Floristy 101 - Is Floral Design the Career for Me? | Deb Jasinski | Skillshare

Floristy 101 - Is Floral Design the Career for Me?

Deb Jasinski, Floral Designer #flowerobsessed

Floristy 101 - Is Floral Design the Career for Me?

Deb Jasinski, Floral Designer #flowerobsessed

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9 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Who Makes a Good Florist ?

    • 4. Physical Requirements

    • 5. Helpful Side Skills

    • 6. Personal Fulfillment

    • 7. Qualifications and Earnings

    • 8. First Steps in Starting Your Career

    • 9. Wrap Up

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About This Class

If you have ever considered becoming a retail florist, this class is for you!  As a 30 year veteran of all things floral, I am going to chat with you about what it requires to have a successful and fulfilling career in this incredibly fast-paced, exciting industry.  Because floristry is a multi-faceted career, this Skillshare class discusses the essential skills, educational requirements, physical demands, salary, and rewards of the trade. The class will also highlight the first steps to take in starting your career as a floral designer.

By the end of Is Floral Design the Career for Me? you will have a much stronger sense of what being a florist is all about, and if it is a career path that will bring you joy.

Meet Your Teacher

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Deb Jasinski

Floral Designer #flowerobsessed


Hello, I'm Deb.  I've worked in the floral design industry for nearly thirty years.  You could definitely say that I am flower obsessed!  I am most passionate about teaching floral design.  Sharing with students how to open their creative eyes to all that nature has to offer is an integral part of my teaching practice.  It's essential to get outdoors and really notice our natural surroundings on a more macro and intimate level in order to mimic nature in a floral composition.  Join me on this flower journey and become flower obsessed too!

