Florist strives to keep Mother's Day spending local

5:14 PM, May 12, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It seems you're spending more on Mom this year -- $12.00 more to be exact.

Most of you will be sending her flowers, and one local florist is making sure that money spent on Mom is staying here to help the local economy.

"Flowers show love. They're bright, they're cheery. So when you get them, it makes you happy," said Bruce Wilson, manager of The Flower Centre of St. Pete.

Flowers are a popular gift. About two thirds of consumers will buy mom a bouquet. On average, The National Retail Federation says you're spending $152.00 on gifts this year, which means pretty good business for The Flower Centre of St. Pete.

"Holidays make it possible for us to work year-round, to keep everybody full-time year round," said Wilson.

Six or seven trucks will make deliveries, and extra people will answer phones, process orders, and make that special gift beautiful. The Flower Centre will triple its business on a weekend like Mother's Day and it's found a way to keep that money not only in the U.S., but here in Tampa Bay as well.

"We're trying to buy more and more U.S. because that will keep the money as local as possible and here in the country," said Wilson. He added flowers that used to come across the globe from Holland, Colombia, and Ecuador now ship from across the country.

"All of our peonies are coming from the Carolinas. I've gotten the tulips from Virginia. We do our tropicals from Hawaii. Any time I can find flowers that are local...Florida snaps were in for a while and they're grown in Lakeland and Palmetto and stuff, so we try to buy where we can."

So of the $18.6 billion spent on Mom this year, at least we know some if it stays right here in the Bay Area. "It's keeping our economy moving and growing and we feel like we're doing our part," said Wilson.

While many of you will spend your money on flowers, cards, and brunch, the National Retail Federation says 13 percent will give electronics like tablets and digital cameras.

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