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Colors of love swarm local floral studio for Valentine’s Day

The local shop prepares for customers to show their loved ones affection with flowers this Valentine’s Day.
Sara House
The greenhouse at Acorn and Evergreen Floral Studio is adorned with heart decorations on Jan. 29th, 2024.

For Acorn and Evergreen Floral Studio in Kent, Valentine’s Day is an “on-your-feet all day” kind of day.

“It’s a fun chaotic, and it’s usually not terrible because men just want roses,” manager Sarah Brittingham said. “Society has conditioned them that they have to bring home roses. So, as long as we have roses it’s usually pretty good.”

Preparation for Valentine’s Day started on Feb. 5 at the floral studio. Closer to the end of the week, employees use their longer-lasting flowers to prep containers, arrangements, custom orders and more, looking at 10-12 hour days, Brittingham said.

Maddy Ross, a floral designer at Acorn and Evergreen, described the workload for Valentine’s Day preparation as tedious, where she creates new designs and tweaks old ones to create fresh, new arrangements.

“Valentine’s Day isn’t just about the two weeks, the month before is all prep work,” she said. “Including the stuff you don’t think about, like filling up water tubes.”

Not only did the store, located at 1109 S. Water St., prepare for the holiday of love early, but it is encouraging patrons to prepare early as well through a special offer for those who pick-up or get their flowers delivered prior to the special day. For customers who spend $50 or more and order flowers to be delivered between Feb. 11 and 13, the floral studio will offer a $50 gift certificate, Brittingham said.

“It’s a way to ease our delivery drivers, because the day of the holiday can get so hectic,” she said. “If we can encourage people to deliver them early, then they also get to look awesome because they thought about [ordering flowers] so soon.”

A bouquet on display at Acorn and Evergreen Floral Studio on Jan. 29, 2024. (Sara House)

Shades of red, pink and white will overtake Acorn and Evergreen for the holiday season. Along with roses, Brittingham said they’ll include customer favorites such as gerbera daisies, carnations, tulips and many more for their hand designed arrangements.

“We’ll get about 3,000 red roses and 2,000 of colors, like whites, pinks, yellows, lavenders and oranges,” she said. “And we will go through all of it, we’ll run out the day before, order more and have those the morning of Valentine’s Day, then by lunchtime we’ll be out again.”

Ross, Brittingham and floral designer Rane Crookston described previous years’ scenes during the Valentine’s shipment, with flowers overtaking about half of a classroom-sized room.

“I’m, like, peeking over the flowers,” Brittingham said, “I’m 5-foot-2!”

While the floral studio does take custom orders, there’s no shortage of Valentine’s Day floral arrangements they’ve designed. The holiday’s themed designs feature names like “Heartstrings” and “Infatuation.” Ross said the “Loads of Love Truck” is most popular this year.

“We try to make designs young and hip,” Ross said. “We revamped the heartstrings arrangement into more of a wildflower, cottage-core design, and it turned out to be really cute.”

The most common Valentine’s Day customers are middle-aged men, Crookston said. However, with the campus so close to the studio’s location, the business tries to engage with college students.

“College students love the plants,” Brittingham said. “Those tend to be a big draw for them.”

She said they try to gear towards students with specials and promotions. Acorn and Evergreen offers $5 off a $10 or more purchase to students that show their FLASHcard ID.

Ross said they’ll be working on designing plant specials as well as the Valentine’s Day flowers.

“We want [customers] to come in and spend time with us and be happy with us,” she said. “Sometimes they just come in to wander, and we’re OK with that.”

Brittingham hopes the weather pans out this Valentine’s Day. Wishing for a warm day, she said that if it’s below freezing, they have to take additional precautions and wrap bouquets of the mass-produced Valentine’s Day flowers.

After spending all day in a floral studio preparing and caring for the abundance of plants, the three women have their favorite Valentine’s color schemes locked down.

A table with the word “LOVE” at Acorn and Evergreen Floral Studio on Jan. 29, 2024. (Sara House)

Ross gravitates toward a classic pink and white arrangement, while Brittangham said she loves an orange and purple combination.

“Anything with purple is for Valentine’s Day,” Crookston said. “I love purples, yellows and whites, and maybe a little bit of hot pink, too.”

Brittingham said they’ve worked hard to create an environment full of respect by keeping things light and happy.

“We know we’re going to get a little snappy or we’re going to get a difficult customer,” she said. “We try really hard to not take it out on each other. We recognize when someone needs a break and we say to take a minute to sit outside, or to go to the bathroom for a moment. Take a deep breath.”

Brittingham did not start off in the floral industry with the intention of becoming a full-time florist studio manager. She has a degree in history, but said she fell in love with this job.

“I just decided that this is what I want to do,” she said. “This is my calling.”

Audrey Trevarthan is a campus editor. Contact her at [email protected].

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Audrey Trevarthan, Campus Editor
Audrey is a junior journalism student with a passion for opinion writing and digital content. Contact her at [email protected]

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