Firstly, I would like to use this wonderful sentiment by Michael Reuschenbach as my introduction to this topic.
He writes: ”Let’s admit it! We have neglected the area of sympathy floristry for a long time!”
and “The palette of possibilities should be explored and new beginnings considered.
The consciousness for nature and romance should be rekindled and flowers and feelings united in harmony.”
Traditional Flowers for Bereavements vary quite a bit from country to country, but in Europe and Australia, where I spent most of my time as a florist, I have noted that there definitely is a general tendency toward a few flower types.
In particular, the Lilies, Roses and Chrysanthemums are the most commonly used and asked for.
The rose standing for love and beauty, the lilies have a fragrance, that can really sweeten the space with its oriental aroma, the chrysanthemum having a place of endurance and solidity.
Amongst these, there is a few more types that are used rather frequently:
Calla or Arum Lillies (again, the lasting aspect and elegance, and simplicity are the main factors here)
Carnations are also a very liked floral addition to arrangements for sympathy, as they have a softness to them that really is quite comforting.
The materials chosen really should resonate with the personality of the deceased.
One has to be open to the suggestions or special wishes of the next of kin.
The Colour spectrum is traditionally kept quite neutral.
Whites and Greens seem to dominate the ‘sympathy arena’ but my personal experience has shown, that many a time, the florist chooses to listen to the individuals requests when it comes to choice of colour.
Also the softer tones, all pastels for instance creme, pale or blush pinks, mauve and soft apricot are very often amongst the favourites, as they resonate with calm and gentleness and can really soothe the soul.
Everyone has different opinions and ever so often do the colours pop brightly and cheerfully to reflect the personality and happy nature of the deceased.
Flower arrangements for the closest loved ones can be one of the most meaningful assignments any florist could ever carry out.
What to write in a Sympathy card really depends of how well we knew the departed.
Whether we were close to the family or we are the closest relative to the perished.
Here are a few examples, I found comforting and suitable:
We hope these flowers express what our words never will
Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Please accept these flowers and hear the words we are not able to speak
With love to you and your family
May these flowers remind you of our loving thoughts and prayers
Longer Messages could be:
Please know that we are thinking of you and your family during this time of sorrow
Flowers and prayers go out for our dear — that left us too soon
We don’t know how to ease your pain, but we hope that these flowers remind you of the beauty of life that your —- still wants you to see
May these flowers in some small way express the sympathy and sadness we feel for you during this difficult time.
May these flowers bring some comfort during this difficult time
Though words, however gentle, cannot take your loss away, still may these flowers sent in sympathy help comfort you today
As stated above, some of these traditions vary from Country to Country and it is therefore advisable to not jump to any conclusions when ask to deliver a sympathy flower arrangement.
Yes, we could do the “one size fits all” thing and create a somewhat non-intrusive, neutral coloured design that blends in with the rest, OR we could ask the right questions and rather INDIVIDUALISE the design, by looking at heritage, personality and preferences the passed-on person had.
I for one, think that the floristry Industry needs to have individualised designs to suit each person they are dealing with and not make the mistake to just create yet another ‘off the mill’ arrangement that doesn’t reflect the needs of the customers 100%.
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Flower Design School is a private floristry training provider in Perth. Classes are student-focussed, and each student receives one-on-one attention throughout the process. Courses and workshops are available for everyone from beginners to experienced florists looking to hone their craft.
European Master Florist and Principal at Flower Design School Iris Pich was instilled with an early love for the beauty of nature growing up around flowers in her father’s nursery. ‘I grew up making little flower bouquets and helping stripping and bunching all sorts of wonderful flowers, ready for the wholesale markets.’
After finishing school, her dad encouraged her to take up floristry and Iris has never looked back.
She loves the hands-on nature of the work and the freedom from being stuck behind a desk all day, relishing the chance to show off her creativity with the new plants and flowers that come with each passing season.
Surrounded by the subtle aroma of fresh florals, the appeal of changing careers to become a florist may be clear for some. Iris advises hopeful florists not to underestimate the amount of knowledge and skill that is required to truly be an expert florist.
As she says, ‘It is a trade profession after all and it does need to be explored and learnt properly.’ Iris recommends getting as much training as possible from someone who is experienced in the industry to ensure that you have all the tools you need to get started.
