Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

Flowers are a staple in the Valentine’s Day tradition. Couples exchange them to show they care, or singles give them in hopes of winning a love interest’s heart. Over the years, the sentiments of giving flowers have not changed, but the trends have. Here are some emerging trends to be aware of if you plan to buy flowers this Valentine’s Day.

The first prevailing trend, according to local experts, is to order early. Call ahead, at least a day or two in advance. Flower shops become overrun with orders during the busy Valentine’s season. It’s important to place your order in advance to ensure that the shop will be able to process your request.

Do not call on Valentine’s Day expecting same-day delivery; many local florists are too busy to fill that request. “Sometimes we have upwards of 60 or 70 deliveries for one day,” says Kate McNamara, local business owner of Kati Mac Floral Designs. It is better to call a few days in advance to give the florist time to process your request.

Christine Wildauer, owner of Lorgus Flower Shop, agrees with this sentiment. Florists order daily product deliveries from a wholesaler based on the orders they have for the next few days. If your order is not already in the stack, there is no guarantee the florist will have the necessary materials to fill your order. Ordering early is key to ensure that you will be able to get the Valentine’s flowers you want, and that they will be delivered on time.

There are a few new style trends in flower arrangements. Area florist Tamara Frazer says “small, compact, high-style flowers” are newly popular, and other local florists agree.
Mandy Stadtmiller, who has been in the floral design business for over 15 years, recommends vintage-style, garden arrangements. She also gives a tip: “If you want to save some money on a vase arrangement, bring your own container.” Stadtmiller says the container can be anything: a vintage milk jug, mason jar, or a cool glass pitcher.

Joyce Wilder, another local florist and gardener, agrees: “Right now, it’s about getting creative beyond roses, babies’ breath, and carnations.” She recommends succulent dish gardens, arrangements with pheasant feathers, and a vintage look. Wilder continues, “you can spend less money for something more interesting than roses.”

But if you are still feeling unsure of what to order, ask your local florist. “Trust us. We’re professionals,” says Frazer, who has worked at many flower shops over the years, but most recently, at Blue Moon Florist in Downingtown, and Kati Mac Floral Designs in West Chester. Frazer says, if you give a price point and a couple flowers, colors, or style words (modern, vintage, etc.), florists will be able to create something beautiful and personal for you.

Another trend is to order locally. Supporting your local florist means supporting a local business and the local economy. You are not giving your money to a huge, national company; you’re giving it to a sustaining local business owner, supporting the small-business charm of West Chester.

Most local florists subscribe to a “wire-service,” an online company like Teleflora or FTD. These companies gather orders for the locally-based flower shop, and send the orders over the Internet.

These online services are cheap and easy. They take a percentage of every sale that is made with a local florist – money which local florists need to operate. They also advertise a specific product on their websites when that product may not be available to local florists.

In fact, just last week – the week before Valentine’s Day – Teleflora’s entire sales team went to a sales conference. When McNamara called Teleflora to order more vases for Valentine’s Day, she was unable to get in touch with a sales representative that could take her order.

“I was irate. I pay for this service, and they think it’s okay to go on vacation the week before a major holiday.” McNamara eventually was able to get in touch with a sales representative, but only after hours wasted on the phone. Clearly, the local florists’ needs are not the concern of this large company.

Services like Teleflora and FTD are not all bad, though. They help florists by providing cross-country orders directly to a specific city. For example, if a West Chester resident wants to send flowers to Gramma Liz in Austin, Texas, ordering online through Teleflora or FTD is likely the fastest and easiest option. There’s no guarantee that the florist who receives the order will be able to duplicate the exact product, but Gramma Liz will appreciate the flowers either way.

Flower trends are always changing, but these are a few to consider if you plan to order flowers this Valentine’s Day. By putting  these tips into practice, you will save money, and your sweetheart will thank you!

Kellyn McNamara is a fourth-year student majoring in nutrition with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at KM654122@wcupa.edu.

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