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1. Welcome!: way. Welcome to Flores Tree went one is floral design the career for me. The goal of this class is to help you decide if Flores Tree is the right career choice for you. Most people know about the end results of Flores Tree, which would be a beautiful flower, OK, or perhaps a centerpiece for a dining room table. But there are so many steps that precede the final product, and so that's what we're going to discuss today in this skill shirt class. I'm going to divide this class up into six segments. The very first segment is going to be what kind of person makes a good florist? Number two. We'll talk about the physical requirements of Flores. Tree number three would be the helpful side skills that you may already have that would be helpful for Flora. Street number four is personal fulfillment. Number five is qualifications and earning. And finally number six are the steps that you can take to start your career. Making a career choice is one of the most challenging decisions that you will ever make in your life. By the end of this class, you will have a much, much bigger picture of the floral industry and everything, but it involves. You're probably wondering what are my credentials and if I'm the right person to be sharing my experience in the floral industry. So firstly, I want to own up to the fact that I do not have an answer for everything. And honestly, I don't think anybody out there does. I can also promise you that I have made some really ugly flower arrangements in my time. Every florist has. It's how we learn. Mistakes are what drive us to the next level. I have had an incredibly satisfying career. Up until this point, I can't imagine doing anything else for a living. I've been in the floral industry for 30 years. I started as a cashier in a garden center, and there just happened to be a flower shop in that garden center, and one day one of the florists actually called in sick. And so they took me off of cash and they plunged me into the flower shop with a head designer, who then gave me a crash course in how to make or sausages. That was it, that was That's how I got hooked. I have been everything from resident Bucket washer and Rose D. Thorner, right up to, um, design team manager and everything in between. I've participated in design competitions and I have designs published worldwide. And all this happened because one day I just decided that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I was willing to do whatever it took. I was ready to start the bottom and learned everything that I needed to know. So my story isn't exactly a Cinderella story. It's really more like the little engine that could. I just kept telling myself over and over again that I could do it. If I just worked hard. I could do it. Does anyone even know that story? The little engine that could I feel like I might have just aged myself a little bit. Let's continue to, um, the next video where I'm gonna be explaining the project that we're going to be doing for this skill shirt class 2. Class Project: The class project is a Siris of questions that are meant to get you thinking about what sort of skills and passions and strengths that you currently have, as well as your objective and your must have in terms of a career. So this project a bit unique in that we're going to answer part of the questions before we even start the class. And then we're going to answer a series of questions at the end of the series of videos as well. We're going to see if there's any parallels between the two. So having said that, um, it's time for you to now turn off the videos and pull up the list of questions and take your time going through them and really, really put some thought into it. Once you are finished that, then get ready to begin Section one, which is what kind of person would make a good florist 3. Who Makes a Good Florist ?: we're ready to talk about who makes a good florist. Now, I have devised a system where I divided into six different categories of of traits that I feel are extremely important for somebody that is going to thrive in the floral industry. Now, you may be wondering how I came up with these traits. I've been working in the industry long enough that I have been able to see the common denominator amongst florists that do really well versus florists that find the industry challenging. So these six attributes are definitely what a strong floral designer in a retail industry possesses. So the 1st 1 I think, is probably really obvious. I'm just gonna go there and get it out of the way. And that is somebody who is creative. Um, an eye for detail is really key in the floral industry, somebody who has the ability to think outside of the box, somebody who's very passionate. Now you don't necessarily have to be creative on a more traditional sense. Like, for example, you don't necessarily have to be somebody who knows how to do oil paintings or drawing. You just have to have, um, your own creativity for some kind of outlet on. Do you need to be passionate about it? Okay, so that's all we need to say about creativity, because I think that one, like I said, is pretty obvious. The next one I want to talk to you about is maybe not quite as obvious. Andi. That is full X ability, and I don't mean flexibility as in being able to bend over and touch your toes. I'm talking about somebody who has the ability to just go with the flow, somebody that can roll with the punches and doesn't get flustered when things don't go the way you were expecting to be. The floral industry is definitely not a static industry. It's constantly changing our to our day today. What you think you'll be doing one day may not even happen, because somebody might walk into your store and suddenly require $5000 worth of flowers for a memorial that's taking place that night or the next day. So you can't be that type of person that gets really flustered and think, Oh my gosh, how am I gonna do this? This is it possible and intends to lose their cool. It's just the industry. It's the way that it goes, and