Take your time to understand the flowers and other materials you will be working with so that you can appreciate how they all work together.
If you’re passionate about floristry and you want to learn the core skills to be ready to tackle floristry as a career, in a workplace or in your own business we recommend you check out our Industry Ready courses or contact during normal office hours.
I can tell you that becoming and being a florist can be an exciting and challenging career. Like any other industry, it welcomes all ages and backgrounds and consists of people primarily passionate about being around flowers and willing to explore all aspects of the profession.
Besides being able to make a beautiful arrangement, you must be a reasonably quick worker, be sociable and have a pleasant and helpful manner because you’re constantly dealing with the public.
As we know, flowers touch people’s emotions. For example, customers who order funeral tributes are the relatives or friends of the deceased and since they’re emotionally vulnerable, as a florist, you will need to be sympathetic and understanding.
But we also have the privilege of sharing people’s most intimate moments of joy, such as when a bride-to-be selects her bouquet for the most important day of her life or when a proud father comes in to order an arrangement for his wife to celebrate their newest addition.
However, floristry is not all glamorous. There is a lot of hard work and long hours involved and our duties of maintaining a flower shop includes:
And the list continues…
Because of how busy it gets, you will need to be able to work efficiently. A typical day could include creating ten wreaths, several arrangements and posies. Sometimes these will need to be created, along with other customer’s demands while they wait.
Basic run-down of a good employee:
Applying for a position in a Florist Shop
Commonly, the florist will ask you to make up an arrangement, posy or sheaf. For that, you must:
Don’t worry if you’re feeling nervous.
By nature, florists are understanding individuals. It’s better to be nervous than have an undesirable “know it all” attitude.
A few years ago, a position was open in a florist shop in Perth for a junior and a young woman out of 40 applicants got the job because she was the most capable of creating attractive floral designs in the quickest amount of time. The young woman also was kind and during the interview said, “I am very impressed with your shop and I would love to have the opportunity to work for you”.
An employer would much rather a person who shows that they want the position in preference to someone who is indifferent.
This is something we discuss in our Industry Ready courses.
The idea of creating your own shop and business can be tempting, however you should be fully aware of all the facts before making it a reality.
How to decide if you are the right type of person to create a floristry business
Disadvantages (You will find it helpful to do this questionnaire)
|Because running a shop is a lot of hard work and involves long hours, do you have the time and energy to run it?||Yes||No|
|Do you have enough funds to start it?||Yes||No|
|Are you self-motivated and disciplined to organise and prioritise?||Yes||No|
|Are you a reasonably quick worker?||Yes||No|
|When problems arise, do you quickly come up with solutions?||Yes||No|
|If you have family, do you have someone you can rely on to look after the kids?||Yes||No|
To stand a good chance in the floristry business, you should honestly be able to answer “yes” to most of the questions.
When you decide to give it a fair shot, do remember this: How successful you are in Floristry, like anything in life, will depend on how much time and effort you’re prepared to put in.
Did you know that there is a language of flowers? In Victorian times meanings were associated with flowers and it was important to send the right flower for the right occasion. This was mainly done because at that time the species of flowers available was limited. Today this has all changed with imports of flowers worldwide. But it is still fun to know what the true meanings of some of the popular flowers are.
|Carnations:||Varies depending upon color|
|Forget-Me-Not||remember me forever|
|Gladiolus||strength of character|
|Jasmine||grace and elegance|
|Marigold||desire for riches|
|Queen Anne’s Lace||delicate femininity|
|red & white||unity|
|Star of Bethlehem||hope|
|red||declaration of love|
|yellow||hopelessly in love|
|Zinnia||thoughts of friends|
The above are the basic meanings of flowers but some of these can be further sub-divided again.
Let’s take the popular rose as an example.
The actual shade and colour of the rose can mean something different as can how many roses you send to the person.
Red roses mean love, respect, courage and beauty. A dark red rose signifies unconscious beauty. While a single rose of any color means ‘I love you’. Two roses which are entwined is meant to ask the question ‘Will you Marry Me?’.
Yellow roses mean friendship, joy, gladness, welcome and remember me. A yellow rose with a red tip means ‘falling in love with you’.
