Florists are the people that save half of the UK’s young men whenever it’s Mother’s Day, but there's so much more to this profession than the geezer shouting ‘GET YA LILIES’ at you whenever you walk down the High Street.
Florists use their creative juices and knowledge of flowers to design and create arrangements which are then sold to the general public for a variety of uses – everyone loves flowers and they’re a versatile bunch (pun intended!)
Day-to-day, you’d have to help your customers select what they’re looking for, create bespoke bouquets of flowers for customers as well as designing arrangements to be sold as they are. There are exhibitions to create and attend, advice to give out on how to maintain the flowers you’re selling and, of course, helping to maintain the stock and accounts of the business as a whole.
Salary & benefits
Starting salaries in a junior role would normally fall in line with the National Minimum Wage, which depends on your age and location. However, with experience, the best florists attract regular work for events and occasions, and therefore can earn up to £25,000 a year.
Earnings for independent florists can fluctuate highly, because of the unpredictable nature of the job, but the best florists are highly sought after and have a loyal customer base who always return, so there is scope for earning even higher amounts.
Within a florist’s shop, a junior florist would expect to work regular hours, although there may be some work on weekends and late-opening shops are reasonably common.
With deliveries coming early in the morning, or a pick-up to be made, this can make for long days, and much of it will be spent on your feet, conversing with customers or creating floral designs on the workbench.
To get a job with a florist, enthusiasm for the profession is perhaps the most key trait, alongside a key eye for design and a willingness to learn. You’ll also need good interpersonal and communicative skills to interact with customers and understand what they’re asking for, as well as a flair for working with plants.
Training & progression
This is a job where it is common to find work with an established florist and then train with them whilst on the job, but floristry courses are held at colleges around the country and many florists begin in flower arranging societies, where they hone their skills at floral design.
There are also various apprenticeships schemes related to the profession – at Lantra (the Land-based and Environmental sector) there are a whole host of schemes available in different areas of floristry.