The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 14, 2014

Local businesses busy in midst of season of the heart

CLINTON — Love is in the air and local retailers are doing what they can to cash in on the Valentine’s Day hubbub.

Florists, jewelers and other Valentine’s Day merchants have ramped up staff members and supplies to prepare for the big day, and while expecting the unexpected comes with the territory, all are feeling confident they have taken the measures to ensure a successful day of love.

“We’ve done it for so many years, it’s like clockwork and we have fun doing it,” Clinton Floral Shop owner Jane Deters said. “Doing this for 70 years, we’ve learned a few tricks.”

In order to prepare her shop and her staff members, Deters ordered nearly 3,000 roses, about 30 times more than her normal order of 100, with the expectation that those roses will not last longer than the weekend.

Already her shop has more than 500 orders of flowers to be delivered today, and she anticipates that number will go up as some of those last- minute shoppers come out of the woodwork.

“We will have five trucks running deliveries,” Deters said. “And it’s because of those late shoppers that we have so many trucks running. We never want to turn anybody down and we usually don’t ever turn anybody down until the afternoon when we just know there’s no way we can do it all.”

Clinton Floral Shop isn’t the only local florist getting bombarded this week though.

Jeanne Borja’s Flowers on 5th also is feeling the pressure of those last- minute romantics trying to find the perfect gift for their special someone.

And to offer a little relief to their customers during this often expensive holiday, Borja and Deters are selling the always popular red roses at regular price.

“I actually don’t up my prices like a lot of florists do on Valentine’s Day,” Borja said. “Because I want my customers to be happy and stay with me as their florist.”

Valentine’s Day is about more than just flowers, though. Diamonds are a favorite as well.

During a season when business has been slow, Don’s Jewelry owner Sheralyn Bartels is happy to see Valentine’s Day come around and that customers are choosing the locally owned business to buy their loved ones jewels for the big day.

“Luckily, this week has been very busy for us,” Bartels said. “There weren’t many people out in January because of how cold it was but people are starting to get out now.”

Bartels said diamonds have still been the No. 1 seller leading up to today.

“We are seeing a lot of diamonds being purchased,” Bartels said.

While flowers and diamonds, chocolates and jewelry are popular gift choices for Valentine’s Day, not everyone is ready to shell out the big bucks for the refined gift selection.

Some people just like to say I love you with a simple, yet sweet greeting card.

Katie Littrell, manager of Guzzardo’s Hallmark in Clinton, has already seen a big rush of shoppers in the past two days, and, if her projections hold true, she expects today will be the busiest day of the week.

“We try to prepare every year for these couple of days,” Littrell said. “We sell a lot of the Valentine’s cards so we expect we will be really, very busy (today.)”

 

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