The floral industry is steadily growing. The number of educational institutes providing training in floral design has expanded to many state universities as well as certified design schools. Associations that promote floral design through courses, workshops, conferences, flower shows and seminars include the American Institute of Floral Designers (AFID), the Society of American Florists (SAF), and the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies (NAFAS). If you want to become a floral designer, contacting any of these organisations for advice and support is a good first step.
How to achieve success as a floral designer
Whether you want to emulate one of the great floral designers such as Daniel Ost or Constance Spry, becoming a floral designer takes a lot of skills. The most important asset for a floral designer is obvious – you must be truly passionate about flowers and never lose the excitement of the scent and colors of blooms.
Learn as much as you can and keep learning. Keep practising and take classes. With practice, you will be able to achieve the results you want. If your schedule makes attending classes difficult, study and learn online and search out online courses that allow you to achieve certification whilst you you study from home. You may be asked for a floral display with the perfect hue to match a wedding dress or particular color scheme, so learning the technique for tinting to meet your customers wish is vital. If your center-piece appears to wilt in places, do you know how to rescue it? Do you know what flowers can be used if your original choice isn’t ready (mother nature can be cruel)? if your anemone isn’t ready, do you know that you can replace these with white lisianthus and eryngium? If you’re unsure how a flower works in an arrangement, try it for yourself and note how it is affected over time and how long it lasts. This is important if you are supplying floral arrangements to corporations or residents on a weekly basis. Therefore, for success, invest in yourself, your knowledge base and your career.
Whilst you may be an ace floral designer, you also need to love people and have good communication skills to earn a great reputation. As a florist, you are invited to be part of every important life event from birthdays, weddings, babies, anniversaries, funerals, promotions. However happy or sombre the event, you will be there. You must have the ability to connect with your customers on an emotional level. When you’re successful at this, you’ll have a customer for life.
Computer literacy is another important skill. Join the virtual social world of Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest among dozens of others to showcase your work. You may also want to create your own simple website as another option people can use to contact you. You will also do well to connect with people in the same industry so you can share experiences, keep an eye on the competition and also have a support network for yourself when things become tricky, which they will. Don’t forget in all of this to get out in the real world to shake hands, smile and share a flower.
The more connected you are to the broader floral design industry, the more successful you will be. Attend events within the floral design industry, particularly workshops and seminars arranged by the prominent floral design associations such as the AFID, the SAF and the NAFAS. This allows people within the industry as well as potential customers to know who you are and what you do