This coming Wednesday, love will be in the air, and that spells particularly good news for some local businesses. Many restaurants will reap the benefits, with specialized servings for couples, and there are others who look forward to Valentine’s Day as well.
“Business always picks up around the holidays for us,” said Doris Izzo, who has been with Coronado Jewelers for six years. The jewelry store along the Bethany Beach boardwalk is one of the few in the area that remains open year-round. Though typically open every day but Wednesday in the second-season, Coronado Jewelers will make an exception on Valentine’s Day.
One of the most popular-selling gifts this season is the journey pendant necklace, a graduated diamond necklace to symbolize a couple’s journey through life. “We also sell a lot of nautical jewelry,” Izzo said, “since we’re right at the beach. Diamond bracelets, pendants and engagement rings are all pretty popular.”
The shop is located at the corner of the Holiday House complex, and despite the drop in shoppers through the cooler months, Izzo doesn’t get discouraged. “Now that we’re established,” she added, “and there are more people here year-round, we have built up a local clientele. Jewelry has always been a nice pick for the holiday, and the people around here appreciate it.”
Charlie Koskey was the proprietor of Chardon Ltd. Fine Jewelers in Selbyville for eight years and runs the business’ current location in Georgetown. He said that Valentine’s Day is their second-biggest holiday, falling just shy of Christmas.
“We see a lot of people as early as the start of February come in for Valentine’s Day gifts,” Koskey said. “It’s been very busy lately.”
Like Corodano Jewelers, Chardon has seen popularity with engagement rings and the journey necklace. “We run promotions on diamonds and diamond-fashioned gifts at this time of year,” said Koskey. “And, a lot of people are thinking about marriage.”
Although traditionally associated with gifts for the ladies, the holiday has been known to bring out the giving side in women, too.
“Guys aren’t the only ones coming in for gifts these days,” Koskey said. “Women are looking to get something for their Valentine. Money clips and watches are popular gift items for guys.”
But jewelers aren’t the only ones drawing in customers for the February holiday.
“It’s definitely the busiest single day of the year for us,” said David Howell, owner of David’s Flowers Inc. in Selbyville. Howell has been in the floral business for 36 years and said that ever year is consistent.
“We do pretty good business around the general holidays — Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas… But Valentine’s Day is definitely the biggest.” Orders began coming in last week, Howell noted, and the count is steadily increasing. “It’s best to get orders in early,” said Howell, speaking from experience.
Cathy Schultz, owner of Bethany Florist for 22 years, said she is gearing up for a busy day, as well. “It’s going to be pretty hectic for us,” she said.
The holiday falling on a Wednesday doesn’t seem to help ease the stress for Schultz, either. “Having it in the middle of the week is tough,” she said. “Business is increased, and that makes it harder on us. When Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend in other years, it was easier. People could go enjoy the night out and wouldn’t have to worry about getting up early the next day for work. Now, they decide that flowers are something more practical, and still meaningful.”
Bethany Florist offers their traditional arrangements and in-house specials for the holiday. “We always make sure that we have something in every price range,” said Schultz.
At David’s Flowers Inc, they keep busy with their special arrangements.
“We keep our roses at the same price that we have them all year,” said Howell. While some florists are known to increase the prices around the holiday, Howell said that he is sure to stay true to his buyers. “It wouldn’t be fair to people if we upped the price,” he said. “We like our customers to come back.”
As it turns out, Valentine’s Day is not necessarily the most profitable holiday for florists, but it does keep everyone on their toes. Both florists said they find themselves bustling around in the stores and on the road, providing deliveries for customers.
“We have to stock up all our employees [on Valentine’s Day],” said Howell. “We’ll have additional drivers and people working in the shop, too.”
“It gets pretty crazy and stressful,” said Schultz. “All of us will be working. We’ll be using all the help we can get.”
Howell noted that much of the stress comes with trying to please customers. “When people order deliveries, they all want their arrangement to be the big surprise,” he said, “and people want to be the first in the office to get something.”
And the requests are the same at Bethany Florist. “Everyone and their brother want their orders to be there first thing in the morning,” Schultz said, “but it’s just not possible.”
Schultz said that although there have been many orders placed, she has noted that every year is the same. “A lot of the guys always seem to wait until the last minute,” she said with a laugh. “We’ll have orders coming in right up to the day.”
For information about Bethany Florist, call (302) 539-2703, and for David’s Flowers Inc, call (302) 436-4222. Chardon’s Ltd. Fine Jewelers can be reached at (302) 856-7202.