it's something that you just need to be calm about. So if you are the type of person that can remain constant and calm throughout this, then this is definitely a good career choice for you. If you're the type of person that gets flustered and just shuts down, not necessarily a good choice. Now some people actually thrive on the challenges of day to day change. I'm kind of one of those people. I'm not really a fan of monotony. I don't think I could ever work in a job where I was just like entering numbers all day long or doing the same thing every single day. I think one of the things that I love the most about Flores Tree is that it's always changing, and so that serves me well. I actually feed off of that. So if you're a person like me that feeds from that again, it's a great choice. So flexibility that was number two. Number three is, um, you need to be thick skinned. Uh, it's It's a tricky thing in the floral industry because when we make something, we're creating a piece of art. This is a little bit of, ah, of reflection of us. And if a customer comes in and you can tell by the way they're looking at it that it's not quite what they had in mind, you have to be certain that you don't take that personally because these are the types of things that are gonna happen on a daily basis. And so you need to be very open to criticism. You need to be able to take it well, you can't snap it your customer and say, Well, what do you mean you don't like it? This is fantastic. It took me three hours to do, and I think it's beautiful. That kind of attitude doesn't fly. Uh, you you need to be pretty quick on your feet and think to yourself, Okay, they don't like it. What can I do to make it better for you? And you have to be willing to take their, uh, their suggestions and their criticisms and adjust the piece. You also need to be open to constructive criticism rather from your boss or from your co workers. Because, like I said earlier, this is a very non static industry. And there are always new ways evolving new techniques. And so if somebody sees you doing it a certain way and then a coworker says, Well, you know, if you do it this way, it will be a lot faster. Um, you have to take that and own it and think about it and use it. If if it's appropriate, you can't just like Well, I like my way, and that's how I'm going to do it. So again, criticisms are something that are very much a part of the industry, and you need to be thick skinned about it. You can't get upset or you'll not want to come to work ever. Number four. Number four is actually crucial Number four, A good listener in the floral industry. You're going to be working with people non stop. You're going to be working with your boss and your co workers, and then you're gonna be working with customers. Now, obviously, the good listener part is pretty obvious when you're working with your boss, your coworkers, that sort of thing. When people are making suggestions or telling you what you need to do, you need to listen so that you could make sure that you do it correctly. However good listener, when you're working with a customer is a little bit different. Um, you need to make it so that it's all about them. You need to listen with an empathetic ear when you consider the fact that flowers are generally given at all emotional milestones. So when you're born, you receive flowers. When you graduate, you receive flowers. When you're married, you get flowers. When you die, there are flowers. And so, um, we are there for all of these emotions. And when people are ordering flowers during these emotional milestones, there might be a lot of sadness or uncertainty or tension involved. And so you have to sit there and listen and and be very attentive to what their needs are. Um, it's almost like you become a counselor, and your job is to provide them with whatever it is that they need. It might be that they just want to get in their place, the order and get out, and you need to make sure that your listening skills pick up on the sense that they want to get in and get up. And so that's what you do. You may have customers that come in and they're just having a really bad day. And they just need to tell you all about it. And that's what you do. You let them tell you about their bad day. You don't offer information about your bad day. They don't want to hear this because it's all about them. So you want to make sure that you listen. You want to make sure that you find queues that you can use to make them. I feel a little bit more special and realized that you're listening to them, Um and, uh, guaranteed. You'll have a customer for life. Okay, Number five Well spoken. You need to make sure that you have really fantastic descriptive words, because in floral design, we're talking about pretty magnificent flowers. You know, you don't want to tell your customer that you're going to make them a really pretty big piece. You want to use words like lush and garden me and romantic and moody and fragrant. These are worth that they can really get excited about. So making sure that you use your words properly and in a way that will get them excited about the flowers is key. The other thing is you also want to make sure that you use words. Um, that do not allow for a lot of room for interpretation because you want to make sure that whatever it is that they want is what they get. So example. Again, I'll go back to the word big if a customer says they want something big. Um, what is big? I mean, big to me. Might be, you know, like something that is maybe, like two feet wide by two feet tall, big for other people might be something that's Aziz. Biggest them like something that's like five or six feet tall. So that's when you need to start using words that are a little bit more, Um, um, definitive so that there's no room for error. So again, well spoken, keep all right. And the last one, Number six is patients. This one's huge. You're dealing with people every single day. You are dealing with people from all walks of life. You're dealing with people that do not have the experience with