Each year on Feb. 14, a gesture of love consists of a beautiful flower arrangement, chocolate, and maybe even a teddy bear. All these things can easily be provided by a local flower shop on Valentine’s Day. Most people don’t know how much planning a shop actually does to accurately prepare for the big day each February.
Montana Craig, MU freshman, took a guess and estimated it took around a week or so to prepare with about 2,000 flowers ordered to fill all the arrangements for one shop.
“Ideas for Valentine’s Day begin to flow around November, and once December hits, it is all that is on your mind,” said Melissa Daniels retail manager at Tiger Garden.
In reality, Craig was not far off with his answer of 2,000 flowers being ordered. According to Daniels, 2,450 roses, 2,100 other types of flowers as well as different greenery for each arrangement had been ordered for this Valentine’s Day. That means around 5,000 stems were ordered to fill the floral requests of customers.
Flowers must be ordered in advance to ensure the right amount arrives at Tiger Garden on time. This year, Tiger Garden roses are from Ecuador and other flowers are shipped from as far as Japan, Daniels said.
Staffing is another challenge of Valentine’s day, and Daniels has been working on the schedule for the past month to make sure there are the right amount of workers, when workers are needed. All together Tiger Garden will have 22 employees from the shop and events department, with additional help coming from students in floral design classes, teaching assistants, volunteers and anyone else around the department who is willing to help.”
This year will mark Tiger Garden lead designer Gina Olsen’s third year working during the Valentine’s Day rush.
“Last year I clocked out with 78 hours,” Olsen said. “This year I am expecting anywhere from 65-80 hours to do as much as I can to make it (Valentine’s Day) a success.”
Employees at Tiger Garden work the entire week before the holiday late into the nights doing as much as they can to make things run as smooth as possible on the big day.
“The late nights make everyone act a little goofier than usual so it makes working that much more enjoyable,” Daniels said.
Olsen agrees that the friendly environment makes the work easier to handle.
“The comradery that is built during the week that we spend together is what keeps us going,” Olsen said. “It makes me realize how much I love my job. I get to go to work instead of just having to go.”
Throughout the shop, the general consensus on their favorite part of Valentine’s Day is the reaction of surprise that each customer gets when they see their arrangement.
“The surprise is always worth creating for,” Olsen said.