Every Blooming Thing's Jill Harding and owner Julie Willans.
Every Blooming Thing's Jill Harding and owner Julie Willans.

Florist sees huge influx of customers amid COVID-19

WHILE some businesses are feeling the COVID-19 pinch, Julie Willans considers herself lucky cause she has been run off her feet at her shop.

The owner of Every Blooming Thing florist in Rockhampton City said it had been busy over the past few weeks.

Following travel bans and event restrictions, many people from out of town were been able to attend events and sent flowers to express their thoughts instead.

Ms Willans said it had been sad hearing stories of family members far away not being able to attend their loved ones’ funerals or grandparents not being able to go to the hospital to meet their grandchild for the first time.

She said there had also been many “thinking of you” bouquets, from family members or friends just checking in on each other.

As the coronavirus pandemic evolved, Ms Willans scaled back the business, reducing trading hours, focusing on online sales and offering deliveries on weekends.

“It has been great, I didn’t expect to be as busy as we have been,” she said.

ANZAC Day was different this year with fewer wreaths bought due to traditional services not being held, but many customers ordered arrangements to place in their driveways, Ms Willans said.

Easter wishes bouquets were also ordered, which was unusual, she said.

Leading into Mother’s Day, which is the florist’s second busiest day of the year, Ms Willans expected more orders than usual this year.

She said she had a range of roses, lilies, sunflowers, lisianthus, alstroemeria, chrysanthemums and natives plus other flowers.

She said there had been some issues in getting flowers.

Normally she would order roses from Melbourne but ­because flowers are transported by road only, she was ordering supplies from within Queensland, from mostly around Toowoomba.

“It’s just the ripple effect of airline restrictions and not as many flights,” she said.

Decreased airfreight has meant there has been an increase in shipping costs, an extra charge Ms Willans has had to absorb. Some suppliers have also run out of stock because florists across the state have been busy.

“Based on the wholesalers, it’s not just here, it’s a phenomenon, certainly throughout Queensland,” Ms Willans said.

Ms Willans said she felt lucky she had not been forced to close.

“We are only a tiny business. I do a little bit of work behind the scenes, weekends, nights and early mornings,” she said.

“We are feeling blessed that I can still employ someone and keep the couriers working around town, and supporting growers around the state.”

She thanked her customers for supporting small businesses in the local community.

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