Many local florists have been forced to think outside the box to keep their businesses going during the pandemic. CASSI GROVES Flowers and plants have continued to grow and bloom, forcing many florists to lose product and revenue since business crashed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working with organic products like flowers comes with a certain level of urgency to make sales before the expiration of the product. Flowers wilt in a short period. Different types of flowers will be in season at specific times of the year. All these factors come into play for florists to have a successful shop.

The coronavirus prompted many restrictions on public gatherings causing florists’ businesses to suffer in its wake. Many funeral visitations, weddings, and other events were cancelled or postponed leaving florists with an abundance of unwanted flowers. Now, business has begun to increase, but the industry has changed to accommodate the continued uneasiness surrounding the virus.

Flowers by Judy

In White House, owner Susan Kessler explained the impact funeral gatherings had on her business. As people were unable to attend funeral visitations or mourn together, the florist’s business declined.

“Funerals are always a big part of (sales),” Kessler said.

At the beginning of the quarantine, Kessler noticed business slowing down which led her to shorten her hours. In the last few weeks, business has finally started to increase as restrictions are lifted on the public.

Kessler has had trouble getting sunflowers in stock which has impacted her day to day sales. Various colored tulips have been hard to come by as well. At this time, she gets whatever looks the best to continue sales, as things continue to slowly return to normal.

Cassie’s Flower Pad

Owner Cassie Groves started her flower shop in Cross Plains a year ago before COVID-19 came to the area. The shop was already struggling when the pandemic hit, causing it to go under completely. Groves now sells flowers out of her farm in Orlinda.

Groves would typically sell flowers for a variety of events including funerals, anniversaries, baby announcements and others. With large gatherings prohibited, Cassie’s Flower Pad suffered major losses.

“(The pandemic) has total killed my funeral work, completely killed it,” Groves said.

When Groves was forced to shut down, she had to throw out numerous flowers. She estimated her loss at around $1,500. Groves was ineligible for any government aid since she was considered the only employee and had such a new business.“We’ve all suffered,” Groves said. “Everyone, there’s not one florist who hasn’t suffered.”In the last week, she began to see an increase in everyday sales, though not to the degree of sales before the shutdown. She hopes it will increase as people begin to celebrate together as restrictions are lifted.“I’m not making a living on it yet that’s for sure, but at least I’m able to do some of the things I like to do best,” Groves said. The Potted Shed Denise Arnold, owner of The Potted Shed in Greenbrier, experienced a loss in business at the […]