What is a Florist?

If you are artistic, love flowers, and want to put a smile on people's faces, you may want to consider a career as a florist!

A florist arranges flowers and other plant elements into a pleasing design. The arrangements are used primarily for celebratory events like weddings, birthdays, and Valentines Day, but are also used for hotels, catered events, homes, funerals, and saying 'I love you'.

Florists were once almost exclusively owners of small independent shops; however, with internet-based delivery services and all-in-one convenience markets, many are now employed by larger companies.

What does a Florist do?

A florist will design and create arrangements of flowers in wreaths, bouquets, vases and centrepiece elements. Sometimes florists may design entire rooms or outdoor areas, and fill them with flowers in various beautiful arrangements. This is especially true in the case of extravagant weddings or parties.

A florist will design and create arrangements of flowers in wreaths, bouquets, vases and centrepiece elements.

Some florists stick to pre-formatted layouts in order to design their flower arrangements, while others are true artists, or floral designers, who create their own patterns or design original works on commission. Typically, floral designers earn more for original creations though the demand is much less due to both the cost of original designs and the availability of a wide variety of pre-existing designs.

Though creating floral arrangements for events and parties is the typical responsibility of a florist, they are also artists who may create designs for other purposes.

There are floral competitions, for example, where floral artists create elaborate displays and art pieces. Pieces can include a ladies' hat made entirely from leaves, or a temporary sculpture of a horse made from the stems and heads of sunflowers. With success in these competitions, a florist will improve their reputation and often receive more business as a result.

In addition to arranging flowers, a florist is also responsible for their care. They must be proficient in all aspects of plant care and be able to maintain a wide variety of species in the flower, foliage, herb, and ornamental grass families.

Plants used in arrangements must be picked at the peak of their beauty and last as long as possible after being delivered to the client. Successful florists will choose a balance between the hardiest and most beautiful species.

Though many floral designers work in retail, some become so knowledgeable and passionate about plant care that they are able to transition to working in a wholesale capacity. Wholesale florists operate business-to-business organizations in which they grow plants specifically for retail floral shops. In addition, they may create pre-designed floral arrangements that are disbursed to convenience stores.

Are you suited to be a florist?

Florists have distinct personalities. They tend to be artistic individuals, which means they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive. They are unstructured, original, nonconforming, and innovative. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if florist is one of your top career matches.

Take the free test now Learn more about the career test

What is the workplace of a Florist like?

Most florists, if they are not working as part of an internet-based flower retailer, carry out their daily responsibilities in an independent shop. In addition to a private area for working on floral arrangements, shops will usually have a large retail display area with a wide variety of flowers, where customers can browse.

Depending on the regional area and season, floral designers will maintain this front office space or even a street side display of their offerings. They also maintain one or more coolers, depending on the size of the shop, where flowers are stored to lengthen their useful life.

Along with these responsibilities, a florist will work with customers in the shop or on the phone to take orders and discuss custom floral designs. Floral designers working in these shops usually have a regular schedule, arriving when the shop is open and leaving at closing time. In some cases, a florist who also manages the shop works after-hours, usually to catch up on bookkeeping duties or to fulfill large orders.

A florist employed by larger companies, especially internet-based floral shops, almost always works a traditional 40-hour work week. They usually work in an industrial environment, creating arrangements according to specifications set out by the work orders they receive. These florists may also be responsible for packaging the flowers and preparing them to ship to customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Florists like?

Based on our pool of users, florists tend to be predominately artistic people. It is reassuring that this is the case, because if the hands that arrange our flowers are not artistic, which hands are?

Should I become a Florist?

Of course, florists love flowers. A love for flowers, though, is not the only prerequisite for entering the field. Working in a flower shop is a much more fulfilling experience if you possess certain characteristics:

There is a definite art to arranging flowers. Being inventive and having a keen eye and an original edge will put you ahead of the competition.

Color coordination skills
Understanding the color wheel and which colors work well and not so well together is a trait shared by most accomplishes florists.

Communication skills
It is not uncommon in this industry to come across customers who know in their mind what they want, but have no idea of the flower names or how to easily explain their preferences. Furthermore, as in all service industries, there will be times when you will have to deal with difficult customers. Patience and the capacity to probe and ultimately identify customer wishes are significant advantages.

Ability to manage deadlines
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, a wedding, a funeral, or a last-minute ‘Thank you!’ bouquets, you need to be able to work to deadlines. Not doing so will mean arrangements don’t make it to events on time, people will be let down, and eventually you won’t have any clients.

Willingness to work early mornings
Depending on your location and where you get stock, you may need to wake up at very early hours to go to suppliers and markets to buy the flowers you need for your inventory. You may find yourself doing a full day’s work before you even open your shop.

Willingness to work under sometimes imperfect conditions
The temperatures in floral shops may be lower than normal because of the need to keep flowers and greenery fresh. Work hours may be long, especially during holiday seasons, and require standing for long periods of time.

Business management skills
Organizational, budgeting, and staff management abilities are especially important for florists who intend to open their own shops.

As a florist, you will be involved with some of the most significant times in people’s lives. You will have every opportunity to use your creative talents to brighten their homes and, if even for isolated moments, gladden their hearts.

Are Florists happy?

Florists rank highly among careers. Overall they rank in the 79th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores. Please note that this number is derived from the data we have collected from our Sokanu members only.

It has been said that happiness is only real when shared. At its core, the work of florists is the work of sharing celebration, surprise, comfort, and happiness. In a world that is often overly complicated and sometimes misguided, that florists are so happy is both unsurprising and uplifting.

How long does it take to become a Florist?

Becoming a florist may not entail a rigorous educational track. It does, however, demand a particular talent and aesthetic that touches most lives many times over.

Many florists enter the field after completing high-school, without formal training. They typically learn the craft on the job. Others choose to take classes at community, vocational, or floral schools; or enrol in a one-year certificate program. Some aspiring florists earn a two-year associate degree or a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Floral Design or Horticulture.

Florists are also known as:
Flower Arranger Floral Designer Floral Artist Floral Arranger