To become a successful florist you’ll need to create and design beautiful bouquets, seasonal arrangements, and funeral flowers and will also need to possess numerous other skills ranging from customer service, organizational skills, client advice, and the delivery of customers’ orders.
So before deciding whether you want to become a florist that works from home, an online florist, or more specifically a wedding florist, make sure you consider all of the different elements of the job before taking action and embarking on launching your own shop or market stall.
What does a florist do?
- Helps customers choose suitable flowers and plants
- Make up bouquets and arrangements
- Advise customers on flower/plant care
- Set up displays, e.g. at conferences or exhibitions
- Deliver customers’ orders
What skills does a florist need?
- Artistic, with an eye for colour and design
- Strong communication skills
- Discretion and confidentiality when dealing with personal matters
- Knowledge of different flowers and their maintenance requirements
- Skilled at hand-crafting techniques
Read our blog on what does shop insurance cover?
How to become a florist in the UK
Firstly, it would help if you have a real love for flowers and plants! You may also need practical skills as well as creativity and artistic talent. Usually florists train on the job, often completing work-based qualifications. It might be possible to start this job through an apprenticeship, according to UCAS.
To find work, you need a keen interest in floristry and good customer care skills. Previous experience in retail would be useful. You could learn some of the skills needed by taking a floristry course at a local college. Be aware though that being a florist isn’t always as glamorous as portrayed and very often florists work long hours and weekends and have to deal with difficult orders and sometimes difficult customers.
Pay varies greatly according to region and type of business. Roland Davies of the British Floristry Association quotes £15,000 as an average salary in an article in The Guardian. Qualified florists can earn £25,000 a year as managers; freelancers in London get up to £12 an hour.
Read our blog on choosing relevant shop insurance
Is a flower shop profitable?
Profit margins are typically 60% – 80% on the cost of flowers but expect a lot of waste, plus the cost of your overheads. In addition to your flower inventory, you will also have items such as vases, cards, card holders, paper and other assorted periphery items, according to Open a Flower Shop.
If your dream is to open your own shop, one of the smartest moves you can make is to make sure you’re fully insured. Most people think of florist insurance as simply building and contents protection but in fact as the owner of the shop you might be held liable and ordered to pay hefty compensation to a customer – or passing member of the public – who is injured or has their property damaged in some way connected with your actions, or failure to take action, in the course of your business.
Public liability insurance is designed to provide you with protection against just such claims. Were you also aware that if you employ anyone – paid or not – to help run your shop, that employers’ liability insurance is also imperative?
Even for a modest shop, the risks of physical loss or damage and the possibility of claims alleging your liability may pose a serious financial burden – you might want to make sure, therefore, that you seek suitable shop insurance quotes.
How to become a certified florist?
According to the British Florist Association, below are the ongoing qualifications that many florists take in a bid to become certified florists.
- Certificate in Land based studies – Floristry route. (CF)
National Certificate in Floristry (NCF)
- First Diploma in Floristry
- NVQ2 Floristry & Key Skills
- Advanced National Certificate in Floristry
- (ANCF) National Diploma in Floristry
- (Also National Certificate / National Award at level 2/3)
- NVQ3 Floristry & Key Skills & Technical Certificate
- Intermediate Certificate Society of Floristry (Society of Floristry) (ICSF)*
- Higher Diploma in Floristry (HDF)
- Foundation Degree HND HNC
- NVQ4 Floristry Business Management
- National Diploma Society of Floristry (Society of Floristry) (NDSF)*
- Master Diploma in Professional Floristry (C&G/NPTC) (MDPF) Degree
- While the above list focuses on the qualifications that are most widely available and recognised by the floristry industry, other qualifications are available.
- The British Academy of Floral Art offers taster courses for beginners that are recognized by the British Floristry Association, Institute of Professional Florists.
- Writtle University College – This College in the heart of the Essex countryside is a creative centre for floral trends.
- Bishop Burton College – has an established track record and reputation for delivering Floristry courses.
- Myserscough College – from 5 week courses to apprenticeships in floristry, this college boasts numerous courses to suit newcomers and experienced workers in the industry.
- Bath College – A fun introduction to floristry skills. Entrants will learn how to use a variety of flowers, foliage’s and sundries to create some simple designs to take home each week, including a hand-tied bouquet and arrangements in floral foam.
KEITS Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain a nationally recognised qualification, get practical hands-on work experience and valuable skills, all whilst earning a wage.
As an employee, you can earn and learn alongside experienced staff and gain vital job-specific skills. Once you have qualified you may move into an advanced apprenticeship, or into other employment.
Disclaimer: The advice provided here are our own interpretations and opinions. We have tried to simplify the main points to create this article and the information provided is for general informational purposes only. While we try to keep the information up-to-date and correct, there are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in this blog for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk.