Local flower suppliers prepare for Valentine’s Day

IAN LACK Lifestyles Reporter

More than half of all Americans will celebrate Valentine’s Day through their purchasing power, according to statistics from fundivo.com. An estimated $18.9 billion will be spent on jewelry, an evening out, candies, clothing and greeting cards. One of the most commonly exchanged goods, one that brings in almost $2 billion in revenue, is typically smelled before seen.

Flowers. These colorful, scented plants have aided in bringing Valentine’s Day to the third most costly holiday of the year, behind Christmas and Mother’s/ Father’s Day, according to fundivo.com. With the continued need for flowers for the holiday, Brookings residents and campus students alike find themselves in the position of seeking out a florist to purchase flowers for their sweethearts.

Since 1988, Ilene Gilbertson has owned and managed Flowers on Main, a local flower shop that serves both Brookings as well as neighboring towns. The flower shop offers services for weddings, parties, banquets, funerals and, naturally, Valentine’s Day.

“I’ve always really liked working with flowers and dealing with people and flowers just bring so much joy to people, it’s a really wonderful feeling and the flowers that we have are beautiful,” Gilbertson said. “I’m just hoping for great weather to go along with the day, especially for our drivers.”

Customers are able to have their orders delivered to homes, workplaces, hospitals and anywhere else flowers would be needed, including the SDSU campus. In-town delivery for flowers is $5 and this price increases accordingly for out-of-town delivery.

“There’s a lot of boyfriends and girlfriends sending flowers to one another and parents do a lot of deliveries on campus. As the campus grows, every year it gets harder and harder to deliver on campus,” Gilbertson said. “But, we do make sure we go out of our way to deliver on campus and see everyone gets what they ordered.”

A majority of Flowers on Main’s featured bouquets are priced between $30 and $60 and can feature vases, balloons, ribbons, smaller flowers and other small decorations. However, the flower shop also offers single flowers and other arrangements for students who may be on a tighter college budget.

One nation-wide store looking to cash in on the Valentine’s Day flower craze is Hy-Vee and its floral department. General Manager at Brooking’s 22nd Avenue Hy-Vee, Kay Langland, has been working there for 18 years and knows the Valentine’s Day game.

“Hy-Vee is running a special for a dozen roses for $19.98 and several other specials ranging anywhere from $20 up. I’d definitely say roses and and Gerber Daisies are definitely our most popular (flower varieties) and Valentine’s Day is the busiest day for us,” Langland said.

The department averages about 150 to 200 customers per day, but this number hits a spike on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s a nice feeling when the whole store comes together, even when it’s hectic, to support us. All of the customers coming in are, I think, a lot more noticeably happy and it’s a great feeling,” Langland said.

Hy-Vee also offers deliveries for orders on and off campus.

SDSU’s Horticulture Club will also be selling flowers on Main Street in The Union Friday, Feb. 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The club meets every other week and focuses on teaching students on campus about horticulture and plant-science.

Secretary for the club, Rachel Ormseth, said arrangements for the flowers will cost from $11 to $15 with single flower prices ranging from $3 to $6, depending on the flowers chosen. Arrangements can be made by students in The Union and put together by members of the club.

“For me, I’m looking forward to students coming and checking out our booth and being able to put it in our hands and use our creativity for students,” Ormseth said.

The club will offer a variety of roses and other flowers for arranging this Friday and encourages any students with a significant other to stop by their booth.