The owners of Petals & Roots, a Queens, New York-based artisan floral shop, are busy doing -- what else -- filling hundreds of orders for Valentine's Day.
"Planning is tremendous," explained Alex Avdoulos, who opened the shop along with her husband Pete three years ago.
"We think about it all year and prepare for it at least four weeks out. Placing orders, trying to gauge what demand will be like."
Demand is up, now that Petals & Roots joined BloomNation, which has been called 'the Etsy (ETSY - Get Report) for flowers.' BloomNation is a network of independent flower shops that's set its sights on disrupting the big online florists, including 1-800-Flowers (FLWS - Get Report) and FTD (FTD - Get Report) .
"Since we've joined BloomNation and developed our website within the past six months, we've seen at least a 20% uptick in business, which is great," she said.
BloomNation offers customized websites and marketing tools for independent florists, including floral photo shoots.
The more than 3,000 florists who are part of the network receive 90% of each sale placed through BloomNation, which encourages local florists to create original designs.
"It's all about creativity, which is so great. A customer sees our profile and the designs we actually make here and selects us to deliver them because they love the arrangement," said Avdoulos.
Customers receive what's known as a BloomSnap, which is a photo of the completed order, and can call a florist directly to request any changes.
Red roses are still the most popular flower for Valentine's Day, but Avdoulos adds a little flair to her arrangements.
"Our customer is looking for something a little bit more natural and off the beaten path," said explained. "So we try to put a little spin on that. We use other botanicals that are popular now like thistle and wax flowers instead of the usual baby's breath."
Avdoulos is able to handle the heavy order load, as it takes her just 15 to 20 minutes to put together her arrangements, which include hand-written cards.
BloomNation florists also offer same-day local delivery.
"Delivery can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the New York traffic," said Avdoulos.