I chose floral design for my career. A florist does a variety of things in a retail flower shop. The main thing is arranging flowers. They prepare bouquets, corsages, funeral pieces, dried floral arrangements, and decorations for weddings, parties, and events. Depending on how much the owner asks of them, some florists are in charge of ordering flowers, ribbon, giftware, and other hard goods. Some also do the bookkeeping.
I Chose this career because when I was little I used to go to Garden Gazebo and my Aunt Linda would give me scrap flowers to play with. Then when my grandma bought it I would come up during the summer and watch the girls work. A year and a half ago I started working there. When I started it was just bookkeeping, but I spent a lot of the summer learning design. Its fun working at the flower shop, thats the main reason I chose this career. Also, I already know a lot about the business between working in the office and out in the store.
There isnt much schooling needed for this job. An eye for color, design, and depth are most important. Most florists learn on the job. Working part time and summer jobs in flower shops and nurseries is extremely helpful. They must have a knowledge of flowers and plants. In some instances even the giftware part of a retail shop. One of the girls I work with started hanging around her moms shop in Jr. High, and worked there during high school and college. Then she went to a floral design school in Indiana for a three week course. She has had a lot of on the job training, which is the best thing you can do to improve your floral design skills.
Being a florist gives you the freedom to work almost anywhere in the world. Every large city has lots of flower shops, even a small town like Fairbury has two. Florists work inside in a work area, and sometimes on the selling floor. This job requires constant standing, which is one of the downsides. Other than that the working conditions are ideal.
Chances for promotion in this job are slim. Entry level florists take orders and do some simple arranging. All it takes to move up to the next level is practice. Watching and learning from a skilled florist is the key. Some shops also have a manager, this is another position for a skilled floral designer.
A florist works in two ways: alone and with others. The actual arranging is done alone. It takes a great deal of concentration and creativity to put together a floral arrangement. Yet, they definatly need to be able to get along with other people. You never know what type of personality the person who just walked in the door has. It takes a lot of patience, especially when it comes to working with that customer who is impossible to please.
I found a website where it will give you estimated salaries for a particular job in your town. A floral designer in Fairbury is estimated to make $36,622 a year. This means you can make anywhere from $30,000 to about $45,000 a year around this area. Most florists work a 40 hour week, and some are required to work Saturdays. There is always overtime around the busy holidays such as Mothers Day, Valentines Day, Prom, and Homecoming.
A florist with tons of experience may get a job in a big flower shop like the ones in Chicago. At shops like these every florist has clients. They come in and sit down with their florist and discuss all the details of their arrangement. In those shops no one just walks in, ordering flowers is a big deal to them. These shops also work with wedding planners, for big elaborate weddings. One of the girls I work with always dreamed of working at Universal Studios. There they have their own flower shop that arranges the flowers you see in all the movies.
The people I know that are florists are Jane Righter, Janet Rodriguez, and Joyce Miller. These are the people that make work fun.