Americans spend $1.83 billion each year on cut flowers making the US the largest consumer on the planet. And cut flowers are just one category in the floriculture industry. Let’s not forget about potted plants, outdoor plants and flowers for gardens, dried flowers, essential oils, and much more.
Are you dreaming of becoming a florist? Read on. In this guide, we cover all you need to know about how to become a florist.
As a florist, you are not manded to have any formal training. Many florists learn through apprenticeships or on-the-job experience.
Yet, a successful florist career often begins with specialized training. You might get a certificate, diploma, or degree in floral design, horticulture, or floristry.
In this field, this formal training can give you an advantage over your competition.
If you choose to pursue formal education you can expect to take courses in the following areas:
- Horticulture and crop care
- Outdoor foliage and indoor plants
- floral design and bouquets
- floral arrangements
- wedding design including
- funeral flowers and wreaths
- employment options
- event planning, marketing, business management
If you’re wondering how to become a florist online, the American Institute of Floral Designers allows you to become a Certified Floral Designer.
Get Hands-on Experience
Some people prefer to learn hands-on. If this is the path you want to follow when becoming a florist, you will likely start as an entry-level employee.
Your job might include sweeping floors and making deliveries at first. Yet, over time you will learn a lot about the florist business.
Even if you graduate with formal education, it’s a good idea to get some working hours under your belt before you start your own florist business. Working for an experienced florist will teach you much about the necessary skills and behaviors you will need to succeed as a florist.
It also allows you to make some mistakes with little risk. You might also learn about what not to do by observing the florist you work for.
Another avenue for how to become a florist is through an internship. An internship with a reputable florist or business is a great addition to your resume. It could even lead to a full-time job!
Often these internships offer college credit. Yet, that’s not always the case.
You will need to speak with your academic advisor to see if you can credit with your particular institution.
The length of internships varies. They could be anywhere from six weeks to several months. You could get a florist internship at leading retail, wholesale, or allied trade operations.
Like any job, you will be required to be available a minimum number of hours a week.
During your internship, you will have the opportunity to get skills in floral design as well as learn the practical aspects of small business operations.
Your daily tasks might include the following:
- helping customers on the phone or in-person
- assisting with floral processing using computer systems
- helping create bouquets, centerpieces, garlands, etc.
- Preparing various tools, supplies, and containers
- cleaning duties such as sanitizing bins, cleaning floors, and emptying the trash
- assisting with deliveries and setting up on-site for events
An internship is a great way to learn the customer service and business aspects of being a florist as well as the floral design aspects.
To secure a job recommendation or full-time offer, you’ll want to stand out. Be sure to be punctual and do every task to the fullest (yes, even cleaning buckets).
Most importantly, make sure to ask questions. This is your time to learn. Soak up as much learning as you can.
Note that many internships are unpaid. That means you get the hands-on skills without a paycheque. Yet, some are paid internships. Once you complete it, you will receive a lump stipend or scholarship amount.
Build Your Portfolio
Once you have some skills and experience under your feet, it’s time to start gathering photos of your designs and arrangements for your portfolio.
A professional portfolio is key for your florist business. It is the best way to showcase what you can do. This is how potential clients or employees will judge your value.
Make sure your portfolio is as varied as possible. Include a variety of items such as funeral wreaths, bouquets, centerpieces, and wedding designs. You want to demonstrate that you have a full range of skills.
A website or e-portfolio is a great way to highlight your best work. If you have a stall or shop, a printed collection in a binder can work well.
Launch Your Florist Business
A florist can work as an employee for either a small business or a large organization. Some people prefer to own their own florist business.
Setting up your own florist shop takes diligence, persistence, and excellent planning.
There are a lot of factors to consider when starting any small business such as registration, taxes, location, profit margins, and the list goes on.
One of the most important considerations when starting a florist company is insurance. You must protect your business as the majority of your products are perishable.
Even if you never need it, business insurance gives you peace of mind.
Now You Know How to Become a Florist
There you have it! We hope you found this overview on how to become a florist helpful.
If you have an eye for detail, exceptional customer service, and love flowers, then a career as a florist may be the perfect path for you.
Before you go, check out our other articles for more great content for you to read.