How to Become a Florist

A floral arrangement in the middle of being design with flowers and a floral knife scattered on the table.

How to Become a Florist

Below we will assess different routes you could take and the positives/negatives of each. This is a risk assessment you must evaluate yourself and decide what works the best for you, your mindset, and your resources. Regardless of where you are at, we always have a place for you within Flowering Minds!

Read on to see which of these paths may work best for you…

 

 

Your Options for Entering the Floral Design Field

 

1. The Jump-Right-In Approach

Buy flowers and practice at home. Build a simple website with basic information and the option to buy flowers. You WILL make money! For some, this would be enough to be considered success and that is great!

POSITIVES FROM THIS APPROACH

  • You will make money right away and immediate gratification is always a good feeling.

  • You won't lose time learning from others.

  • Your portfolio and client connections will immediately start growing.

  • Your brand will be completely your own with no input from others. (can also be a negative, but also a positive)

NEGATIVES FROM THIS APPROACH:

  • Your design capabilities and understanding of mechanics will be limited.

  • Your processes and pricing will most likely start off flawed and this will lose you money. You will have to learn from making mistakes, rather than learning from those who have already made the mistakes. Some can afford this, some cannot.

  • Every paying client will be an experiment you learn from, so quality of service may be questionable and may lead to a poor reputation with some clients and customers.

 

 

2. Working and Learning Approach

Find a florist or florists you can work part-time for, freelance for or work full-time for. Learn different tried and true ways of designing, logistics of running a business and pricing strategies WHILE getting paid.

POSITIVES FROM THIS APPROACH

  • You learn from experienced florists who have already made the mistakes for you.

  • You get outside of your own brain's limitations and see how others approach problem solving and logistics.

  • You GET PAID while learning.

  • You avoid losing money from mistakes - you make money consistently and this provides a stable and more peaceful learning environment.

  • You can enter your own business with the knowledge and expertise to guarantee your clients a positive experience - they won't be test subjects.

NEGATIVES FROM THIS APPROACH

  • May take time to find a job.

  • Takes humility to learn and patience to work with others.

  • You may make less money this way than jumping in and selling arrangements from your own business.

  • Forces you to put any dreams of starting a business on hold, while you learn. 

  • You most likely won’t be able to start a business while working full-time or part-time for another business. Many business-owners won’t be okay with that- but you are able to start your own business while freelancing!

 

 

3. Paying for Floral Design Education

Identify the florists' whose work you admire and whose clientele you align with. Pay for their courses in business and design. We offer a weekly virtual class that is no-fluff, informative and affordable. Check it out here!

POSITIVES FROM THIS APPROACH

  • Learn the best techniques from the best in the field (“best” meaning, whoever you consider to be the “best”)

  • Hone your design skills so you can identify how to create an artfully design product- you will be taught with more patience than a boss would teach you at a floral design job.

  • Hone your business knowledge- these classes will be more transparent about business than a business-owner would at a floral design job.

  • Build relationships with others in the field- these “competitors” will become friends and will send business your way! We need these relationships in order to thrive.

  • Freedom to start a business at anytime, while still learning.

NEGATIVES FROM THIS APPROACH

  • Costs money and, generally, a lot of it. (Unless you become a Flowering Minds member, *wink*)

  • Because it costs money, you will most likely need to be working a job while taking these courses.

  • Will leave a blind spot in your expertise and knowledge- how to work under pressure, how to problem solve, how to overcome nervousness when speaking with clients, etc. These all come with time and practice which can be accomplished by working for another florist or by jumping right in. If you are jumping right in you will be learning under the umbrella of your brand, though, and I would consider this a potential negative.

 

WHICH PATH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

When answering this question, you need to ask yourself what you value and how you want your skills to represent you as a florist. For me, I value a high-quality client experience, fine art designs, and the less expensive mistakes, the better! This is why I always recommend both working for a florist over an extensive period of time AND taking floral design and business courses from your favorite designers/entrepreneurs. I worked for other florists for almost 10 years before starting my business and I feel better for it. However…that’s a long time. I would recommend at least 1-2 years of full-time work to be prepared.

 

Ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect?“ The Dunning-Kruger Effect, in psychology, is a cognitive bias whereby people with limited knowledge or competence in a given domain greatly overestimate their own knowledge or competence in that domain relative to objective criteria or to the performance of their peers or of people in general.”(source) In laymen’s terms, if you think you have it figured out, you likely do not. I see this a lot when people choose to jump in without valuing what they can learn from experience or from others. It’s also what I saw a lot of in 2020…all the sudden everyone is an expert and is very very very confident that they know THE answer. When people feel 100% confident in their own abilities and knowledge, it’s likely they are at the very beginning of their journey in a field and have a lot of road bumps and humbling experiences in front of them. This is what is always in the back of my mind and my class subscribers will hear me talk a lot about in our weekly videos. Anytime I answer a question, I am sure to preface, “this is my answer to the best of my ability…not THE answer.” If you feel you know all you need to know to start a business or jump into a new field, be self-aware enough to know things are complicated and remain open enough to learn from those who have been making the mistakes for years.

 

That being said, sometimes you just can’t find a job in the field and don’t have the funds to take classes. Sometimes jumping right in is your only option and it’s still a good one! My answers here and everywhere are based on risk assessment and risk assessment is a personal decision. If the risk of starting a business with little skill and knowledge is worth it to you, then you have your answer! If it isn’t a risk that is worth it to you, then I will always recommend taking the longer route which I believe leads to a stronger business start.

 

FINAL NOTE ON BECOMING A FLORIST

Regardless of the path you choose to take, always approach it with intention, consistency and a humble attitude. If you want to jump right in, first tackle your portfolio. Creating a portfolio will give you more practice and is essentially how people decide to hire you. Next, consistently reach out to new potential clients, wedding planners and other vendors in the field to build connections. If you want to get a job to learn the ins and outs before beginning, consistently reach out to florists in your area, on a daily basis, to find a job. Be persistent! Once you have the job, be consistent in your work ethic and have an open and humble attitude at work. If you choose to take floral courses, be consistent in your practice and in photographing your work, so you can build a portfolio to hit the ground running once you start a business!

 

 

Alyssa x

You are worthy of being wildly successful in your floral design business. Step into your worth and start learning what you need to do next. 

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