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Let’s shake up the world of floristry

So here goes, this blog is controversial. It will no doubt divide opinions and most definitely ruffle a few feathers, but they probably absolutely need ruffling!  

I am going to be talking about floristry but not the nicey nicey flowery stuff, an honest up to date look at the floristry world.  

Lets start with the basics, and the first question I am going to ask is whether you need a qualification? In my opinion it’s a big fat NO! 

You can have a college qualification and be crap or you could be self-taught and amazing and vice versa. The stigma around being college trained verses self-taught or workshop-taught needs to end. College courses are outdated and stifle creativity, and who needs to know the Latin names of flowers?  How is that going to help you in the floristry world now? We have books and we have Google so we don’t need to waste our precious time learning the Latin names that we will rarely use. This is not going to impress our potential customers. Going to college will not necessarily make a good successful and creative florist.  

In the world of floristry does a recognised qualification really matter? Is someone really not going to not book you because of this? Do your potential customers even know that one exists? Probably not. What does matter is that you have the creative ability to exceed their expectations. I do not have a recognised qualification and I was constantly booked out on weddings with the most amazing briefs and good budgets. I am not saying that you don’t need any training, there are some pretty epic flower schools out there that teach creativity and sustainable floristry techniques, but these focus on current trends and not the same curriculum that has been around forever.  Does having a qualification make you a better business provider? If you work in medicine, definitely but in floristry no!  

My opinions mean I’ll never be accepted in the traditional floral arena, or featured in British Florist Association and my members will never probably win traditional industry awards, and that’s just fine with me. It’s about doing things your way, to your style that your customers love.  

Nobody ever changed the world doing things the way they’ve always been done. Do we need another florist offering chrysanthemum funeral arrangements? If that’s your style and what your customers want then that’s great, but there is so much creativity out there that is being stifled because florists are constantly being told to do things a certain way. People buy what they see so its time we shook up the floristry world. 

Sustainable floristry is what people want and what the planet needs. If we listened to the traditionalists, we’d be using floral foam forever (which by the way contains the same amount of plastic as 10 carrier bags) If you are not ready to ditch the traditional designs then at least look to learn new sustainable techniques. I never used foam and created huge jaw dropping instillations so I will argue with anyone that says floristry designs it can’t be created without foam.  

I know I will divide opinion in the industry, but that is also fine – I’m not here to create an echo chamber. I want florists to be able to express their creativity in their way and build a business they love and that their customers adore. I want new florists coming through to know that they can step away from the norm and that aren’t scared to do things in their unique style, I want them to earn a real living doing something they are passionate about. I want existing florists to just question if what they are doing is how they want to do it, not just doing things in the way they do because it’s all they know and what they were taught. I want them to know that there are alternatives, because there are.  

We need to create a new wave of florists, rebel florists that are not afraid to shake up the industry, step away from the stereotypes and do things their way.