Despite the inclement weather, local flower shops are gearing up for Valentine's Day by preparing hundreds of roses, lilies and other flowers to send out for their biggest day for the industry.
"We have already received a whole stack of orders," said Kathy Johns, a co-manager at Marysville's Kathryn's Flowers.
"We are preparing by getting lots and lots of flowers and vases," she said. "Our cooler will be stacked out as far as it goes with five gallon buckets of roses."
Even after the flowers are delivered, there's a lot of work that goes into preparing them for arrangements.
"All the roses have to be stripped down with all the extra leaves and put in water," said Johns. "We have to make sure that our lilies are open and that we send out quality work."
Oftentimes the days are full for local workers.
"Sometimes we're here at 6 a.m. in the morning to get the flowers ready and we're here until the job is done," said Johns.
"We always have to be just being a couple of days ahead," said Mandy Phaisanti, co-manager at Kathryn's Flowers.
"We're going to get those last-minute people heading into the shop," she said.
This year the biggest issue for local shops has been the snow storm leading up to Valentine's Day.
"We have a couple of drivers that won't go out there if there's snow or ice because we deliver to all of Tulalip, all of Marysville, all the way up to Granite Falls," said Johns.
She appreciates those who are out there still delivering flowers though.
"I'm barely making it to work, let alone making a delivery," she said.
David Boulton, owner of Arlington's Flowers by George, said that incoming delivery is also a big problem.
"It's a whole transportation issue that is weighing heavily on flower shops in King and Snohomish counties," he said.
Most flower shops have their February orders in a month or more ahead of time.
"We count on Valentine's Day as a great holiday for the industry. We have to commit to all the flowers and roses in early January," he said.
Even with the long days and other problems, local florists said there's a lot they enjoy about the job.
"I like the overall buzz," said Boulton.
"January is a real let-down and we're pretty quiet. The ramp up again for Valentine's is exciting and hopefully it will be exciting this year," he said.
Johns said she enjoys helping people and getting to create something that will make others happy.
"I like just knowing that it makes other people happy. For some women, that may be the only time they get flowers," she said.
"Everybody wants someone to know that they're loved, and it's our job to help with that," she said.
Phaisanti said the follow up calls that they receive are often very nice.
"Sometimes we get phone calls from the receiving end about how beautiful the arrangement is, and we like to get phone calls like that," she said.
Boulton encouraged local residents to 'support local shops this Valentine's and be on the lookout for some websites which are not local shops and only contract out the orders they receive to local shops.
"There are order-gatherer websites out there that are very deceptive," said Boulton.
Some sites, he said, post information about a local city with misleading pictures to imply that they are a small local storefront.
However, in reality those sites simply contract from regional shops.
"We have to fill their orders," said Boulton."That's something we try to push —to make sure they're using a local florist."