Local people: Stalk Market florists chat about their busiest day of the year, Valentine’s Day
With Valentine’s Day on Thursday, businesses across the county are rolling out deals and specials so that everyone has the opportunity to express their love in just the right way. For The Stalk Market floral shop in Grand Lake, that means getting ready for their busiest day of the year.
On average, the Stalk Market does over 100 arrangements for Valentine’s Day, but they don’t stop there. Owner Mindy Nelson said they often deliver the flowers to restaurants or hotel rooms to surprise the recipient and the store also offers extras to pair with the flowers, such as chocolates, candles and cards.
Nelson and lead designer Becky Frey spoke with Sky-Hi News about the business of floral arrangements and how the store helps Grand County celebrate the day of love. The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.
Sky-Hi News: What does an average day at the Stalk Market look like?
Mindy Nelson: Depends on the season.
Becky Frey: Yea, it totally depends on the season. During the summertime, we’re super crazy with weddings, so usually Wednesday through Sunday we’re just busy doing wedding stuff, so processing and building. We have a really great team that helps us accomplish everything. On a typical day this time of year, it’s pretty chill. It’s looking at getting new retail stuff in for the summer, talking with brides, whether that’s phone calls or consultations.
MN: We tend to stay really busy with weddings all the way through October and then engagement season starts – Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day. Thanksgiving is busy for us, the holidays are busy for us and then we jump right into engagement season.
SHN: How do you decide which flowers to keep in stock?
BF: During the slower seasons, I try to keep flowers in stock that last longer for our customers and, depending on what season it is, we’ll buy flowers that go with that season. This time of year, I like to keep more colorful, happy flowers in the cooler just because it’s winter so it’s cold and dark.
MN: ‘Tis the season for people to need bright colored flowers in their life.
SHN: When is your biggest holiday or busiest season?
MN: Single day is Valentine’s Day, for sure. But we just run at 100 miles per hour from June 1 all the way until Oct. 15, so that’s our busy season.
SHN: What is your process when you make an arrangement?
BF: Depending on what the customer wants and their needs are, whether it’s a birthday or a sympathy style, I’ll take that into consideration when picking a container that matches it, as well as the price point that they want to spend on flowers. From there I’ll start with greenery and fill in with flowers, again depending on the desire of the customer.
They range from $1 per flower to up to $12 a flower, sometimes more in some cases, but we don’t usually keep those ones on hand. I try to limit it to three colors in a bouquet because anything over that is usually overwhelming and you always use odd numbers when you design things because the eye perceives odd numbers better than even numbers.
SHN: What is the most expensive or rarest flower you’ve sold?
MN: Garden roses are extremely expensive. Calla lilies, I just ordered a special order of those for Valentine’s Day and those are crazy.
BF: Lily of the Valleys are actually ridiculously expensive and gardenias. We get a lot of requests for them because people don’t know.
SHN: What makes your arrangements unique?
MN: One in particular is that we actually physically go to our supplier every week in Denver and we handpick our flowers for our brides and those things because if we have them send it up in a box, we’re stuck with what we get. So if it’s not a perfect flower, then that’s what we have to make work in a bouquet.
BF: During the summer, for weddings, I usually spend three to four hours just making sure the colors are perfect and it fits exactly what the bride needs, so it’s exactly what they’re expecting to receive.
MN: (…) Also, we have a team that we work with. We all have different specialties, so one of us is really good at doing wedding arches and one of us is super good at bouquets and one of us is amazing at boutonnieres and corsages.
SHN: How do you prepare for Valentine’s Day?
MN: Well we got all of our flowers in (Feb. 11) and we spent the whole entire day just processing. (…) So today, we’ll kind of go through (the orders) and get that more organized as to who’s picking up, which ones are going on deliveries and kind of hone it all. We’ll start greening all of our vases today and then tomorrow we’ll put the flowers in so that they’re all ready to go out the door on Thursday morning.
SHN: Why do flowers make good gifts?
MN: I think that even if someone says they don’t like flowers, that everyone likes flowers. As we deliver flowers to people, you don’t ever see someone’s face with disappointment when they receive flowers. They’re never like oh man, flowers, they’re always like oh wow, I’m getting flowers! Flowers make people happy.
SHN: What is the best part about being a florist?
MN: The joy you bring to people. I think when it comes to weddings and those kinds of things, when you sit at a desk and look at pictures and all that, it’s almost like having a baby, where you really don’t realize what it’s going to be like until it’s there. The best part is delivering a bridal bouquet and the bride just bursting into tears because it’s so beautiful.
SHN: What is your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?
MN: Probably, our first Valentine’s Day when we had absolutely no idea what to expect. We opened in June so we had a little while and we didn’t do many weddings that year since we had just opened and then we got to Valentine’s Day and our phones just went crazy. Every Valentine’s Day, just the fact that we can do so much for so many people is just awesome.
BF: Last year, probably, when we were like this is going to be insane and then when it got done, we were like that was a lot, but we’re fabulous and we got this.
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