laurels, so they're actually relying on you to help them. So if they walk in and they say, You know, I want to spend $50 on him. OK? But I don't know what I want. You need to be patient. And you do you ask all the right questions in order to figure out exactly what it is that they want. Okay, So, um, you you need to make sure that you are calm and dumb and inviting listening, speaking well, and, um, making sure that you get into their head a little bit. And then that way, when they leave, they're gonna feel 100% satisfied that whatever it is that you create for them, um, is going to be wonderful. So patients at number six 4. Physical Requirements: welcome to the next video, where we're going to talk about the physical requirements of floral design. So, like any job out there in forestry, we do have physical requirements that must be met in order to succeed. But let's start with the most obvious, which are our hands. Ah, florist uses her hands all day long, or he uses his hands all day long. We use pruners. We used cutters. We use shears. Sometimes we're cutting things that are really soft like ribbon. But other times we could be cutting a really big, thick woody branch. And of course, that's going to require a lot of pressure on your muscles of your of your hands. So you will definitely acquire strong hands over the years. Moving downward. Let's talk about the neck. Ah, lot of the work that we do is on a table, and we tend to stand at that table. And so therefore, we're looking downward, and this is where people who are shorter actually have the advantage over people who are taller, because the shorter you are, the closer you are to, um, your workspace, and so your neck is not necessarily a strange so myself who is almost five foot eight. I have to remind myself regularly to stop and do neck rotations, roll my shoulders, because otherwise, by the end of the day, I'm completely seized up, all right, the back. There's a lot of heavy lifting, but many people don't think about the fact that, um, heavy buckets of water I need to be filled and carried around to put the flowers in. So there's a lot of lugging and a lot of flower orders come to us, either in these heavy buckets already to go where we have to move them around from A to B or the flowers come in these enormous boxes that are so big that I could practically climb into them myself. And they're full of flowers and they weigh a ton. And so you need to make sure that you're smart about how you lift and move things around. Um, you need to make sure you lift with your knees and not your back, okay? And finally legs, knees and feet. So obviously, this is a job that requires a lot of standing and a lot of movement. So you want to make sure that you're wearing footwear that help support arches. Um, you want to wear, um, flat shoes for safety? So you're not tripping on anything. Anti fatigue mats are key. Um, and any opportunity that you do have to sit down, whether it's intricate Kearsarge reboot near work or what have you I do. You encourage you to take that moment to sit down because for the most part, you will be standing and moving around, and it makes for a long day. 14 16 hours, sometimes on your feet, it can be a lot. So we finished discussing the physical requirements of forestry. But there is one thing or one issue rather than I do want to discuss with you. And that is actually the possible hazards of the physical hazards of working as a floral designer. So there's the obvious a chance that you can cut yourself because you're using knives and cutters and lots of different sharp objects. And, of course, you just need to be prudent and careful. Make sure you're trained properly on your knife and that sort of thing. What I'm mainly wanting to discuss here is actually, um, one hazard that many people don't really know about and that's the exposure to chemicals. So these air not the chemicals that we willingly expose ourselves to. So I'm not talking about, um, you know, spray paints or, you know, bucket cleaners or flower foods or any of these kind of things. I'm talking about the ones that were not, um, that we don't have any sort of control over S O. That would be things like fertilizers and pesticides, herbicides, fungicides. Um, these chemicals make their way into a flower shop. Um, by, um, by the flowers that we handle every single day, you literally can smell the chemicals on some of the packaging, or you can see some of the fertilizer residue on some of the leaves. Many of our growers, um, come from countries who don't embrace the same strict chemical laws that we do here in Canada and as well in the United States. So there's not a lot that we can do to get around this unless we choose to by pass all of the products that come from these countries. But unfortunately, that's going to limit us immensely, especially here in Canada, because our growing season is so small and there's only a certain amount. There's only certain products rather that grow well under greenhouse glass. You just need to be smart about it. Um, make sure you wear gloves whenever you have the opportunity to and make sure that you wash your hands on a regular basis. So that wraps up the section on the physical requirements. Flirt for floral design. 