For Watanabe Floral, the balloons tell the story.
With the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s spring commencement and Mother’s Day mixed into one weekend, the flower shop is prepared for the rush.
It plans to sell anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 lei this week.
Down the road in Chinatown, Tony Nguyen at Lin’s Lei Shop is preparing for a similarly busy week. He expects to sell around 5,000 lei.
“It’s going to be crazy,” Nguyen said. “Usually Mother’s Day is the biggest day of the year for us, not only that, but you add UH graduation, it’s going to be crazy.”
The family shop has been working nearly around the clock stringing lei for the big weekend, and KHON2 learned some lei will be harder to come by.
“Everyone is going to want the fragrant leis, your tuberose, your ginger, puakenikeni, pikake, and pakalana. Those are the local favorites. What I would advise is to come early,” Nguyen said. “Because they will last two to three days, so I would advise to come early.”
Weather earlier in the year has also affected some of the popular local flowers, so if you have a favorite lei, flower shops say the earlier the better.
“As far as numbers, it’s going to be a tough year,” Nguyen said. “This year, due to the weather, there’s going to be a shortage of flowers, kind of a shortage all around, because of the bigger farms aren’t producing as much.”