Working as a florist means working with flowers and people. If you have a passion for both of those, that’s fantastic! But that’s not all you’ll need. Floristry demands long hours, hard physical labour and a strong stomach to live through the ups and downs of the peak and slow times.
First, stop and ask yourself a few questions
As with any new venture, a good first step is to assess your own needs before jumping into anything. Just how interested are you in floristry? Is this something you want to do for a career, part-time or temporarily? Do you prefer learning in a school or on the job? How much are you willing to spend on your education? Answering these questions will help you figure out the best way for you to gain experience in the trade and how committed you are. It’s also worth asking yourself at this point if you like the idea of self-employment or not, given that floristry is small small business. It’s estimated that one in four florist shops in the UK have no employees. Given this statistic it’ll be harder to find a job as a florist than with other occupations, which also means that if you’re the entrepreneurial type you’ll be well-suited to this occupation.
How to get experience
After asking yourself these questions, it’s a good idea to do as much research as you can by reading about the trade and talking to florists about their work. If get the chance to job shadow, even better, as you’ll get to really see what it’s like to work as a florist.
To gain the knowledge and experience necessary to become a florist you can either go to school or learn on the job. If going the school route you can look for an institution that specializes just in floristry—either a florist school or a college or horticultural school that offers floristry courses. If going the on-the-job training route, it’ll require starting off doing the entry level stuff like sweeping floors. Over time experience will be gained.
If you ask any entrepreneur, it’s best to learn a trade on someone else’s dime than on your own. So even if you’ve gone to floristry school and have diploma in hand, it’s a wise move to work for someone else for a couple of years, even if that means low pay and boring work.
Starting up your own floristry shop requires great persistence and strength of will to make the dream happen. Once it does you’ll have the flexibility and freedom that self-employment offers, but you’ll also have to be able to handle hard work, contend with the competition and have the flexibility to deal with the constantly changing needs of customers and the business.
There’s a few ideas for you to brainstorm before making the decision to become a florist. Read through the rest of this guide for more background on floristry and what it takes to become a florist.
image: Paulina Kozlowska (Creative Commons BY)