5. Helpful Side Skills: welcome to video number three, which is helpful side skills. Um, So what do I mean by this? There are a lot of skills that you may already have that will benefit your career as a floral designer. There are four that I'm gonna go through with you today. Number one is if you have a knack for interior decorating or displays or merchandising. Surprisingly, the principles are very relatable. So I'm talking about color theory, texture, scale. There's all sorts of principles of interior decorating and whatnot that are the same in forestry. Um, they're extremely important components. And so if you have a really good grasp of these already, or if you've got an eye for it, then these can be transferred into floral design and you will be one step ahead of everybody else. Number two is time management. If you have the ability to schedule your time in a way where everything gets done when it needs to get done, you will have an advantage over everybody else in the floral industry. Because flowers are perishable, you need to be on the ball. You need to know when things need to get ordered and when they will be at their prime for designing with you want to make sure that you don't design things too soon so that they're not at their peak for a certain day and that sort of thing. So if you, um, have a strong grasp of this skill, then, uh, you'll be ahead of the game. Number three is plant growing. If you have a house full of house plants, a patio full of beautiful flowers or a really abundant garden, then you have experienced the growing cycle of many of the foliage and flowers that we use in the floral industry. Um, plants are very huge part of floral design. I mean, let's face it, you can't love flowers without loving the plans that the flowers come from. So if you have a really great knowledge base of this of the names, how big they can get the colors, that sort of thing, then you'll definitely be a step above. Number four is if you are an artist that has a craft that is very tactile and fine, and I mean something like beating or silversmith ing knitting, uh, woodcarving. All of these extremely up close, tiny movements believe it or not. There is actually a component of floral design that does require these really detailed, detailed movements things like corsages and Putin years. There's a really big trend right now for flower jewelry, so these air designs very stylized designs that are more on a micro level. And so you need to be able to have the dexterity and the patients, as well as the ability to manipulate, um, little itty bitty pieces. And so, if you already have these skills because of a craft that you already do, then you will easily be, um, adaptable to to this sort of micro area of floral design. 6. Personal Fulfillment: welcome section, for I like to call this section personal fulfillment. I think that it's really important when you choose a career that that there's something in it for you. There's no point in doing a job if you don't get anything out of it, because when you consider that you're there every single day, five days, a week, 40 hours, it needs to be something that you really love. So what do I get out of Flores Tree? I have a maker, and I think if you're watching this video, you probably are, too. And it doesn't matter what you call yourself a maker, a crafter and artsy person designer. Whatever it is, you know exactly what I mean. When I say that, um, I eat an artistic outlet. If I don't have an artistic outlet, I go a little bit baddie and his matter of fact. Even when I was sitting down and trying to create the curriculum for this skill share video , my whole page was covered with doodles because I'm one of these people that always has to be doing and creating things. No matter what I do, no matter where I go, my brain always needs to be creating. So Flores Tree gives that to me. I think that that is probably the biggest thing for me for being a forest is that Flores Tree gives me the ability to create on a daily basis. Another thing that's a huge component of fulfillment for me and the floral industry is the ability to challenge myself. So like I mentioned, every single design that you make is a new discovery, a new challenge. It's part of how you grow and how you improve. So there are many jobs out there that actually pay you to learn. So let me explain myself, because every time you pick up your knife to create a piece, you're gonna learn something new. Even if it's the 10th arrangement that you've made out 25 that you have to do. Um, no two flowers are alike. There's no way that you're going to be able to create the exact same arrangement a 2nd 3rd or 25th time. So your brain is always working in a way to figure out how you can create something that looks similar to that first arrangement that she made using elements that, uh, have different shapes and sizes, so your brain is always being challenged. It's always being worked, and you get to be creative on someone else's done, and that's a fantastic part of it all. The third component of the personal fulfillment for me in terms of floral design, is it brings me joy. I love quotes. I have a big picture framed beside my bed, and it says the purpose of your life is joy. And so, um, forestry brings me that on a daily basis, And, um, when you think about it, flowers bring joy not just to me, but to everybody that I'm providing the flowers for. Think about it when you're born. There's joy. You get flowers. You get flowers at every milestone in between. Whether it's a birthday, an anniversary, you've had a baby. Or maybe it's just because so I get to share that with people, and that is huge. It feels good to make people happy, to see people smile. And to me, that's really what Joy is all about. 7. Qualifications and Earnings: qualifications and earnings. That's what we're going to talk about in this video. So there is actually no formal training required or certification required to become a floral designer in North America. There are lots of schools and college programs available out there to learn the art of Flores tree, but when it comes down to it, anyone can apply for a job as a florist, whether they have courses under their belt or not. Now, if you remember in the beginning, when I was introducing myself, I told you that my first experience in a flower shop was actually just by chance. Um and it continued, from there are watched and learned. I experimented. I took flowers home after my shift. I would pick the floral designers brains to get ideas. Um, I would actually go to bookstores and have the owners order in special European flower magazines for me to purchase. I spent a lot of time in the library's reading through different floral design books, and I should mention that when I did this, there was no such thing as Pinterest or Instagram or the Internet. So, um, I really had to seek out different methods of learning on my own learning skill. A floral