It never ceases to amaze me the large amount of general misconceptions about being a florist, the florist industry or what is involved in our day to day existence. There are probably a lot of things that you don’t know about your local florist or perhaps have just not thought about before, and what it takes for the shop doors to open each day, so let’s break it down…
1. Yes, We are Trained, and Qualified!
Outside of fast tracked private colleges, TAFE offers a 2 year basic course in Floristry which is required at a minimum by most florists. There is also additional advanced design courses, or celebrity florist masterclasses, but with their hefty price tags in the thousands I would suggest only the best would consider investing in these.
2.We have a hard time maintaining a normal SOCIAL LIFE
You would to, if you were expected to get up between 3-4 each morning to get showered, dressed and functioning for the day! With such a rude wake up call, it is no wonder we have a hard time keeping our eyes open passed 8.30, and why the dinner party tends to come to an abrupt conclusion. No point starting a conversation you don’t have the energy to hear the response to, right?
The reality is you never get those hours back. Life any profession that undertakes shift work, being awake when your body is programmed to be asleep takes years off your life.
3. Florists aren’t getting rich fast
Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are two of the biggest days the florist calendar, but don’t be fooled into thinking that those two days manage to float the business for the rest of the year. Yes, they are busy times, but with huge increases to the wholesale price of our stock as well as increased wages, they are not the goldmine everyone seems to think they are.
Aside from the long hours, florists create every item they sell with their own two hands. That means that the mark up on your florist bought flowers needs to pay for all those hours required to put together, a mass produced item where we simply mark up the product, and play the middle man taking our cut.
4. We aren’t any ‘nicer’ than anyone else, so don’t try to take advantage of us
Florists are continually asked for free things, expected to under charge, to provide free tutorial or supply arrangements for events with no sponsorship or promotion….I’m not even sure why. Like any other business, the purpose of a retail/event florist is to make a living. Would your mechanic show you how to service your car, so that you could do you friends upcoming service and save them some cash, because you know….budget.
5. Simply saying the ‘W’ word does not increase the cost
It increases the expectation, and with that, the cost inflates. Weddings are a sore point with florists. I’m sure your Cousin Betty down the road did your friend’s wedding, but no, we can’t price match. Betty, as talented as she may be, is not a professional, who has experience handling less than ideal situations and with that my dear, comes cost.
Weddings require a level of perfection, and an attention to detail that is uncompromising.
That means buying the best quality stock $$$
That means it takes longer to make the pieces to make sure they are just right $$$
Sure, you can come in and brief us on your ‘party’ and avoid using the ‘W’ word at all, but don’t be surprised when there are differences to the brief to the final product. Why? Weddings get preference. The growers supply wedding flowers first at a premium price, and standard orders second. Our wedding orders get first pick of the stock and any substitutions required, then we worry about other orders. Wedding days are special. You get no re-do.
Next week we look at 5 MORE things you may not know about florists,