Have you always been a bit of an artist? Do you love arranging flowers into spectacular displays? Is it easy for you to talk with someone for a few minutes and really understand what they want? If you’ve answered “yes” to all of these questions, then perhaps a job as a florist might suit you.
According to the Society of Florists in the U.K., a potential florist should be artistic and creative. They should have an artist’s grasp of shape, color, design and display. They should love working with their hands and produce good results under pressure. They should enjoy working with the public individually and as part of a team, and they need to understand how to handle money and budgets.
If you’re still interested after that exhaustive list, read on. Following are some essential tips for becoming a florist.
Education and training
There are currently no licensure requirements for florists. However, as the market is quite competitive, it’s best to begin with some form of education or training. It’s possible to obtain a certificate or associate’s degree in floral design from many public and private colleges. There are also shorter, more intensive floral design programs available that have no educational requirements and involve less expense.
When evaluating choices among floral design programs, it’s very important to make sure that your program will include an internship. Without prior experience, it can be difficult to find a first job that allows you some creativity. Internships provide experience and can give you the chance to make a few professional connections before you look for that first job.
You may also want to look for a school that includes business and management courses in their curriculum. Classes that teach merchandising and display methods can be essential as well.
If you just hate the idea of school, look for a local greenhouse or florist that will take you on as an apprentice. Some professionals would rather work with a complete novice, and train them in their own styles and methods.
What to expect from the job
A career as a florist can be very rewarding. It can also be exhausting, stressful, heavy work – so be prepared. Don’t be surprised if your first job finds you spending most of your time sweeping floors and unloading delivery trucks in the wee hours of the morning.
Plan to spend your first few years as a florist soaking up as much knowledge as you can. There’s a pretty high turnover in the industry, especially among florists who work for a company. Florists who own their own businesses are generally happier and better paid so if you really want to make a go of it, set a goal to start your own business, and remember you’re working toward that goal.
Successful florists are able to work long hours while approaching their work as an art and even a form of meditation. If you’re up to the task, you’ll be enjoying the best of nature’s beauty while bringing color and joy into the lives of others – and what could be better than that?