October 5, 2021
Although the hustle and bustle of homecoming week is most exciting for high school students, it also makes quite the impact on an important part of our community: small business owners. After interviewing Barb Draper from Plantenga’s Cleaners and Billie Jean Cichewicz from Spring Lake Floral, I have learned just how significant homecoming week can be for these two businesses that both have locations right here in Spring Lake.
“COVID-19 has certainly had an impact on all our services,” stated Draper, but both businesses are excited to have their high school customers back this year. Cichewicz from Spring Lake Floral, a business that is responsible for many of the corsages and boutonnieres worn at the dance, has had “about 175-200 item orders this year” for high schoolers attending. Plantenga’s Cleaners has multiple responsibilities when it comes to helping everyone look perfect for homecoming. When asked about their services on homecoming dresses, Draper stated, “Many of them come in just for cleaning or pressing, but approximately 30% of those need alterations.” Their employees are also “experts at stain removal, wet cleaning, and pressing.”
Both Spring Lake Floral and Platenga’s love the boost in business that they get around homecoming, but it provides challenges for both of them.
When asked about the potential issues that could arise from such a busy time, Cichewicz said, “The only issue this year is that it’s been harder to get some of the supplies like normal [due to the pandemic] –certain items are actually sold out so we will probably have to stop taking orders at a certain point due to shortages.” Thankfully, many students put in their orders on time and they will be receiving beautiful flowers to make the night extra special.
The only issue for Plantenga’s is the increased amount of stress that comes with having such specific deadlines on garments, but they are always on top of it, as they “have never missed a dance or wedding due date.” The seamstresses at Plantenga’s put in hard work in order to make this all happen, and while they “are well aware of the extra work that comes in during the Homecoming season, sometimes they work extra hours to meet the dance deadlines.” We are grateful for all that they do in order to make it all happen.
Homecoming makes an impact on not only the high schoolers that attend the dance, but other members of our community as well. We would not be able to have such an amazing and memorable homecoming without Spring Lake Floral and Platenga’s Cleaners. If anyone is interested in helping to make that magic happen, Draper mentioned, “We often have job and career opportunities for students and recent graduates [at Plantenga’s].” Once again, we thank these two businesses for all that they provide for us!