Flowers by Frances was buzzing Tuesday morning between customers coming in to purchase an arrangement for their someone special, dozens of orders being designed simultaneously in the back room and drivers carrying the floral cargo to the trucks and out for delivery.
“We’re used to it by now; we’ve been doing this a long time” Carol Staples, owner, said about Valentine’s Day. “It’s an adrenaline rush.”
Flowers by Frances has been in business for 67 years. The shop has been in the Staples family for 45 years, and Richard and Carol Staples took over approximately 21 years ago.
“It takes us several months to prepare,” said manager Trinity Atherton, who has been working at the store for 25 years.
When they look ahead to Valentine’s Day to determine how much inventory they will need, they first look at which day of the week the holiday falls.
“Anything Monday through Saturday is very busy,” Staples said. “And we just kind of follow the economy, industry trends, and then it’s pretty much just go with your gut.”
Customers can order specific arrangements pictured on flowersbyfrances.net, or they can ask the florists to create something custom. Staples said it’s split 50/50 on which way customers order arrangements.
The store also has promotional arrangements for special holidays such as Valentine’s Day.
There is one flower that is always the popular pick for this particular holiday.
“Always roses,” Staples said with a smile. “Red roses, the romantic flower. I think we got close to 2,300 roses, and we will be out by tonight.”
“Actually, probably by noon,” Atherton said with a laugh.
It takes a lot of extra help to make all their arrangements and deliveries on the busy day.
Staples recruited many individuals including her daughter, daughter-in-law, son, everyone’s husbands, friends, etc.
Someone answers the phone, another is in charge of the front room, some are designing and there are three different trucks out making deliveries.
The store even recruited some Fort Hays State University wrestlers to help deliver flowers.
“It’s wonderful,” Staples said.
On Monday, the staff put in a 12-hour day doing as much preparation as they could, and on Tuesday, they were busy until they closed at 5 p.m. Staples said they continued to have customers walk in throughout the afternoon.
“That’s what we’re here for,” Staples said.