What advice would you give to aspiring floral designers?
So you want to be a floral designer? All around the world, flowers are used to convey emotion and symbolize human relationships. Flowers bring life and depth to all types of events and occasions. They celebrate with us at weddings and mourn with us at funerals. Floral design not only offers a valuable service to others, but also allows the artist to connect with nature and create something beautiful that will be enjoyed and appreciated by many.
Where to begin?
If you have just realized your passion for floral design and have begun thinking about ways to pursue it as a career, the process can at times seem overwhelming. Here you will find advice on how to get started and work your way through the steps to achieve your goals.
Talk to Others in the Field
Networking and personal connections are an integral part of building a career. If you are thinking of becoming a florist, it is important to begin talking to those who are already working in the field of floral design. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can start by visiting your local floral shop and sitting down with the owner or one of the employees. Ask them how they got to where they are, what sparked their interest in floral design and how they went about pursuing it.
Find out the pros and the cons involved in the work and decide whether floral design is an interest you would like to pursue further. If you’re more reserved and would rather not meet with someone face-to-face right away, consider approaching others involved in floral design via internet. Send an email to a professional or join a discussion forum where you can get feedback and inspiration from people who have experience. Whatever your communication style, it is always helpful to build a network of contacts – local, online, and even international.
Work for a Florist
Once you’ve decided floral design is definitely something you want to pursue, consider getting an internship or job at a flower shop or florists like www.ReidsFlorists.co.uk. This is where you can learn important skills needed for your career, as well as beginning to get professional experience working with customers and creating flower arrangements. Remember that there are many locations other than flower shops where florists are needed, such as grocery stores and hospitals, as well as some catering companies, funeral homes, wedding venues, and resorts.
Decide which setting is right for you. As you work, take the time to learn which flowers go with which other flowers, as well as with which greenery. Be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge and hands on experience as possible while immersing yourself in the setting. Continue to make professional connections as you practice your craft, as they will be able to offer help and support as you develop your career.
Consider taking classes in areas like horticulture, gardening, agriculture, and land development, with a concentration in floral design. This will allow you to learn the theory and academics that you can then put into practice as you work. Visit local colleges to find out if they offer degrees in these areas. Decide whether you wish to pursue a full degree, or whether you would prefer to just take a few classes to boost your knowledge base. The more you learn, the more you will be able to bring to your craft. If you are looking to bring a more artistic touch to your floral design, perhaps consider taking classes in art and design.
Build Your Portfolio
As you begin to gain experience, it is important to build your portfolio so you can showcase the beautiful work you have done. Create your portfolio, and also consider other ways to display your work such as social media or starting your own website. Instagram is a great place to post photos of the arrangements you have created. A photo blog could be equally helpful, and you can include details about the flowers being used, the occasion it was created for, and what inspired each new design. Your portfolio will come in handy both in gaining potential customers and when searching for new jobs. It will also be important if you decide to pursue your certification as a Certified Floral Designer.
If you’re looking to build a career in floral design, you might consider becoming certified with the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). To begin the process, you will need to visit their website and enrol as a candidate to take the Professional Floral Design Evaluation. After applying online, you will receive and be able to review the official text as you prepare to take the exam. The exam typically includes an online test and a live demonstration during which candidates must showcase their ability in a variety of categories. Once you become a Certified Floral Designer, you will be able to include the addendum “CFD” at the end of your name, which will boost your credibility as a florist.
As with any career, it is important to never stop learning! In order to maintain your certification, you will be required to meet certain continuing education requirements. These requirements can be met in a variety of ways, including attendance at seminars and workshops as well as other floral industry design education programs.
As long as there are celebrations and occasions, there will always be an industry for florists. Floral design is an inspiring and artistic career that will always have a place in society and tradition. Congratulations on your passion for becoming a part of something beautiful and bringing life to every occasion, both big and small.