day in the life: a florist on Valentine’s Day | News, Sports, Jobs

Simply Blooming owner Lisa Eikamp (rear) is still smiling after a long day spent in the back of her floral shop in downtown Traer creating Valentine’s Day arrangements while her friend Lindsey Phillips works in the foreground. Simply Blooming had well over 50 orders this year on Valentine’s Day, combined with another 50 bouquet deliveries to North Tama School on the Friday before the big holiday. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

One of the biggest parties of the year took place this week for retail florists nationwide.

In Traer, the staff at Simply Blooming flower and gift shop take their Valentine’s Day experience to the next level.

Every year, those meandering down 2nd Street on Valentine’s Day are likely to find a trail of rose petals guiding shoppers into the store where an entire team of workers bustle around the store to ensure that everyone in and around Traer has what they need for their special someone on Valentine’s Day.

Simply Blooming, owned by Lisa Eikamp, ​​has been a mainstay in downtown Traer for 15 years.

“We’re just having fun, and my staff are amazing,” said Eikamp. “I even have a lot of people volunteering to help us over the holidays because it’s so much fun to deliver. Everyone likes to see the smiles when they deliver the flowers.

It’s a family event! Lisa Eikamp (left), owner of Simply Blooming, is pictured in the back of her flower shop with her parents Pat and Bonnie Harrison (centre) and brother Nick Harrison late in the day on February 14. Eikamp’s family members help him every year with Valentine’s Day deliveries. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

For Eikamp, ​​big parties like Valentine’s Day at the florist‘s are a family affair. She estimates that nearly a dozen family members, staff and volunteers are present on Valentine’s Day to ensure the operation runs smoothly.

One of Eikamp’s highlights during the holiday season, including Valentine’s Day, is a program where Simply Blooming donates flowers to Sunrise Hill Care Center in Traer so that every resident can have a bouquet on valentines day.

She said Monday they would often make multiple trips to Sunrise Hill to deliver both their own donations, other community donations as well as personal orders from family members.

This year, the shop also provided between 60 and 80 candy bouquets to children in the community.

Eikamp said Valentine’s Day presents a few unique experiences that differ from other major holidays where flowers play a major role.

A Valentine’s Day floral arrangement receives the finishing touches late afternoon on February 14 at Lisa Eikamp’s flower shop, Simply Blooming, in downtown Traer. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Valentine’s Day comes down to a single day of celebration compared to Mother’s Day or the Christmas holidays which last a few days or even an entire season. She added that the Valentine’s Day clientele was also an interesting change of pace.

“Men as a customer make the day fun and unique,” said Eikamp. “It’s just something a little different from my norm. Normally, women are my clients. And so for that day, you know, it’s mostly men.

Eikamp said after 16 years of working in the community, she’s been able to thread the needle in figuring out what her customers will want and how much to buy for a holiday season.

Unsurprisingly, red roses still reign supreme for many Valentine’s Day shoppers, though Eikamp said he’s noticed mixed arrangements have grown in popularity in recent years.

Last year, Eikamp said his cost of buying wholesale roses had “increased enormously” which led to price increases for rose bouquets.

Flowers line the store, waiting to be included as part of a special Valentine’s Day arrangement at Simply Blooming in Traer town center on February 14. Photos by Ruby F. Bodeker

Patty Seuss, who works for Eikamp at Simply Blooming, said the Valentine’s Day preparation process for Eikamp’s company is more than lining up flowers and getting them ready.

“It’s the bows and the vases and the bears, you know, all Lisa needs to get to make sure we have everything we need for the holidays,” said Seuss. “It’s just a lot of merchandising in general. There is someone who comes specifically to inflate the balloons that come out with the controls. And all this requires a lot of investment.

Eikamp said one thing customers might easily overlook when sending or receiving an arrangement is that each flower has been personally touched and prepared by florists before it’s ready to be part of the St. someone’s valentine.

“Each flower is examined and we make sure it is of sufficient quality for us before putting it into an arrangement”, said Eikamp.

For many florists, 2022 represents their first opportunity to experience the Valentine’s Day holiday under more normal conditions since the pandemic began.

Wreath of roses awaiting that special someone on Valentine’s Day this year at Traer Simply Blooming’s downtown floral boutique. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Last year’s holiday fell on a Sunday, and some pandemic hesitation may have affected some shoppers’ shopping habits.

Eikamp said last Friday that her store had already reached the total number of Valentine’s Day orders it had received throughout the 2021 holiday.

During a one-day holiday period like Valentine’s Day, delivery coordination efforts for a rural florist like Simply Blooming require an expert level of detail.

Eikamp said his store’s footprint is large given the rural areas surrounding Traer and the lack of competition in many small towns. This year she has orders from as far as La Porte City, Vinton, Reinbeck and Tama.

With the high temperature below zero on Monday, the store also had to pack all of its orders coming out to protect the flowers from the cold air.

Eikamp’s tips for keeping flower arrangements looking their best aren’t out of the ordinary, though she said they’re simple things she hears people forget more than you might expect. .

“The easiest thing people forget about their flowers is not adding water to their base or container,” said Eikamp. “For the most part they should be kept out of direct sunlight. A lot of people think they have to put them in the window for them to bloom, but all they do is cause them to expire longer. quickly.

“We keep them in the cooler, and that’s for a reason,” Seuss intervened. They like to be cool, but not frozen.

Simply Blooming is one of only two operating flower shops in Tama County. They are located at 518 2nd St. in downtown Traer and can be reached by phone at 319-478-8585, online at or on Facebook at Simply Blooming.

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