Buying flowers for that special someone seems pretty cut-and-dried, but a little creativity — and good timing — can make all the difference.
Florists all over the city are gearing up for the big Valentine’s Day rush as the country’s most romantic occassion approaches quickly. It’s no different for florists Sabyna Sawka and Antoinetta Buscemi, owners of Petals by S&A Inc. in Garden City Shopping Centre.
Sawka said they expect to bring on six to eight additional staff to handle the oncoming crush of customers.
Valentine’s Day is their "Christmas" Sawka said, though Mother’s Day is a close rival.
But more than just advertising, they’re stockpiling roses — lots and lots of them. Sawka and Buscemi estimate they’ll sell more than 500 dozen of the iconic flowers in various shades, in addition to plenty of balloons and chocolates.
While roses remain the top draw during this time of year, Sawka notes that exotic, Hawaiian flowers are starting to become a trend as well.
"Our birds of paradise have been selling. That’s really popular," Buscemi added.
Sawka said they try to keep their pricing competitive with other outlets, and these days roses are going for $2.99 a stem and $30 per dozen at the shop. It’s an investment for most would-be Casanovas, and Sawka said anyone looking to buy a dozen may want to consider some outside-the-box thinking.
"Try to be different. Do a personal card," Sawka advises.
"Red roses are popular, because for guys, red roses mean Valentine’s Day. But lots of girls like different shades."
And many shades there are. These days, roses come in everything from red to white to pink to tinted blue, and a breed of kaleidoscopic rainbow roses were visible in Petals’ cooler.
But aside from giving thought to the assortment itself, Sawka has a big piece of practical advice.
"Order early to guarantee early delivery," she said.
And, she adds, gentlemen arranging for delivery would do well to have them sent to their lady’s workplace, to make her the envy of the office.
"What the key is for Valentine’s Day, if you’re in an office and there’s 10 women, and one woman gets a bouquet of flowers, the other people around get jealous," she said.
"That’s the key to winning your girlfriend or wife’s heart, to send them to where they work."
Sawka previously worked in the floral department of a corporate chain store, and said going independent to open Petals two years ago has been a blast.
"There are more rewards, it’s more of a community thing," she said.
Visit Petals by S&A Inc. on Facebook or get in touch with them by phone at 204-338-7673.