Saturday, August 15, 2015

Confessions of a florist

I got back into floral design.  It's it a really great shop with really awesome people.  Since I've been at a couple (okay 3) shops now I thought I might give anyone who cares some insight onto what it is like to be a florist.  I know many people think "Oh what a fun job! I'd like to do that!" but you just don't know what it's really like till your there.  Anyways on with the confessions:

1.  The flowers designed in the front cooler are the same age as the flowers in the back cooler.  Just because you are standing there personally watching someone put your vase together for you that doesn't mean its any fresher than the ones already made.  Most times the ones in the display cooler are made earlier that same day. 

2.  "We just got this in" translates to . .  it was in our last shipment.  Most flower shops get one big order once a week and then "fill in" daily as needed with more flowers.  Odds are if the flowers are open and beautiful we have had them in for at least 2 days, since they come to us all tight and thirsty from boo foo Egypt.  A busier shop is going to have fresher flowers since they have to "fill in" more often with extra shipments, but with the way we process and keep the flowers in the cooler they don't really age much anyways. 

3.  Here's an interesting one for you, our flowers come packaged in Chinese newspapers.  I don't think that the flowers actually come from China, but for some reason they are packaged in newspapers with all those cool Chinese letters all over them.  Why? I do not know.

4.  Roses are mean.  So are Christmas greenery.  Every rose has its thorn and in this case it's literally.  They hurt.  They will cut you.  Especially during Valentines day rose strippers are a girls best friend.

5.  You may grow to hate the holidays.  Now me, I love the holidays because I love to be busy busy busy but some florists hate the holidays.  They don't like doing the same arrangement 50 times in one day or heaven forbid they have to actually "work" all day. .  you get the picture. 

6.  Your not going to like every arrangement.  Even the very best designers don't like some of their own work.  At least twice a day I look at something that I made and secretly hate it.  There is no accounting for taste and you know, the customer is always right.  Some of the things that Teleflora or whatever come up with are just straight out ugly.  If you ever order flowers yourself say you want "designers choice" that allows the designer to pick the most beautiful flowers of the day and put them all in one classy arrangement. 

7.  You are on your feet ALL DAY.  Get some good shoes.  Your going to need them.  Not too good though because most shops just throw all their stems all over the floor.  I do love that part of my job.  Make pretty things and just throw the rest on the floor we'll pick it up later.  Good times.

8.  Cleaning buckets stinks.  As in smells bad.  I don't know if its the chemicals in the flower food or the bacteria that starts growing after awhile but mix that with bleach and you got yourself the lovely stench of cleaning buckets.  And you'll have a lot of them.

9.  Making bows is the worst!  Pinching that ribbon super tight and holding on while you craft the perfect bow (and on top of that I am left handed so the shears don't work till I am done and let go) and then twisting that wire. . was just talking about this today with my buddy it took us both about a year to make a passable bow.  I still hate my bows.  Not that they are bad or anything, I think I just hate them on principal.  They can add to the appeal of an arrangement no doubt but after its all said and done you know that hard work is going in the trash. 

10.  You are doing God's work.  Encouraging the sick, comforting those who mourn.  Celebrating with those who celebrate and also helping that creepy guy stalk the bartender. . . all in one day!  I am not going to lie it is fun and rewarding, but working with the public has its ups and downs.  Especially when you are working with brides or those who have just lost a loved one its an emotional time and you have to be careful how you handle them.  I think of it kind of like a doctor, do no harm.  Just be there for them and support them and even if they want something you think is going to be straight out terrible (unless its a very very bad idea) make it work.  A happy customer is a returning customer. 

So there you have it.  10 confessions from a florist.  I could get into the whole there's good shops to work for and there's bad shops to work for, but that's just about anywhere.  Try to find a boss who's compatible with your way of thinking and every day will be a good one.  Don't take it personally if someone doesn't like your arrangement.  Everyone has different tastes.  If this is something you still want to do, GO FOR IT but keep in mind there's no money in it. . I do it for the love of the work.