Sending someone six roses signifies the need to be loved and cherished. While sending eleven roses tells a person that they are deeply loved indeed. Thirteen roses shows that you have a secret admirer.
White roses are known as bridal roses, while a white rosebud depicts girl hood. Black roses are associated with death and blue roses depict the impossible or unattainable. If you receive a thornless rose this means the sender loved you at first sight.
The world of flower meanings is huge and if you have any trouble speaking your feelings out loud then it is time for you to start sending more flowers.
If you’d like to learn more about roses and the meaning of flowers make sure you sign up for our upcoming 6 Week Bridal Basics course.
Or perhaps have some fun with flowers in our mothers day themed Fun with Flowers workshop. Join today with your mum or your daughter and receive a free gift pack valued at over $30. Check out Fun with Flowers Here.
One of the easiest ways to brighten up your home is by decorating with flowers. If you have a garden then plant flowers which you can cut and bring indoors. By planting flowers that bloom all season long you can easily decorate with them until the frost hits in autumn.
Creating Bouquet Arrangements
Top floral designers are experimenting with creating tiered bouquets for your home and you can easily accomplish this too. All you need for your tiered bouquet are two glass bowls which can be stacked on top of each other. Then simply fill with a mixture of small and large seasonal flowers. For example in the spring you can mix pansies and nemesia or forget me nots and use larger flowers such as columbine and violas.
First start by stacking your pedestal bowl on top of the larger one and then add water to both bowls. Use smaller blossoms for the base of the bowls and press the stems into the water. Then take your larger blossoms and cut the stems so they fit inside the bowl, simply insert these blossoms throughout your flower bouquet.
If you don’t have a pedestal type bowl you can use small individual glass bowls and place them around your home. If you are having dinner guests you could place small flower arrangements at their place setting.
To add a flare to your floral arrangements don’t forget to use some of the leaves which grow with your flowers. Peonies look wonderful floating in a small bowl of water. To keep the Peony above the water place a small ball of bubble wrap underneath it for support. Use grasses or leaves to add a touch of green to the bowl.
You probably have a variety of grasses growing in your garden and these can be used to make your dinner settings stand out. Simply use a grass such as maiden grass of about 12 inches long and tie around your cutlery and fasten with a knot. To add color to your setting pick a small handful of buttercups or daises and tie them into a bouquet as well.
Maiden grass dries extremely well and will keep for up to one year so you can easily reuse them over and over again. If you find the grass is getting a little brittle then spray very lightly with a little hair gel. Works wonderfully!
Decorating with flowers doesn’t have to be expensive. Try looking around your garden and use what you see growing. Hosta leaves help add a wonderful touch of green to indoor flower arrangements too.
If you’d like to learn how create floral arrangements like a professional check out our upcoming courses including a 6 week Bridal Basics course or perhaps have fun with your mum in our mothers day themed Fun with Flowers. Enrol today and get a $30 gift pack for you and your mum!
Thanks Tracey for conducting this short interview with me and what Flower Design School offers!
Tracey is one of my treasured floristry students and personal tuition clients. I’ve been helping her take her Floristry to the next level and also helping her with some floristry competition work.
Her entry looks amazing! Here’s her video on youtube.
Here are a few fun and serious facts about our Industry, that you may or may not know as yet about being a Florist.
Our little hands are busy all day: we get them dirty, pricked, wet and chafed and possibly cut….
They will have to “work for you” constantly, all day, every day.
We clean sticky Gum foliage, then de-thorn prickly roses, sink our hands into water to fish out the Oasis bricks, cut and shape them, and so on.
So say goodbye to pretty hands…
There are a hand full of florists out there (excuse the pun) who might actually be able to flaunt some long acrylic nails and make it work, but trust me, the majority of us has to sooner or later give in to the practicality of having short cut nails and don’t even bother putting nail polish on, as it will last perhaps half a day before it looks like a dog’s breakfast…
And we ask ourselves: Why did we even bother? 😉
My advice is to find a good hand cream!!
I love the Clarins one!! But also anything Shea butter based is bliss on my hands. I always go to bed with a thick layer of moisturiser on my poor hands, to give them a break from a hard day’s work.
