Flower power: Local flower shops prepare for Valentine’s Day

Katelyn Eddington, Contributing Writer

Roses are red, violets are blue and Valentine’s Day is all around, especially at Charleston flower shops.

Franda Newkirk and her husband Rick own and run Noble Flower Shop and said a few Eastern students order from them for Valentine’s Day.

She said since enrollment at Eastern has declined, sales numbers have been harder to predict.

“With the enrollment dropping at Eastern, it’s a lot different now than it was just a few years ago,” said Newkirk. “That’s the biggest challenge for us because over the years, we knew what to expect.”

A lot of students also order from the shop at the last minute, she said, so that can make the job a little more challenging.

Noble Flower Shop tends to sell lots of roses near Valentines Day, Newkirk said.

“Typically the first thing (students are) going to (order) is roses because that’s the most common thing. Most people like flowers other than roses,” Newkirk said. “I think most people at Valentine’s Day are grateful to just get flowers.”

However, Newkirk said gerberas and lilies are popular with college students.

Other popular flowers during Valentine’s Day for the shop are carnations, she said.

“You can get more economical flowers than roses,” Newkirk said, “Now you can get three carnations for (the price of) one rose.”

Carnations come in red, white and pink.

Lynn McGrath, owner of Bell’s Flower Corner since 2016, finds roses and carnations the easiest to arrange in a bouquet.

These two flowers are rich in red pigment, and they are also McGrath’s most popular choice for Valentine’s Day.

“More parents of students than actual students will order because we’re so far off the track,” McGrath said.

She said she also likes to throw in sunflowers with some of the roses.

“Red roses and sunflowers look absolutely beautiful together, and then you throw in a little bit of purple,” McGrath said.

McGrath said college students have called in to cancel their orders because of some unfortunate events: breakups around Valentine’s Day.

“(Students) will say, ‘We don’t want this,’ and I’ll say, ‘Well, they’re already paid for, so if you want to give them to someone else, you can do that, but I can’t take (them) back,’” McGrath said.

Bell’s Flower Corner also delivers most of their Valentine’s arrangements.

“We drop (flowers) at the desks in the dorms, so we don’t get to see the reactions,” McGrath said.

When McGrath delivers the arrangements, sometimes she gets to see the recipients’ reactions; they are usually pleasantly surprised.

Pre-orders have not been as popular this year for Bell’s Flower Corner as they have been in recent years, she said.

Both flower shops’ staff prose questions to help find the best flowers or bouquet if the customer is not quite sure what their customers are looking for, McGrath said.

These questions include what their favorite colors are and what their likes and dislikes are.

Both flower shops plan specifically for Valentine’s Day since it is both their busiest holiday and because they only have one day to finish so much work.

“It’s a very one-day holiday,” Newkirk said. “Most people, if they get past Valentine’s Day without doing anything, (are) not going to do (anything) the next day.”

Both flower shops will deliver to Eastern’s campus on Valentine’s Day this Thursday.

Katelyn Eddington can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].