Continuing education can change your life – professionally and personally – and there are so many opportunities available. Just do it!
There’s more than one path to becoming a professional florist. Some floral designers attend school to attain their floristry degrees while others may opt to earn professional credentials with a floral association of their choice. Some grew up in their grandparents’ or parents’ flower shops and are now third-generation florists while others fall into careers in flowers with little to no training or credentials at all.
Although the barrier to entry in floristry may seem low, no matter how you get into this line of work, the one thing that every florist should have in common is a desire to continue professional education in order to master the craft.
It was probably 20 years ago when I attended my first floral business seminar. On the occasions when my bosses were willing to pay for staff education, I’d always jump at the opportunity to learn something new about floral design, industry trends or how to sell a wedding.
Once I began running my own business, however, “continuing my education” wasn’t on my radar as much as just “trying to figure out this business thing.” Several years went by before I invested in learning something new for the sake of my future business.
In my case, that first investment happened to be an online course focused on running a business with passion and intention. It had nothing to do with floristry, but for $150, it was an inspiring and informative learning experience that got me thinking differently.
My next “education investment” was a few years later, and this time, it meant traveling to a conference in New York City. The topic was also on business, not flowers. However, just a couple of years later I found myself back in NYC for the first floral workshop I’d invested in since starting my business more than a decade earlier.
I was hesitant to sign up. It felt expensive. I had to travel. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know what to wear. I didn’t want anyone to judge me or my design work. And I had a child I had to bring with me, too.
There were plenty of reasons why I put off investing in my floral education – and some of them were actually good reasons, like budget and finding the right conference to suit me – but I’m glad I finally got out of my comfort zone to try something new because I gained so much as a result of investing in myself.
It can be electrifying to be in a room full of people who share a similar passion. If you haven’t been to a workshop in a while, I encourage you to consider saving up for an in-person learning experience with an educator you admire.
I always find it valuable to get out of the flower studio and into a room with other floral designers to talk about what’s happening in the industry. Through our discussions, we can discover how we can all do better.
In an ideal world, I’d attend a floral workshop at least once a year, but, in reality, it’s more like once every two or three years, depending on the location and total investment required.
And if an in-person workshop is out of range for you (due to distance or budget), then make time to learn something new with online tutorials. Whether you choose a free video or training you have to pay for, your continued success depends on self-education. I invest in online courses to learn new skills all the time. (And I teach online courses for florists, as well, because I believe so much in the power of self-learning.)
Your floral design business requires you to know about much more than flowers. From website stuff to marketing to the newest design fads, your business depends on you to know it all. And while you can’t be an expert at everything, you can continue to level up your understanding so that your business remains relevant.
Seek out the knowledge you need to fill in the gaps in your areas of expertise so you can keep doing beautiful work for years to come.