COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)- Lana Walton has been making and selling gift baskets for nearly ten years. Through a decade, she's seen many ups and downs but says nothing compares to the last few years when the economy tanked. Shopping was down even for a day normally filled with hearts and smiles. Walton says after more than two years things seem to be getting better.
"This year was pretty much a slow start basically, but we've been doing pretty well today," Walton said.
Walton tells us that she doesn't believe the U.S. is out of its economic rut just yet but people are spending money.
"I think they will splurge a lot more this year," Walton said.
Because of that Walton is seeing more competitors. Norniese Byrd has a stand down the street from Walton. Byrd agrees Valentines shopping is up but people are still pinching pennies.
"I don't think people are spending too much money this year I think people are watching what they are spending," Byrd said.
Lauren McMillan and Michael Joseph have been dating for about four years now. The two lovers couldn't bare to be apart this Valentine's day so Lauren drove 10 hours from Columbus, Ohio to Columbus, Georgia to be with Michael.
Lauren says despite her trip people are still saving when it comes to buying gifts.
"I know a lot of people that aren't going all out his year because they still want to save money," McMillan said.
Vendor Lana Walton says this is only the beginning. Walton believes that things will soon turn around but understands the importance of saving a buck even on Valentine's Day.
"A lot of people trying to find things to do at home in order to offset that income that they do need to do other things with," Walton said.