There are certain aspects of this job that fulfill my need to create things.
Having said that, my job as a Florist feeds that need to create things, although in a perishable form. A lot of it just comes out of my head, it’s just sketching and playing and drawing… I like the idea of creating things that go one step past floristry. That’s the sign of a true Floral Artist.
People often say to me, ‘you have created a fantasy here’. I get a huge amount of positive feedback about my work. There’s a buzz in that and I say to myself, ‘okay I’ve done well’. That’s what I work for. If people don’t stop to look at what I’ve done then I am not doing my job properly.
There is nothing normal in this industry. You can go through dreadfully busy times through to dead quiet. There have been times when we have worked thirty to forty hours straight to turn out big jobs. It’s not ideal but it’s not unusual for people in our industry to do that.
Every time I talk to growers and suppliers. Our industry is filled with some very unique characters – we seem to attract the oddball I try very hard to maintain a fun, humorous attitude with the people I deal with on a day-to-day basis. I think they think I’m a bit of a nutcase but that’s okay, we are what we are!
A lot of people underestimate what you need to do this job. They come into the industry thinking it is going to be lovely and sweet and sometimes it is a dirty grind that wears you down. There’s filthy hands and disgusting fingernails and a lot of sweat and stain. The worst thing is the hours though. Our busiest times are Fridays and weekends.
It’s a very pressured environment because you’ve always got deadlines. You feel enormous pressure when you have a big job on, or several jobs on the same date. I believe there is only so much work we can accommodate at a certain level and once we have booked those dates they are done.
I like the opportunities to deal with so many personalities and nationalities. You learn so much about human nature because people have so many cultural requirements. For instance, for some nationalities white is bad luck so you can’t go near white and for other nationalities red is good luck so everything has to be red.
If there is any chance things aren’t going to slam out I always advise the client well in advance. Then again there are those times when things are unforeseen. At one memorable function I substituted yellow irises with four hundred bunches of Calla lilies at double the price. I endured a little bit of a loss on that function but the client was deliriously happy. So I walked away with a happy client and a poor bank balance. I try not to do that too often!
To do well as a Florist you’ve got to have personality and intelligence and you’ve got to be on the ball. One stuff-up means you will lose a client plus they will go and tell fifty thousand people how bad you are. You can’t afford that. just like one unforgettable wedding event the color which was delivered to me was not my ordered color so I informed the bride about it but didn’t want the color I mentioned so I suggested to change it with orange Tulip and she agreed unknowing that the stocks left was only yellow and white. I was into panicked until I contacted my other supplier for imported flowers and it’s a good news to hear from them that they have a newly delivered assorted Ecuadorian Roses, so I rushed to picked the orange Ecuadorian rose and didn’t even think of the cost, since the original bouquet is the combination of red local roses and 5 pieces of mango calla lily. Because of the joy I felt that time i did not informed the bride for the changes. I just relied with my instinct that she will love it because the bouquet I made is all imported one with no extra cost unfortunately the bride got disappointed with the bouquet and it’s the biggest mistake and a lesson to be learned…
In the shop staff have got to have personality and intelligence. I like staff who will turn around and give their opinion. I want to know what they’re thinking, I hate not knowing what is going on in their heads. If they’ve got an idea I want to hear about it. My attitude is that it’s all about swapping ideas and interacting. I encourage that, I am not perfect so I stand corrected when I am wrong.