design now is more accessible than ever. There are how to videos circulating around the Internet like crazy. It's pretty incredible time to be learning. Actually, please understand that I'm not suggesting or supporting one method of learning or the other . I am simply putting it out there so that you know what your options are so you can choose to get a base of learning through a program at a college or a private school. Or you can hope that you can have somebody sort of take you under their wing and apprentice with them. Either way, you will learn the skills. How you get there is up to you. Now here is the big question that I get. A lot of people ask me. Well, I get paid more if I attend a private school, or if I get some form of formal education in terms of college or or what not versus just sort of learning the trade on my own. And the answer is actually no. Um, when you accept your first job, you will be a junior floral designer. You will be the chief bucket washer and Rose D Thorner. No matter how much schooling you have, you need to be patient and work your way up. You're not gonna get hired and become a senior designer just like that. It is something that you need to climb the ladder slowly to get to in terms of income. Most entry level positions in a flower shop are going to pay around or slightly more than minimum wage. You can expect this to grow as your knowledge base and your speed, um, grow as well. You will become more responsible for certain tasks within the flower shop. So obviously being a floral designer, particularly in the beginning, is definitely a labor of love. You're not going to get rich financial rich being a floral designer. Um, as as you move up the ladder, things will change a little bit. 8. First Steps in Starting Your Career: this final video, we will be going through, um, steps that you can take in order to begin your career and how these air steps that you can take before you actually sign up for a clause or before you approach a flower shop. But apprenticing these are things that you could do to create a really solid, uh, knowledge base of of flowers and the industry before you take that first step. So I have divided this into five different things. The very 1st 1 of course, is to learn flowers and their names. There are so many resources of their now. Pinterest is a wonderful one. I always suggest creating a private pin board and putting different flowers as you see them into your board and becoming familiar with their names. Um, there's apso there that you can use for a flower and plant identification, the website that I use the most because I'm always looking for variety names of flowers. I just can't seem to keep them straight in. My in my head is, um, it's called sierra flower finder dot com. Make sure that you use this one because it is fantastic and it will give you all sorts of information about the origin. What time of year It blooms the pedal sizes, the pedal counts all sorts of really great information. Number two. Creative portfolio. Anything you make whether you go to the grocery store and buy a cheap little bunch of something and try putting it into a vase. Creative portfolio. Not even necessarily a portfolio for you to be showing potential employers, but a portfolio for yourself so that you can watch yourself grow. This is huge. And you know what? When you're a successful florals under 10 years down the line and you look back at it, you'll think, Wow, did I ever come a long way? So yes, creative portfolio you can never go wrong with having pictures of your work. Number three. Create a pin board. Now I know I had mentioned this, a number one about creating a pin board for identifying flowers. This is different creative pin board and label it designs that inspire you. So when you see a floral piece that really gets you excited, put it in there and then eventually you're going to see that there's some sort of commonality to all of the pieces that you have been putting in there, and it will help you to start to discover what style um, you fancy the most. It will help almost to define the types of styles that you're more than likely to create once you're in the floral industry. Number four start following florists and hashtags on instagram. There are some pretty phenomenal people out there and you need to be following them. So it's just a Z easy as Googling famous flower flower shops in the United Kingdom, famous florists from Australia. And then take these and look for them on Instagram and Sir following them. And last but not least, number five is offered. Volunteer in your local flower shop. Offer to sweep their floors, wash their buckets. You just never know when an opportunity might come along. Look at me. I was thrown into it one day And look where I am now. You just never know where an opportunity might take you 9. Wrap Up: I know I've just given you a huge amount of information, but it's my hope that this class has answered any questions that you may have had, um, about the floral industry, and hopefully it's given you a little bit of an inside view of what it would be like to be a floral designer. Um, as this class had outlined in the beginning, Flores Tree is a multifaceted career. Um, if you're someone who needs a regular artistic out, Lit loves to be challenged. Is a people person hard working, willing to start from the bottom, And forestry just may be the perfect career path for you. Be sure to follow me here on skill share as my forestry one. A one course starts to unfold. I'm really excited about this. I'm going to be, um, taking you step by step through everything that you need to know In order to work in a retail flower shop environment, we'll start the very, very beginning, will be receiving flowers from the wholesaler is learning how to clean the process them and handle them all the way up to making beautiful wedding bouquets and everything in between. So please join me for lots flowery fund through with forestry, one on one journey. And don't forget post any questions that you may have from this class and also share your thanks, everyone.