If you want a job, are looking for a casual position, would like to buy or sell a business or anything to do with anything… and you want the word to spread… just tell a few wholesalers, or florists and you will soon have all of Perth knowing about it.
So on one hand this might be really useful and can get you offers or a new job, but also… be a bit careful about what you let other’s know 😉
Soil, dirt, pollen, thorns, glue and even spider webs! Prepare to get dirty and wet!
We are in a Hands-on profession, and we have already established that we get our hands wet and dirty, but there is also the beauty of wearing black or anything darker instead of beige or crème or mint 😉
We get dirty, we wipe our hands on our aprons, and we wash our working clothes daily (if you don’t have an apron).
We don’t have much time to sit down at all… we stand a lot, we need good shoes, ideally stand on rubber mats, to prevent our joints from hurting after a whole day of standing and walking.
It’s not all about the romance and the ‘having all the time in the world to create…’
Floristry is not a profession for day dreamers!
It’s a busy job, arrangements have to be done in a productive and efficient manner and only rarely do we have the luxury to really ponder over our creations and take our time with the creative process.
We still enjoy what we do, immensely, but we have to be able to work under pressure, time being a big thing here.
We must be resilient to stress factors, like pressures to fulfil the order requirements.
The skill is not just in the practical sense but to have a skilled mind, that doesn’t fluster.
It’s not always about what YOU want to do, but what the customer wants, and it is a bit
like a compromise sometimes.
Only once you have established a good sense of your own style and have portrait it to the clients you have, can you get to the stage, where YOUR style is what the customer wants.
Then you realise you’ve made it
If you don’t love what you do, don’t think you will learn how to later…
The passion and love I have for the materials and products and our industry as a whole, is something that keeps me going, every day!
I love the season changes and the material variety, unusual colours in ordinary flowers.
The scent of our roses, lilac or even Lily-of the Valleys….
All those wonderful beautiful things we are so fortunate to be working with….
It doesn’t get much better that this!!
Keep the passion in your heart- nurture it, it will be the key to your success.
As you are full of passion and professionalism, you have high stakes and a will to strive forward!
You will get there, because you know what?
Your enthusiasm is contagious.
People want to be part of it, they want a piece of the cake
They need to have your flower composition, because they will take that passion and love with them, when they do take the flowers home!
That’s the magic of this beautiful industry.
There’s so many smiles you will see, and you are the reason for them!
Until next time beautiful my Blossoms!
Blossoms & Blessings
P.S Have you checked out our upcoming courses yet?
Ever wondered what it really takes to become a Florist? I get messages on a daily basis from wonderful blossoms who unfortunately have an incorrect view of what it takes to be successful in the floristry industry.
Here’s my top 5 Things you may not know about being a Florist
It takes more than just a couple of classes to be competent and confident in this field.
Lots of times I hear questions like” So, after I have completed this 8 week course, will I be able to have my own floristry business? “
Sorry blossoms, the short answer to this is: ‘No’
The longer answer is : Please acknowledge that Floristry is a profession and should be treated as such!
Professionalism comes from knowing not just one or a few different facets of the field, but ideally all of them!
One can’t call themselves a florist, just like that. Just like you would call anyone a doctor after a few weeks.
There is time involved, dedication and hard work to get there. And don’t forget passion!
Learning a new profession takes time, just like learning any new skill.
Floristry is no different and everyone who has started thinking there can’t be that much to it putting a few flowers together will be or has been proven wrong soon after they started their training.
There is so much to learn in our wonderful profession, that it takes a good year of part-time studies to maybe getting closer to the goal of being your own boss…
In Germany where I did my traineeship, traineeships are 3 full years long for this profession. When you consider that, it then seems crazy to think, we would know it all after a few months!! Right?
If you are a beginner the best starting point at FDS is the Floristry Foundations course which will introduce you to the fundamentals in theory as well as the practical application. This course also is delivered as an intensive.
You have to get the basics right first, it is like the foundation of the house: If it isn’t right, everything that comes after it, won’t work that well.
Thats why we go in-depth in our Floristry Foundations course.
The smallest move that is taught the correct way can assist you to be time-efficient in your job or business and will help you take care of your body in the long run!
We can’t take short-cuts when it comes to learning a new skill.
