Floral designers, or florists, cut live, dried, or silk flowers and other greenery and arrange them into displays of various sizes and shapes. They design these displays by selecting flowers, containers, and ribbons and arranging them into bouquets, corsages, centerpieces of tables, wreaths, and the like for weddings, funerals, holidays, and other special occasions. Some floral designers also utilize accessories such as balloons, candles, toys, candy, and gift baskets as part of their displays.
Most floral designers work in small independent floral shops that specialize in custom orders and also handle large orders for weddings, caterers, or interior designers. Floral designers may meet with customers to discuss the arrangement or work from a written order. They note the occasion, the customer’s preferences, the price of the order, the time the floral display or plant is to be ready, and the place to which it is to be delivered. For special occasions, floral designers usually will help set up floral decorations. Floral designers also will prearrange a few displays to have available for walk-in customers or last-minute orders. Some floral designers also assist interior designers in creating live or silk displays for hotels, restaurants, and private residences. Find the best floral design schools above or do a custom search.
Self-employed floral designers must handle the various aspects of running their own businesses, such as selecting and purchasing flowers, hiring and supervising staff, and maintaining financial records. Self-employed designers also may run gift shops or wedding consultation businesses in addition to providing floral design services. Some conduct design workshops for amateur gardeners or others with an interest design.
Some florists work in the floral departments of grocery stores or for Internet florists, which specialize in creating prearranged floral decorations and bouquets. These floral retailers also may fill small custom orders for special occasions and funerals, but some grocery store florists do not deliver to clients or handle large custom orders. Florists who work for wholesale flower distributors assist in the selection of different types of flowers and greenery to purchase and sell to retail florists. Wholesale floral designers also select flowers for displays that they use as examples for retail florists.
Most floral designers work in comfortable, well-lit spaces in retail outlets or at home, although working outdoors is sometimes required. Designers also may frequently make short trips delivering flowers, setting up arrangements for special events, and procuring flowers and other supplies. Floral designers have frequent contact with customers and must work to satisfy their demands, including last-minute holiday and funeral orders. Because many flowers are perishable, most orders cannot be completed too far in advance. As a result, some designers often work long hours before and during holidays. Some also work nights and weekends to complete large orders for weddings and other special events.
You add a touch of beauty to everything you do. Nature’s colors and shapes appeal to your artist’s eye. You enjoy people serving, comforting, and celebrating with them. You can do wonderful work in a busy, deadline-based environment. You want to use those talents to their fullest, whether working for others, or operating your own business. Floral design could be the career you’re searching for!
Believe it or not, many of your high school courses will prove useful in a floral design career. English class helps you communicate effectively with customers, employees, and suppliers. Develop your design abilities in art. Math, business, and computer classes supply knowledge you’ll need to grow a profitable business. Biology, earth science, and botany will teach you about plants and their needs. After school, try your hand at flower arranging, either at home or working with a florist. Get your hands dirty in the garden; you could even earn extra money gardening for friends and neighbors! If you’re planning a career change, any gardening expertise will be valuable. Study design books, bridal magazines, and websites to get an idea of current styles and inspire your future work.
You’ll find many floral design education programs to choose from, including vocational schools, continuing education classes, online courses, and schools dedicated completely to floristry. Make sure your choice is accredited by the American Institute of Floral Design or other professional organization, to guarantee your instruction meets current professional standards. What is your instructor’s background? What classes are offered? How long is the course of study? How will you be evaluated? Will you receive certification upon completion? Where are former students employed? Will class schedules accommodate your job or family responsibilities? The answers to these questions will help you select the program that best suits your needs.
Floral design courses vary in the subjects they cover. You will probably find yourself taking several courses over time, and updating your skills throughout your career. To earn a basic floral design certificate, you will study simple techniques, bridal flowers, hand-tied bouquets, sympathy arrangements, and personal flowers. Advanced coursework could include: European and Asian design, tropics, exotics, experimental design, props, holiday flowers, and special events. Most floristry programs offer business classes. Learn everything you can about writing a business plan, pricing, merchandising, marketing, management, wire services, delivery, using technology, and creating an identity for your business. Courses will include practice, critiques, written and design exams.
Certification in floral design gives you many options. You can open your own shop or expand an existing enterprise. You may want to add floral services to many businesses: bridal consulting, decorating, nursery, gift shop, catering, funeral, or home staging. You may simply enjoy working in a florist’s shop and improving your skills as the opportunity arises. Or you may find floristry a relaxing hobby that allows you to decorate your home and create gorgeous, unforgettable gifts. No matter which you choose, use your floral design degree to arrange a beautiful life for yourself and your family. So if you are intersted in starting this exciting career then check out the online floral design schools we have listed on this site and request your free information packet today by mail.