Valentines 2021 was one for the books. The good news is Cedarhouse Flowers has grown steadily every year since its humble, nascent beginning in 2017. The bad news is because of said growth, every big flower holiday is like a brand-new beast to tame bringing with it brand-new problems to solve, bigger questions to answer and specifically, less storage! We can’t just “do what we did last year”- there’s either not enough time, not enough space, not enough hands or all three. Timing is everything when it comes to the big flower holidays- we can’t prep too early because we want your flowers to last and we can’t prep too late or orders will pile up and we run the risk of 16-hour work days (it can happen and it ain’t pretty.)
This year Covid also forced us to consider space in another way; social distancing of course. It wasn’t just a matter of “where should we put these 70 arrangements for our delivery drivers to pick up”; we also needed to give employees and customers room to shop and work safely. We double masked, set up design stations 12 feet apart and hand sanitizer was flowing like Veuve Clicquot at Diddys last All White party. I poked around on social media to see how other shops were handling the influx of bodies and finally decided to have a greeter at the door to welcome our shoppers while simultaneously screening and fielding questions so the room didn’t fill with bodies and hot covid breath. My sister in-law texted me earlier in the week asking if I needed help on Valentine’s Day and I thought she’d be perfect for door detail- she’s firm but fun, she’s great at directing traffic and while she doesn’t work for peanuts, she will work for flowers😉 (Thanks Suzie!)
In addition to preparing for 1. holiday sales increases (NOT COMPLAINING!), 2. Covid precautions, Seattle was also given the gift of Snowmageddon 2021. Rumors of snow began circulating around the 7th of February but I passed them off as dramatic and sensationalist- I assumed that over the next couple days weather predictions would change to “rain showers” like they always do. My kids and I joke that anyone can be a meteorologist in Seattle; just report there is “a chance of rain”, “possible showers” or “clouds with on and off moisture” and you’ll nail it. But Seattle Snowmageddon 2021 was no joke. It began snowing on Friday the 12th and by late Saturday our fair city (which boasts 2 snow plows and a cup and a half of street salt) was buried in 8-12 inches. I am ever grateful that I had super seasoned guest florists joining Team Valentines this year. They advised me to begin deliveries a day early and that advice ultimately saved dozens of potentially stranded arrangements and gave us the head start we needed to stay on top of incoming orders. Our little shop was able to get scores of arrangements delivered on time and in many cases, early. My husband chained up our 1999 GMC Tank and we loaded him up and he delivered route after route after route of flower deliveries. MVP! MVP! MVP!
Big lessons this year:
Preparation, preparation, preparation-
Surround yourself with the best talent-
Keep the coffee flowing but remember to hydrate!
On to Mother’s Day!