With Mother’s Day approaching, florists may be on people’s minds. Slave Lake has one florist and two artificial flower arrangers. There are also a few stores in Slave Lake that sell gifts that moms might like All of these are non-essential businesses, which are physically shut but are doing curb-side or porch delivery.
Lorraine Lyons is the owner of the florist – Flowers etc. Lyons grew up in Slave Lake. She worked at one of the banks and at the hospital before opening the flower shop 13 years ago. She closed before the mandatory closure in March, then reopened for delivery just before Easter.
Lyons wasn’t sure if people were going to want flowers. They did.
Overall, she says, the situation is “okay, but not ideal.”
While Lyons can get in new flowers, the variety is limited because of the border closures. She has roses, tulips etc. from British Columbia, but no palms or gladiolas from California. She also won’t have orchids.
Mother’s Day is the busiest time of the year for Flowers etc. Lyons encourages people to pre-book, as the supply is limited and people can’t walk into the store.
Mother’s Day isn’t as busy for artificial flowers. The two companies in Slave Lake are Scattered Blooms and Frankie’s Frick’n Flowers. Both are run by Slave Lake women out of their homes.
Frankie Giroux owns Frankie’s. The biggest impact on her business has been the postponement of weddings.
Next year’s wedding season, she says, will be very busy, as most people are putting it off until then. Some people are also downsizing to an elopement.
Giroux has quite a bit of stock and so can do custom orders for people. She’s also making wreaths for her sister-in-law’s online store. This store sells subscription boxes, which include things like clothes and shoes. This time the box will have something spring-like and floral from Frankie’s.
Candles, gift baskets and other items are also popular gifts for Mother’s Day.
Southshore Hidden Treasures tends to be very busy around Mother’s Day, says co-owner Joee Sanford. Sanford owns the store with her mother Marlene Commins. In some form or other, Southshore has been in Widewater and then Slave Lake for over 30 years.
It is a family store, with only the two owners working there, so there haven’t been any layoffs. However, since Southshore also has income from storage units, the company is not eligible for government COVID funding.
Like Flowers etc. the store closed before the required shutdown in March.
Now, people can contact the store by phone or on Facebook to buy items.
The store sells gift ware, hot tub chemicals, puzzles, games, candles, gardening decorations, baby stuff and more.
One of the popular items has been wrapped gifts. Another has been jigsaw puzzles. One week in April, Southshore sold 40 puzzles. There is an order for more.
Southshore has also started to carry hand sanitizer, which it will continue to stock while the pandemic lasts.
Although the store doesn’t have bedding plants, it has started to carry air ferns.
The Leader is also getting into the spirit of the holiday with a special price for people to put a message to their mothers in the local paper.
There are many other local restaurants and stores with ideas for how people can let their mothers know that they are appreciated.