Florists compose Valentine's floral messages
by Christina Call
Flower shops across the High Country have been preparing for months for the rush of orders that are expected around Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is the busiest time of year for florists, according to local businesses.
While many will scramble for a last-minute bouquet for their sweetheart, many people are placing their orders earlier this year, according to Jack Rabey, owner of Bouquet Florist in Boone.
"People are ordering earlier than usual this year, especially because of the weather. There are always last-minute orders, but there seem to be a lot of men placing orders earlier this year," Rabey said. "The business seems a little better this year than last."
Valentine's Day is Bouquet Florist's biggest individual day of sales, with flower deliveries on Feb. 14, according to Rabey. Rabey has been in the floral business for 53 years.
Log House Florist, located in Boone, said Valentine's Day is a very hectic, busy time for them. Dianna Gouge has worked for Log House Florist for 20 years.
"Valentine's is a very busy time for florists," Gouge said. "We just try to get through the rush and accommodate customers the best we can." Log House Florist has 10 times the sales during Valentine's Day week, according to Gouge.
There were 15,307 florists' establishments nationwide in 2011, employing 66,165 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The floral industry is very different now because of the ability for flowers to be grown overseas and shipped to local florists, according to Rabey.
"We can buy flowers from South America, Germany, Holland and other countries that are not available here in the winter. It takes 10 to 12 hours to get here and they are still beautiful and fresh," Rabey said.
According to a Jan. 21 survey conducted by Credit Donkey, 60.3 percent of guys plan to give flowers on Valentine's Day.
Red roses are the most popular flower purchased for Valentine's Day, according to Bouquet Florist and Log House Florist.
"Red roses are the flower that most guys get," Rabey said. "But we try to make recommendations to make the order more personal. We try to ask for a favorite color or flower so the bouquet can be personalized for their sweetheart."