Hamilton florists looking for anyone with a pulse to work Valentine's Day
It's Valentine's Day again and it looks as though a flower bomb has gone off in Hamilton florist, Amy's Flowers.
Hundreds of bouquets are scattered on the shop floor, while 14 staff work non-stop to create even more.
The music is blasting and empty coffee cups are strewn around. The caffeine fuelled the team as they worked through the night.
If you had driven past the shop at 6.30am on Tuesday, you would have seen seven courier vans being loaded up with the first deliveries for the day, emptying three chillers filled with red roses.
"We have every staff member we can get. We have called in friends from Auckland, ex florists. If you have got a pulse we will get you working," owner Ryan Henwood says.
"You can't get enough staff, you can't get enough people. You can't organise it enough."
Henwood runs the florist alongside his wife and business namesake, Amy.
The 2017 day for lovers has been a record for the business. The phones and the website were turned off at 5pm on Monday as capacity had been met.
True to form, the majority of males placed their orders in a last minute rush.
"There was nothing, nothing, nothing. Saturday, Sunday, I had all these roses out the back.
"I knew not to freak out. Then these blokes started on Monday morning and it went order, order, order.
"The smart guy will order two months in advance and he will order for delivery on the 13th because he is going to get the product cheaper before the Valentine's Day prices come in and get the freshest flowers.
"But no one ever orders early, they just leave it until the day before. Then you get hundreds and hundreds of people on your site, just about crashing it."
From 3pm to 5pm on Monday, 300 orders streamed in.
"If I had left the website on for another 10 minutes there would have been an extra 40 or 50 orders."
There was one lucky bloke who showed up at 4.30am on Tuesday looking for a dozen roses.
Henwood dealt with him so he walked away with flowers in hand.
"The owner is always going to want to make a sale."
At 7pm on Monday Ryan pulled Amy aside, worried they had bitten off more than they could chew. She gave him a pep talk, and told him not to be silly, and that they would get through it. At 11am on Tuesday, the business was on track to blitz it.
But that meant all of the day's work was focused on getting the pre-ordered flowers.
"We just keep getting busier and busier here.
"Even people wanting to order ordinary flowers, we just can't do it."
Not surprisingly the Henwoods themselves don't celebrate Valentine's Day.
"Hell no. Not a chance," Henwood says. He goes on to explain their February 17 wedding anniversary doesn't get a look-in either.
It takes them a week to recover from the madness.
"On the 17th we just want to sleep."
But for now it is back to the grind as the store is emptied of the masses of flowers.
About a month's worth of turnover is done on the day.
"It's been pretty epic.
"That's us for Valentine's Day. The absolute madness."