How to Become a Freelance Florist
Flowers bring colors in life and often they can bring money in pockets. Yes, we are talking about florists—the masters of flower caring. Florists have become acknowledged professionals dealing with flower arrangements and their demand have surged in the 21st century due to the rise in the popularity flower decorations in ceremonies and parties.
Thus, florists are no longer confined to the conventional bouquet-making art. Now, floristry encompasses flower handling and care, flower arrangement, floral design, merchandising and flower delivery. The magnitude of floristry is such that florists nowadays directly engage in the cultivation of flowers, instead, of having them being supplied from dealers.
Believe it or not, the floristry business holds a substantial presence in the social event and corporate world. Entryways, bridal bouquets, stage sets, wedding platforms, centerpiece, they are some of the main instances of the utility of flowers in the social event and corporate settings. Thus, floristry is a well-established and lucrative business and, therefore, a freelance florist may expect to earn handsomely if he/she keeps tabs on certain key considerations.
Floristry is a revered art, and you cannot take it lightly. There are many florists competing, and if you plan to become a freelance florist, you are required to keep in mind the following:
1. Job Requirements
We shall start with the first and foremost requirement of becoming a freelance florist: Job requirements. Education, whether informal or formal, is a crucial aspect of the floristry industry, and it is well accepted that prior formal education is not mandatory to become a florist. History is witness to the rise of informally educated florists, but the impetus on formal education is on the rise.
To know more about this, read the following carefully:
- Despite formal education in floristry not being mandatory, employers nowadays expect some kind of formal education from applicants owing to the rising competition. It is, therefore, recommended that you undergo a certification course in floristry.
Many begin their careers following high school graduation; however, there are certain certification courses you can apply to for better understanding. For example, the Institute of Floral Design, India offers multiple certificate courses such as Advance Certificate course, which is a once-a-week course on flower arrangement; Speciality Certificate Course, which offers education on bridal bouquets, wearable flowers, etc; workshop courses. Other institutes are International Floral Design School, Fnp Floral Design School, and the Knowledge Academy.
If you want to learn from international experts, then you can apply to the prestigious American Institute of Floral Designers, which holds the reputation of being a top-notch institute for floristry education. The institute conducts a written examination, along with a four-hour practical examination for the finalization of certification.
- What if you do not have any certification in floristry? What if whatever you know has been passed down from the older generations, and it seems to work perfectly fine? Well, the fact that the other florist has obtained a formal education does not make him any better than you if you have in you what it takes to handle and care for flowers.
In absence of certifications, you will have to solely and heavily rely on experience. If you have extensively practiced floristry, the odds you are among the potential employees are pretty high. As a freelance florist, you are supposed to maintain a well-drafted portfolio of skills documenting all your related experiences. To increase your overall experience, undertake florist tasks such as engagement with small or big florist shops, write blogs, conduct your own florist classes, study in detail about flowers and different styles of flower arrangements, subscribe to related magazines and booklets, etc. Prepare samples for the purpose of application to the job opening.
If you are unable to put to work your skills, then there is no point of being formally educated.
2. Skills required for becoming a freelance florist
Floristry is a very delicate art. It requires extensive knowledge and love for flowers, which are not easy to develop. Apart from these two, there are other skills which a florist must exhibit and those have been mentioned below:
- Creativity: As mentioned before, floristry is an art and, therefore, demands creativity. As a florist, you are expected to ascertain the arrangement, cutting, trimming, and kinds of flowers according to the context. For example, if you are supposed to undertake flower decoration for a wedding, vibrant and bright-coloured flowers are preferred.
- Knowledge about plants and flowers: What is an absolute necessity is a knowledge about plants, flowers, and their respective characteristics. For example, you should know what plants and flowers are best known for their sweet scent, or which of them are easily available and adaptable to the atmospheric situation. For this, you should study as many books on floristry as possible and always try new things. Your knowledge on plants and flowers will open floodgates to job opportunities.
- Sticking to the requirements: When you are hired for, let’s say, preparing bouquets wich are to be presented to guests at an inauguration ceremony, you will be given specifications and other directions that you must follow as much as possible. If in case, observance of the conditions is not possible due to reasonable issues, you must convey the same to the client and preferably, present an alternative solution. Thus, coordination with the client from time to time is an imperative skill, and if you have it in abundance, you will not need to worry about your career as a florist.
- Money Management skills: Let’s be honest: people generally do not like spending too much on flowers since only a few appreciate their value. It is, therefore, expected from you that you sharpen money management skills. Endeavor to stick to the budget of the client, and if you are unable to do so due to extenuating circumstances, you should better have a plausible explanation. The better you manage money, the more impressed the client will be and the more prospects of earning bonus.
A florist should be able to keep his client satisfied, and for that, he/she must hone the aforementioned skills to the greatest extent.
3. Where to work?
There are ample opportunities for florists in the 21st century—much of them are attributable to the rise in the demands of flower-related embellishments.
- You can work in specialty floral shops, grocery stores, supermarkets. Follow-up on the vacancies, and whenever there is one, apply immediately.
- If you do not like the idea of working in someone else’s shop, you can have your own and offer freelance services to a variety of customers. This way you can enjoy greater independence.
- You can become a freelance floristry teacher by applying to major floristry institutes in your region or outside.
- If you do not like any of the aforesaid options, then you can go online. There are a number of freelance websites which offer a platform for florists to seek jobs. All you need to do is create an account, upload the portfolio of related skills, apply to openings regularly, follow-up, and once you score a job, go all flowers. Some of the freelance websites include freelance.com, upwork.com, worknhire.com, and guru.com. Keep a tab on the job openings daily.
Now you know you have plenty opportunities where you can put your floristry skills to use, you can start looking.
4. Pay rate
The client will take a serious note of the skills, qualifications, and experience of the florist and thus, accordingly, your pay rate will be determined. If you are a florist with sparkling certifications and long experience, then you are entitled to a handsome pay rate. Odds that your bid will be accepted by the client are high. If, however, you are a newbie but in possession of some certification from an elite floristry school, you may win a good pay rate. Those who are new and inexperienced, you will have a tough time demanding a high pay rate. Remember: whatever pay rate you demand, it should be in tandem with your overall skills and experience.
To know more about the prevalent pay rate, you can join meet-ups or online forums which will enable the expansion of the floristry network.