You wouldn’t demand a short cut on a sprouting flower, so be patient on yourself.
It would be like thinking, that you can be a painting artist, but you don’t even know about the different techniques, brushes, preparation of the canvas, mediums, mixing colour etc.
We can’t just “wing it” and just do random things… we will never have a professional product in the end, and it will not represent the rest of the Industry in the right way!
A skilled practitioner with excellent design, in any profession shines through.
The more skilful you are the easier you will make it seem for others but the beauty of your work will be enough to captivate your customers.
But to get there, it takes time, work experience, good tuition, guidance, patience and determination, but also Passion!
Being in the Floristry Industry, doesn’t only require you to be a good florist in the practical sense, but also a huge part of it is the business component.
The Marketing strategies, the financials, the stock control, the Human Resources, Staff Management, Payrolls, Tax, Bookkeeping etc.
It’s the whole package, that makes you a true floristry professional.
If you’ve already got some experience in Floristry or would like to become a professional then you will want to check out our 24 week Industry Ready course.
It takes more than 8 weeks to become a true professional.
In fact there is a lifetime of wonderful learning to be had. You need to first master the basics of design and the fundamentals of floristry.
And realise that this is a business and you need to master this as well to truly flourish as a florist!
Hello fellow Flower-Friends,
It’s getting cooler, the trees are changing colour and the rain is offering nature wonderful relief.
Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year where we can reflect and go inwards with ourselves.
It would be so easy and convenient to just retreat and lay back and let the cold weather ‘take over’ and let me get all convenient about staying at home all snuggled up, but you know what?
I feel so much better about myself and my life, if I won’t let the temperature out there keep me from my mission, my vision of what I would like to achieve!
So we could get all lazy, but we also could take this time of the year to charge up for the coming months, like the seeds in the ground, doing some work, without us seeing it really.
Nurturing ourselves, in my humble opinion, is also learning and devoting some time to ourselves and our own growth.
With this little bit of wisdom, I will show you, what Flower Design School has on offer for the coming months:
I am kicking off with a new workshop idea, where we focus on natural elements only to create things of beauty, to decorate home interior and outdoor spaces.
Sunday, 29th of May, 2-5pm All materials and afternoon tea provided.
We will be creating some lovely things, with twine, creepers and other botanicals.
Be surprised at how just a few techniques can change the way you will look at creepers and sticks in the future – Let your imagination run free!
With a price tag of $69.00 with nothing to bring along, but a whole lot to walk away with, this is pretty cool.
Floristry Foundations starts on Wednesday 25th May 6-9pm
Also for those of you, who are possible still sitting on the fence of whether to get into some training or not.
Now is your time to get started!
This special starter’s offer is not to be repeated:
With every full enrolment of the Floristry Fundamentals 6-week course, you will be able to get a toolkit for only $90.00!! (valued over $120.00)
This offer is only available for enrolments for the upcoming course starting on:
Wednesday, 25th of May 6-9pm
Another Class, some of you may be interested in, will be a Creative Construction Workshop, coming up on the Sunday, 5th June 2-5 pm.
This is a creative and a little more advanced approach to construction with soft/bendable materials.
We are incorporating, weaving, interwoven and overlapping techniques to create dynamic, free-standing designs to be incorporated into flower arrangements of left as a stand alone pieces of art.
This is taking your skills and knowledge to the next level
How could this not be fun!?
We will work with lapping canes and soft branches, leaves and twines/wires to create something along the lines of a ‘Gregor Lersch’ structure.
There might be something here, you are interested in, and I would be happy, if this is the case, but please feel free to let me know, what other workshops or one-off classes you would like to see us offer.
Just send an email to me and I will take it into consideration
Until we meet again!
Blossoms & Blessings
Principal of Flower Design School
Call: 0422 581 540
Start your floral journey in this beginners level workshop that encourages laughter and a hands on approach to learning.
Learn the principles and elements of design, and create inspiring floristry pieces to showcase to your friends and family.
All materials, tools, foliage and flowers are included.
Date: 17th January 2016
Time: 2.00pm – 4.30pm
(Maximum 7 Participants)
$129.00 inclusive of materials
To register your spot go to http://www.floristry.com.au/fwf