Displays of Affection
What’s old is new again in Valentine’s Day gifts
Nestled in the beginning of the year, just after the chaos of the holidays has passed, rests Cupid and his famed bow-and-arrow. Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with love, flowers, chocolate and the like, and the classic gifts offered on this day continuously find new ways to remain in the now. Timeless modern romance, if you will.
Starting out as a subscription-based flower delivery service, Monday Morning Flower and Balloon Co. has grown thanks in large part to Valentine’s Day. Plenty of the company’s bouquets feature the rose; a symbol of love and friendship. But owners and husband-and-wife duo Georgianne and Kevin Vinicombe keep the ball rolling on modern. Some of its most popular designs this past Valentine’s Day were not the traditional dozen roses. “I'd like to say that we have a unique/new style, but we pride ourselves on creating the perfect bouquet that (customers) want to send,” said Georgianne. “On our website we offer designs of all different styles; modern, traditional (and) quirky, but for us it's all about the sender and the recipient. Getting into their head to create just the perfect floral gift to help them express their feelings is what we strive to do.”
Additionally, traditionally floral doesn’t mean out of style. Roses are, after all, a classic way of expressing admiration. “We find both men and women are more open to sending mixed floral designs that may include roses, but aren’t quite so limited,” Georgianne said. Flower selection is important, but what the Vinicombes find to be more of a must-have for customers is freshness, longevity and accuracy.
Author laureate Geoffrey Chaucer had a lot to do with the tie between romance and the celebration of Saint Valentine, and since then, greeting cards and valentines have sold in the hundreds of millions. According to a Hallmark study, the holiday is the second-largest for greeting card-giving, with more than 130 million sold annually. And current cards that have an amore theme can be given year-round, so having them on-hand is always a good idea.
Another term synonymous with Valentine’s Day — chocolate — has its way of transitioning with current trends. Consumers are looking for a variety of different types of gifts to celebrate the loving holiday with both romantic and non-romantic sentiment. The continually growing trends of gifts for girlfriends has coined the popular “Galantine’s Day” and is accompanies by funny messages, friendship-themed gifts and, of course, an abundance of chocolate. 1-800-Flowers-owned Fannie May specializes in the confection, and is seeing an increase in popularity of certain selections such as sea salt caramels. “We pride ourselves on being the premier chocolate makers in quality, elegance, and innovative gourmet chocolate gifts,” said Janet Prisk, vice president of merchandising for the company. “Dark chocolate, interesting flavor profiles and unique appearance are all trends where we see continued opportunities in the future.”
For the unchocolate-lover, northern California-based Metro Candy sells its Cupid Hearts in a variety of colors in either bulk or packaged for retail. A third-generation candy man, Steve Sconza’s grandfather founded Sconza Candy in 1939. In 1993, his father started his own candy packaging and distribution center. Sconza is now the operations manager of Metro Candy, which offers a variety of the upmost quality to its retailers.