“What have you done intentionally to change your career path or elevate your status/position in your career, and how did intentionally creating a plan or taking intentional steps help you reach your goal faster?” 

I make the most of any opportunity that comes my way, but I don’t always wait for them; I also try to create them. I am an active member of a few professional organizations and serve on their boards. I schedule creative collaborations that help me connect with other vendors and stretch my design skills and show new content. I am a huge believer in the power of education and take at least two workshops per year with excellent instructors. I am always reaching and pushing myself and learning about design and business to make myself a better designer and a more competent businesswoman.

Tobey Nelson
Tobey Nelson Events + Design
Clinton, Wash

Educating myself and competing outside the USA have been among the greatest ways I’ve elevated my career. I’ve not only grown to be a better designer but also have been welcomed into higher levels of international design competition and brand rep groups rarely offered to designers from the U.S.

Garrett Skupinski, CF
St. Louis, Mo.

I wondered why certain florists had addenda after their names, and I started researching what all of them meant. I decided to attend an AIFD symposium, and I realized I needed to be a part of that organization. I was committed to getting my own addendum, and from there, I met people and made contacts and doors started opening. I decided to say yes to every position.

Theresa Colucci, AIFD, AAF, PFCI
Gardiner, N.Y

The best thing I ever did to change the path of my career was to get involved in my regional Telefiora Unit. This group presented opportunities for me to be able to work with some of the best fioral designers in the country as well as the chance to network with some of the finest retail fiorists in my area. The things I learned about running a successful shop were a tremendous value to me. What I learned as a designer opened doors for higher accreditation as well as opportunities to design for many high-profileevents.

Tim Farrell, AIFD, AAF, PFCI
Farrell’s Florist
Drexel Hill, Pa.

More than 10 years ago, I hired a brand consultant who provided me with the tools I needed to look at my career, analyze the place I was in and then map out where I wanted to be. Every three years, I use those same tools and steps to re-evaluate to keep my career on target.

Christi Lopez, AIFD, EMC
Bergerons Flowers
Springfield, Va.

I developed a five-year plan that started with attending symposiums and taking classes. My goals were to first become a Florida State Master Designer and then prepare for AIFD. By year five, I tested to become an AIFD accredited member and passed, Having a plan was a must financially as well as scheduling the necessary time away from my studio and my family.

Andie Muller, AIFD, FSMD
The Flower Studio
Altamonte Springs, Fla.

For me, it was hiring a professional business coach. Like therapy, the sessions have helped me dive deep into my 2019 goals—what I would like to tackle and the “why” behind them. It is so worth the time and money.

Fatima Bazzi
Studio Terrain
Dearborn, Mich.

Career advancement didn’t come in the form of title or money. My career advancement came in the form of my personal growth and personal development. Through education, both formal and informal, my work improved. The return on my investment was in the form of a better product, with positive feedback from customers and co-workers.

Tamara S. Boos
Willard, Ohio

One of the most important things I’ve done to advance my status in the floral business was testing for AIFD accreditation in 2005. Almost immediately upon achieving this, many doors opened to me. It gave me the confidence boost I needed to continue learning and revealing my creative point of view. It was life changing, and I’ve come to know a lot of other wonderful designers from many walks of life.

Martin Van Til, AIFD
Martin’s Flowers on Center
Gaylord, Mich