Ever wondered how a flower shop prepares for the busiest day of the year? Here’s your chance to learn more about how we get ready to create bouquets and deliver flowers and gifts across the metro area.
The calm before the storm?
While Valentine’s Day is the busiest single day for our flower shop, the Christmas season is our busiest season. Once we wrap up a month of Christmas flowers and gifts, we’re closed for New Year’s Day, and then Valentine’s preparations begin on January 2. So really, there’s no calm before the storm!
Planning pre-made bouquets
We’re not a cookie cutter flower shop on a day-to-day basis. We pride ourselves on creating custom floral designs for every single customer, but Valentine’s Day requires a slightly different approach with some pre-determined bouquets in a range of prices. We start planning those bouquets in early January, which includes deciding the vases and what flowers will go in each one. These pre-made bouquets are great for customers who call and know how much they would like to spend but don’t have specific requests for the look of the bouquet.
Ordering the flowers
All of our Valentine’s flowers are ordered in the month of January, which means it’s a guessing game for how many we’ll actually need. One big thing that makes a difference is whether Valentine’s falls on a weekend or weekday. Most years, we’ll order at least 1,000 red roses, 2,000 colored roses, and about 30 bundles of daisies. Due to the basic laws of supply and demand, both the growers and the wholesalers charge more for roses around Valentine’s Day, so it’s a significant up-front expense.
Preparing the flowers the week before
A week before Valentine’s Day, we bring in extra staff members for the sole task of processing the flowers. We have some friends and family who help out each year, and we’ll also call area wholesalers and see if they know of anyone looking for extra work around Valentine’s Day.
Flowers arrive in bundles, and we usually get about 150 boxes of flowers delivered for Valentine’s Day. Our extra staff sorts them, strips any extra greenery, removes any damaged petals, adds support wires where needed, and gets them in water with a special hydrating solution added. We have an extra cooler that only gets turned on for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, and we prioritize which flowers go in each of the two coolers. Some flowers, like daisies and carnations, need to be in the warmer shop in order to open up.
Making the bouquets
The week of Valentine’s Day, we start making bouquets, both the pre-made options and the custom orders that have already been placed. We have some customizers that call as much as a month ahead to order their flowers, but most call the week before or the few days before. We also use extra staff members to help with this step, including filling vases, sorting the correct number of stems into vases for the floral designer, and helping clean up. The phone rings pretty constantly leading up to the big day, so we usually have extra people to answer the phone and take orders as well.
The big day arrives
At LilyGrass, we have two delivery vans, and we rent two extra vans for Valentine’s Day. We deliver throughout the Oklahoma City metro area starting at 7:30 a.m., and we plan the delivery routes carefully to make them as efficient as possible. There’s an additional fee for same-day delivery of orders placed on Valentine’s Day, since that means an extra trip or a modification of a carefully planned route. The extra staff stays plenty busy at the shop creating bouquets for last-minute orders and helping any walk-in customers looking for flowers or gifts.
On the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, our staff is at the shop for as long as it takes to finish everything. Generally, the couple of days following Valentine’s Day are pretty busy, too, with people who didn’t place an order in time for delivery on the 14th or with responding to any issues that occurred with Valentine’s orders. But a few days later, it’s time to take a deep breath and start to recover from the busiest day of the year. Next up for busiest floral days: Mother’s Day in May.
Thank you to all of our wonderful customers who choose to shop local for Valentine’s Day! We appreciate you, and we look forward to serving you this Valentine’s Day.
--lilygrass flowers and decor
7101 nw expressway, ste 400, Oklahoma city, ok 73132
(405)721-1813 phone * (405)721-1106 fax * (800)248-4858 toll free