The florist is preparing for Valentine’s Day

RALEIGH, NC — Andry Gamez hopes his business will continue to thrive, something that is in God’s hands.

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The feast of love, Valentine’s Day, is fast approaching

Florists spend months preparing for the big day in hopes that love and business will blossom with a few dozen roses

Although this year, gifts from your father-in-law may come at a steep price.

“I pray every day and say thank you. That’s how I was raised,” Gamez said.

The Venezuelan immigrant grew up in her mother’s flower shop, feeling most at peace surrounded by beauty.

“It doesn’t really feel like a job, because that’s what I really enjoy doing,” she said.

The tranquility and calm of the shop are a distant memory of one of the busiest days of the year, the feast of lovers.

“We absolutely have to prepare two months in advance with vases, supplies, everything,” Gamez said.

With around 600 orders to date, demand has certainly not faltered during the pandemic. This does not mean that the price remains the same.

“We used to have a dozen roses in a vase for $85.99 and now we have $90,” she said.

Vases, ribbons and other supplies, especially for funerals, can be double what they used to be. That’s if you can get them at all.

“I spend three or four times what I used to spend because when you find something, you don’t know how long you have to wait to get it again,” Gamez said.

Customers sometimes wilt at the high prices.

“When they tell you it’s going to cost $100, say, oh my God, how many times, how many hours have to work to give $100 in flowers, and they’re just going to die in a week? In two weeks?” she said.

While some florists are closing their doors for good, Gamez is grateful that her life’s passion can still flourish. She says flower design isn’t just an art, it’s an investment in people.

“We really do it with all our love. It’s what we love to do. It’s what we love to do. And we really love making people happy,” she said.

Although price escalation is new, is the florist industry dying?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work for floral designers is expected to drop 20% between 2020 and 2030. The data suggests that florists could also disappear as delivery services process online orders and grocery stores also sell flowers.

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