Whether you’re taking classes at a local community college or floral school, in-person or online courses, learning to become a floral designer can be very rewarding. You get to use your creativity to make beautiful arrangements that will brighten people’s day. You also get to work with your hands and be around nature, which can be very calming and therapeutic.
Once you have the basic skills, it’s important to continue learning and keeping up with trends by reading floral design magazines and books, and attending floral design workshops and trade shows. But more importantly, it’s essential to learn by putting your skills into practice as a floral business. Keen to learn the trade of renowned floral designers? Read on to find out the ins and outs of this career path, and what you need to succeed to become the top choice for floral creations.
What are floral designers?
Floral designers are artists who use flowers, plants, and other floral materials to create visually stunning displays. Creativity, originality, and an eye for detail are key qualities of successful floral designers. They must also be able to work well under pressure and have good people skills, as they often work closely with customers.
What does a floral designer do? While plenty of people may have a general idea of what this job involves, it’s harder to understand what makes a good floral designer stand out from the rest. In this article, we’ll walk you through the key trademarks of successful floral designers, so that you can know what to look for (or aim for) on your own journey.
So, what makes a good floral designer?
Contemporary floral design is only as good as the designer you partner with. Here are some qualities you’ll need to have to stand out from other florists in the flower industry:
Good floral designers understand the client’s vision
Good floral designers don’t just create beautiful floral designs. They have to be able to communicate with clients and interpret their desires. Whether or not you understand their vision is one of the most important things clients will look for in floral designers. This is especially true when they’re trusting you to create something beautiful for a large-scale event. From enhancing the natural beauty of any venue with fresh flowers, creating a bride’s dream wedding or installing floral decorations for a corporate event, you’ll have to show your affinity for turning ideas into reality.
The best way to prove your skill is by showing off your previous work. Do your floral arrangements match the style your prospective clients are going for? Be attentive and proactive.
- Ask them
- What flowers do they love? Tell them if you’ve worked with some of their favourite flowers.
- What did they have in mind for the occasion? Ask them to share information about the venue, styling, decor, dress code and other design elements.
- What is their budget?
- What are their expectations?
- Recommend seasonal flowers, and if they request flowers that are not in season, source them out at an additional cost or provide suitable substitutes.
- Walk them through your range of design styles.
- Consult them on their options according to their floral budget.
Good floral designers have experience with different types of events
Another important factor clients will consider is whether or not the floral designer has experience with their type of event. This is important because each type of event has its own unique set of challenges when it comes to floral design.
For example, weddings often require a more delicate touch than corporate events. Whether your client is interested in holding a charity ball, a fashion show, or a simple family gathering, you want to make sure you’re up to the task. Here’s what you can do to reassure them of your credentials:
- Showcase the events you do each year.
- Provide social proof and catalogue collaborations.
- Keep a history of the ceremony and reception sites you’ve worked with in the past.
Good floral designers are flexible
No two clients are the same, and on that note, floral designers who are able to tailor their services and offer flexibility are extremely valued. And more importantly, what does it mean to be flexible in this line of work? Well, you may have to make changes to the client’s floral design as their event date gets closer. When you’re willing to accomodate their requests and make changes as needed, clients are more likely to trust you with special occasions.
A rigid floral designer, on the other hand, may not be able to make the changes as the client needs, which can ruin their event planning. To ensure you are managing the client’s expectations in this area, you can discuss the following points regarding the flexibility of your service:
- Tell them if they can make changes to their floral designs, and explain the process.
- Give them a notice for how far in advance they need to book you for their event.
- Notify them if you can set up the flowers at the event venue.
- For wedding flowers and funeral flowers, explain if you can help move the flowers from the ceremony to the reception site.
- Let them know if you’ll provide a mock-up or sketch of your arrangements before the event.
- Specify how many consultations they will get.
- Give them your schedule for their order so they know how much time you’ll need to set up their flowers.
- Remind them whether you can work with venues on any restrictions.
- Offer them décor besides flowers additionally if possible.
Good floral designers are affordable
Successful floral designers are accessible to their customer base. This means you should be affordable for your target market. No client will choose a floral designer outside of their budget. Simultaneously, you need to set a standard when it comes to pricing as it also indicates the level of quality you provide. In many cases, clients get what they pay for so they will beware of floral designers who are too cheap. Most of the time, they’ll want a floral designer who offers fair prices and is willing to work with them within their budget. Your job is to be able to provide them a detailed estimate of the costs involved so there are no surprises later on. To prevent any mishaps down the line in regards to the client’s budget, you should:
- Set up a clear pricing and inform clients of any packages you may have.
