Kiwp Blackburn was eager to get a jump start on his Mother’s Day shopping this year.
Tuesday, he spent some time at Parsons in Lakeland Plaza searching for the perfect piece of jewelry for his wife.
“I wanted to make sure we had what we needed before the mad rush came,” Blackburn said. “You can’t beat Parsons.”
The Cumming gift and collectibles shop is one of several around Forsyth expecting extra business leading up to Mother’s Day on Sunday as shoppers find treats for mom.
Parsons’ owner Cris Willis said next to Christmas, Mother’s Day generates the highest sales of the year for the store.
“The Saturday before Mother’s Day is right up there with the Saturday before Christmas,” she said. “It’s all hands on deck the Saturday before Mother’s Day.”
That’s probably the case at retailers across the United States as national Mother’s Day spending is projected to reach $18.6 billion, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.
The survey anticipates that the average person celebrating the holiday likely will spend more than $152 on gifts, up from about $140 last year.
In preparation, Willis said Parsons will be well staffed.
“On a slower weekend, we’ll have maybe 15 people … this Saturday, we’ll have 26 plus all of our managers,” she said. “We’ll have at least 30 people here.”
Terry Henner, owner of Cool Bees Artwork and Gifts in the Midway community, said this will be the first Mother’s Day for her store, which opened in July. Still, she’s seen an increase in business.
“I had two people in here today buying Mother’s Day gifts,” Henner said on Tuesday. “I hope to see a lot more by this weekend.”
Henner said the store specializes in items that would make good gifts for women.
“Everything in here is a great Mother’s Day gift to me,” she said. “As a mother of four, I’d like to have any of it as a Mother’s Day gift.”
Among the shop’s offerings, Henner said, are handmade jewelry from 25 different artisans, paintings and pottery from locals, and homemade candles and soaps.
Willis said some of Parsons’ top sellers are Pandora and Brighton jewelry lines, Vera Bradley bags, and the store’s handmade fudge and candies.
But, she added, the entire store caters to female customers.
“We strive to carry the things that all women want,” she said.
Besides jewelry, candy and collectibles, flowers are also popular for Mother’s Day.
Ronnie McCormick, owner of Lanierland Florist on Hwy. 20, said Mother’s Day is close to Valentine’s Day, which is most florists’ busiest day of the year, in terms of orders.
“[Sales are] going good, especially for the economy we’re in,” he said. “People still know they have a mother and that’s a good thing.
“We’ve seen a good steady pace.”
McCormick said a nice aspect of Mother’s Day is that sales are “spread out” with some people opting to have mom’s bouquet delivered before the actual holiday.
“We’ve had orders as early as the first of this week,” he said. “Of course, Friday and Saturday will be the busiest, but at least it’s not all orders on one day like with Valentine’s.”
Like Willis, McCormick said the shop has been fully staffed this week.
“We’ve put in a few more hours and picked up a little extra help, especially with getting the deliveries out,” he said.
As for Blackburn, he’s thankful for his wife, who he says ensures he gets the right gift each year.
“She comes and makes me a list to make it easy on me,” he said.