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Valentine's Day: Snow Isn't Slowing Down Northern Virginia Florist

How is the snow affecting your business on Valentine's Day? Tell readers about it in the Comments box below this story.

Karin's Florist in Vienna is open for business, after a foot of snow; they prepared by getting a generator in case the power went out and rented nearby hotel rooms for employees. Photo courtesy of Karin's Florist
Karin's Florist in Vienna is open for business, after a foot of snow; they prepared by getting a generator in case the power went out and rented nearby hotel rooms for employees. Photo courtesy of Karin's Florist
What's a little snow? After more than a foot of snow landed on Vienna this week, you'd think that some florists would throw up their hands and give up on trying to deliver flowers on one of their busiest days of the year — Valentine's Day.

Employees at Karin's Florist in Vienna started preparing for the weather as soon as possible, says owner Maris Angolia.

"We started watching the weather about 10 days ago," she said. What does that mean? The third-generation company, which started doing business in 1956, whipped into action: Renting SUVs for delivery, nearby hotel rooms for employees and temporary employees (there are about 25 full-time employees and about 100 for the holiday), and getting a generator and a tent for the back parking lot where they prep deliveries.

They also bought flashlights, lanterns and plenty of batteries, just in case the power went out. (Miraculously, Dominion Power reported very few power outages in Northern Virginia this week.)

A policeman knocked the snow off the top of the prep tent to be sure it didn't cave in.

As soon as the weather looked like it was going to get bad, employees at Karin's Florist started calling customers to see if they wouldn't mind having flowers delivered early, on Wednesday instead of Friday, Valentine's Day, Angolia said. The snow started to fall Wednesday night.

"We delivered to teachers on Wednesday," she said, since they were pretty sure that school would be called off for Thursday (it was called off for both Thursday and Friday). Angolia said one good thing about school being called off: She picked up a few more delivery runners and drivers, students who suddenly didn't have to be at school.

The florist rescued a wholesale florist whose truck broke down. "We towed him out," Angolia said. She used one of the company vans to get the flowers to the store.

Her sales team has been busy this week re-routing floral deliveries that were supposed to be made to offices, many that were closed Thursday and Friday because of the snow. Instead, deliveries are being made to homes.

Will the snow impact her Valentine's Day business? "I think it's going to be good," Angolia said. "We're open."

Delivery drivers won't be able to leave any flowers at the door, because of the cold. But since many people are at home because of the snow, Angolia said they aren't too worried about no one answering the door.

Is the snow impacting your business? Tell us about it in the Comments box.
Liz February 15, 2014 at 07:12 PM
Wow! This is one inventive and resourceful business! Hats off to them!

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