So You Want to Be a Floral Designer: Advice for the Aspiring

May 31, 2016 / Blooms Today

Arranging flowers is a living art that changes every day and has the ability to evoke feelings and memories from the people who see or receive the arrangement. It is a job that may be passed down through the family or that someone develops a passion for during life. If you are interested in becoming a professional floral designer, there are many different approaches you can take to become part of the trade.

The first thing to do if you have an interest in floral design is to speak with individuals who work in the industry. Go to your local flower shop and ask the owner or a floral designer who works there about the job. You may be able to work out an internship arrangement or work there part time to start learning the skills that you will need to become a designer. You will know within a few months if working with flowers is something you would like to do for a career.


Don’t Box Yourself In

Floral designers work in a variety of different settings, not just in local flower shops. They work in grocery stores, floristry shops, hospitals, and even some nurseries. Some also work exclusively with catering companies, funeral homes, or as part of a wedding venue or resort. Others work with online floristry companies, designing a wide range of custom-requested arrangements. Some florists also work on cruise ships, bringing the art of flower arranging to couples on their honeymoons, anniversaries, and for other special occasions.

If you want to work in flower arranging, there are several different settings you can set as your goal. Don’t be afraid to reach out to individuals who arrange flowers in unique settings to learn about how they got there. You’ll learn so much from just talking to the people who have real experience in the industry.


Get Educated

While some floral design positions only require on-the-job experience, you can significantly enhance your resume by specializing in a field like horticulture or gardening and land management. Florists associations and some colleges may also offer courses on floristry, giving you a leg up on your competition. The more expertise and specialty you can bring to a company, the more likely it will be to consider you for a position. By getting an education, you can also leverage your work experience and skillset to open a shop of your own one day.  

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of floral design is constricting. That means it will be more competitive than ever to secure a job arranging flowers. You could even expand your education to include art and design classes to excel in the industry. Keep a portfolio of all your flower design work to help you with both customers and job opportunities along the way.

Get Certified

Become an accredited designer to show your customers that you have the experience they want to see in a florist. You can become a certified floral designer through the American Institute of Floral Designers by enrolling in its system as a candidate and submitting an application. You will have to pass an online test and also have the qualifying experience to gain accreditation status.


Leverage Modern Technology

Having a lot of experience may not be enough to help you reach your career goals. Use social media and design a great website to share your work with the world. Post videos on YouTube, and offer information about your skillset to broaden your customer base. If you specialize in a certain type of design work, let people know. Brides-to-be, special event planners, and caterers are often looking for new florists to try. You may even be able to work for customers across the country.

Following Your Dream

One of the best aspects of a career in floral design is that it is very action oriented. If you want to become a floral designer, start talking to people. You don’t need to have pre-requisites to get into the industry. In fact, some successful local florists start their careers as nothing more than a hobby. Look for inspiration everywhere, and learn to listen to your customers. If you can translate their requests into beautiful pieces that fit their needs, you will be successful no matter where you go.

Don’t be afraid to mix mediums and use other designers’ work as inspiration to create something wholly unique. Whether arranging flowers is therapeutic for you or if the customers make the experience worthwhile, get out there and try your hand at arranging through a local garden club or flower shop.

Photo Credit:

Photographer level17-design offered the photograph of Florist Flowers Arrangement under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Elizabeth Stilwell offered the photograph of Floral Arrangement under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Adina Voicu offered the photograph of Give Mom Flowers under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Unsplash offered the photograph of Flower Bunch under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Foundry offered the photograph of Beauty Scene under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

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