I disappeared from the Internet for a minute to pour all my energy into Valentine’s Day at the flower shop. We spend a lot of time in the weeks leading up to the holiday planning, shopping, scheduling and prepping to make things run as smoothly as possible in the rush, and in the meantime, it’s business-as-usual as we continue to process our regular everyday orders and weddings.
Here’s a simplified timeline of our V-Day hustle, if you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes of it all:
• Three to four weeks out, we preorder all our flowers, greenery and containers, which requires a mix of crystal-ball-foresight and straight up gambling: I try to predict sales so we have enough fresh inventory to cover demand, without having too much that will ultimately spoil and eat up our profits. It’s the game of working with perishable products, and thankfully, I get a little better at it every year.
• The week before, we wash hundreds of containers, fill them with floral foam when needed, prep them with a base of assorted local greenery, and store them in the walk-in cooler to keep them fresh until they’re ready for their blooms. This saves lots of design time in the final stretch, and keeps us occupied in the slow days so I have something to focus on besides the huge amount of money we spent well before we’ll see a dime of Valentine’s Day sales. (This is my least favorite part, and I don’t think it will ever not make me an anxious mess.)
• Days before, we process dozens of bulk boxes of farm-fresh blooms, which means carefully cutting thousands of stems and putting them in freshly-sterlized buckets of water. Then our design team takes all those loose flowers and pre-prepped containers, and turns them into thoughtful designs by hand for every order. Quality and consistency are non-negotiable for our brand, and my perfectionist monster is at her best/worst during this holiday design marathon. Lots of florists work late into the night on Valentine’s eve, but I do my best to prepare and work ahead so we don’t have to pull those exhausting design all-nighters; our team needs as much rest as possible the night before to handle the stress and demands of the big day.
• Finally, on the day of, we manage the logistics of delivering all those orders in an 8-hour workday, while finishing up any leftover design work, taking last-minute orders, and selling carryout flowers, chocolates and gifts in the shop. It’s a crazy circus, y’all!! God bless our parents, who volunteer every year to help us get all those orders delivered safely; we had five vehicles on the road delivering orders from 8:30am until our last stop at 6:30pm.
Our small team processes about 10 times our typical daily sales on Valentine’s Day. This year, we delivered 200 orders in a single day, which is a whole lotta love and a whole lotta hard work. I go into every holiday thinking about how cool it would be to document the week in a vlog or photo diary, but we’re in such a survival mode, it just doesn’t happen. I took one photo last week, lol. Here it is:
Now onto some links: my bookmarks from around the web, a couple recent purchases, and few items on my spring style wishlist!
• I lived in my cognac ballet flats for weeks, until I tipped a bucket in the flower cooler during the holiday madness, dumping a couple gallons of ice-cold water right into my shoes and basically murdering them. The pair I had (and loved!) aren’t available anymore *sad trombone* so this morning I cashed in a gift card and some Hautelook credits and ordered these Frye ‘Carson’ leather flats from Nordstrom Rack to replace them. I love the woven style for spring and summer — they remind me of the leather huarache sandals my mom always wore in the ’80s — and they’re $78 off retail, FTW!
• Cuyana released their ‘color crush’ spring styles in new fruity shades, and I treated myself to the mini circle belt bag in blood orange leather to celebrate surviving the holiday; I’m smitten with the bold color, and that it can be worn around the waist or as a shoulder bag.
• Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day (who knew?!) and Wit & Delight rounded up an easy list of ways to put a little more kindness into our world, today and every day.
• ‘Whose facade is it anyway?‘ An interesting perspective on home ownership in the age of the Instagram ‘travel influencer’.
• Book sales were up in 2018 over the year before, and physical books are thriving. Hurrah! (I’m diving into The Poisonwood Bible this week, from a recent Barbara Kingsolver swap with Jayme of Holly and Flora.)
• I’m obsessed with tiny homes and super minimal living spaces, and the design of this cozy 350-square-foot apartment is perfection.
• I could watch videos of Anna and Allana chatting and putting on makeup every dang day. (If you’re looking for relatable, everyday beauty inspiration, 10/10 would recommend either or both of these babes.)
• This stick cream blush from the drugstore earned top shelf status in my beauty routine: it’s super pigmented; looks like a natural flush on the cheeks; and stays put all day without moving or fading. I mentioned it in my ‘yoga skin’ makeup routine post, and I’ve used it nearly every day since.
• With spring style right around the corner (it’s my favorite time of the year!) these Everlane kick crop jeans in ‘bone white’ are on my to-buy list.
• I’ve been pretty consistent about packing healthy lunches and snacks at work, and I spotted this adorable lunch tote on a recent Target trip for $9.99. The blue floral print is so stinkin’ cute for spring. (I resisted putting it in my cart, because I already purchased a freezable lunch bag from TJMaxx.)
• If you’re on the hunt for something to binge on Netflix, C and I loved Good Girls. I’m a huge Mae Whitman fan (all the way back to Hope Floats) and Christina Hendricks and Retta are amazing, too. I’m listening to the soundtrack on repeat; it has all the lady power anthems I didn’t know I needed. Can’t wait for season 2 next month!
• I’ve never been a big sneaker fan in my daily style, but I really need to invest in a couple classic styles (like the ubiquitous Adidas Superstars or Old Skool Vans) and incorporate them into my workwear because long days on my feet on our concrete floors at the flower shop can be brutal. I love this roundup of sneaker style on Penny Pincher Fashion.