8 signature pieces each year. Also a variety of price points and flowers to choose from are important. So we find the perfect containers and start growing the vision. We decide how many of each we will make up that special day, this is done so that the pieces are unique in style so not every desk has the same thing on it at the office. This year we decided on a piece we fell in love with at the start, it says "Key to my heart". But what is this, Lori waited to long to get her order in and the dreaded OUT OF STOCK popped up on the screen.... NOOOOOOOOOO is heard echoing from the walls of The Secret Garden. But a quick call, and a little prayer, and we did get the pieces we had our hearts set on. (pun intended). So now the fun part. Deciding what will go into each piece and making them come to life.
We take the containers, vases, and baskets and start to envision what we want each one to say. Our basket design is normally our "cute" piece. This can be sent to a mom, sister, friend, co-worker, or the likes. This piece will not have roses but beautiful red carnations. Next, our favorite container, "Key to my Heart". This one will have a little bit of fun, in the form of red gerbera daisies, and a little romance, with pink spray roses. We then go through each of our other selections like that until we have our designs. Now we just need names... but that is where you come in. Our faithful, and oh so talented facebook friends. This year you are choosing the names for us... see the details here.
The supply order is done the first week of January. We keep a list from year to year of what we need on hand. Florist tape, Oasis foam, flower foods, and so on. This is pretty easy and it goes quick, not much stress here.
Now the not so fun part.... placing the flower order! This HAS to be done by the 2nd week in January. This is the only way we can sleep at night, making sure we get the flowers we need, when we need them, so they will be fresh for all of you. So we tally up the flowers in our signature pieces, the vases of roses we plan on selling, and the call for just a little of this and a little of that.... using some fine tuned mathematical skills... we submit our orders to our favorite suppliers.
We also make up so many of our candy bar vases, snack canisters, and balloon wraps. We double check counts and start the making about.. well NOW. We also stock up on boxes of chocolate, cards, balloons, and a few gotta have its. We have a cute angel line this year that features a red heart that has a message on it.
The stress is overwhelming. Did we order enough, did we order to much (this would be bad, goal=no flowers left over). What will the weather be like, will it snow? Remember the year with the blizzard. Do we have enough drivers, should we rent another van, do we have enough help with the phones. When will we cut off orders, will we have to turn people away. What are the hours for Sunday? Who is bringing the coffee.... chocolate... and food to keep our motors running!
So in a few weeks the flowers will arrive, the arrangements will be made, the phones will ring, and our drivers will race to deliver everything on time. This my friends is why we LOVE Valentine's Day.