- Calculate the total cost and what is required for a deposit.
- If applicable, offer payment plans.
- Identify the type of payment you are willing to accept – cash, check, credit card and so on.
- Inform clients whether you have insurance coverage including liability.
- Communicate your expected deadline for the final payment.
- If applicable, notify clients of any rental fees for vases, candle holders, etc as well as delivery charges.
You should be able to work with your client’s budget while providing them something they love that meets their vision. As someone who has experience in the floral world, you should be able to give them suggestions and ideas that they may not have thought about before. This includes solutions to their concerns, aesthetically, financially and otherwise. Your priority should be helping your client finalise the cost of their flowers so they can decide on other design elements for their occasion. As such, it is always better to advise them to get booked in early.
Good floral designers are great with logistics
Reputable floral services offer clients reliability. A vital consideration in this area is your logistical prowess as a floral designer. This isn’t just an integral part of your selling point, it’s also the key to your growth. A good floral designer will be able to work out all of the logistics involved in getting flowers to their clients. Otherwise, they won’t be able to manage large events or an event/order that is not in the same city as where the floral designer is based. This means you’ll need to have the following processes accounted for:
- Refrigeration (if necessary)
- Set up and delivery
If a client approaches you and you’re not their local floral designer, you should be transparent about your experience in shipping flowers long distances. You’ll need to establish a track record of getting flowers to their destination on time and in good condition. Here are some things you’ll need to work out:
- Your ability to deliver the flowers to the event location.
- Relevant experience setting up floral arrangements at events and other venues.
- Relevant experience shipping flowers long distances.
- References from past clients who have had their flowers shipped long distances.
- Any precautions to ensure the flowers arrive in good condition.
- Policy if flowers do not arrive in good condition.
Good floral designers are experienced and professional
Before a client makes their final decision, they’ll want to know if you’re experienced and professional. Ideally they’ll look for someone with plenty of experience, someone who can handle anything for their special occasion. They’ll want a florist who can create the floral arrangements they’ve envisioned.
Having good online reviews goes a long way in building credibility and trust with prospective clients. Clients want to know what other people are saying about the floral designer they’re considering. If you have a good reputation and many positive testimonials, they’ll understand you are more likely to do a good job. On the other hand, if past clients feel poorly about their experience with your brand, potential clients will feel inclined to stay away. Here’s what you can do to boost your chances of creating a good relationship with clients based on trust and honesty:
- State how long you’ve been in business.
- Provide photograph samples of your work. Nothing gives them a better idea of your style and what you’re capable of creating than photos of your previous work.
- Provide a list of references clients can contact, preferably those with similar events to what is requested.
- Tell them what types of events you typically work on.
- Confirm if you can meet their deadline.
So, you want to be a floral designer?
You’ve made it this far, so you must have an inkling that floral design is for you. But what are your prospects? Floral designers are in high demand these days, with the industry predicted to grow by 5.4% between now and 2024. With that in mind, here are some key insights into the floral design market to help you get started!
What is the salary of a floral designer?
How much do floral designers make a year? The average gross salary for floral designers in Melbourne, Australia is $64,730 or an hourly rate of $31. This is 2% higher (+$1,089) than the average floral designer salary in Australia. An entry level floral designer (1-3) years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of $48,000-50,000 which is an hourly rate of $24-26. Meanwhile, a senior level floral designer (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of $78,900. With a positive salary potential and a thriving occupational outlook, it’s no wonder many people are taking up the skills to become floral designers.
Do floral designers need a licence?
Do you need a degree to become floral designers? This is something we hear all the time. In theory, working as a florist does not require any advanced educational qualifications. Finding a job in a flower shop after graduating from high school is possible. However, becoming a qualified florist is another matter. You’d need to build industry-standard knowledge, by either studying the Certificate III in Floristry, or the Certificate IV in Floristry.
You can often complete the Certificate III in Floristry through a Registered Training Provider in one to two years. Once you’ve obtained this, you’re a certified floral designer who can work as a qualified florist.
Sign up for workshops to begin your journey
Altogether, this may seem like an overwhelming amount of criteria to meet. And while there is no substitute for quality, these attributes are things you’ll develop over time as a floral designer.
At Fig & Bloom, our talented team of floral designers offer workshops for beginners. From creating bouquets to other floral arrangements, we can guide you in turning your passion for beautiful floral designs into a career. Begin your journey today and sign up for your first class.