Deciding to work with flowers is definitely one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made. I love being a florist and getting to continually grow in an industry that inspires both creativity and technical knowledge. Now that I also work as a floral design educator, I’m often asked for my tips on how to become a florist.
I think this is a super great and important question, especially when I think back on my own history with floristry. You may be surprised to learn that becoming a florist was not necessarily the obvious choice for me. I thrive on routine. Exploring the great outdoors isn’t really my thing. In fact, if you know me at all, you’ve probably heard me refer to myself as “indoorsy,” which is ironic since my whole career is based on plants that are found outside in nature!
Yet, I still fell in love with floral design and knew that being a florist was right for me! Even though this industry can be stressful, messy, and unpredictable, it is still the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. Just know that there isn’t one specific personality type that all florists need to have. If the passion is there, you’re already well on your way
However, if you’re wondering how to become a florist and whether floristry is even a good fit for you, there are a few things you should know first. So, I made this guide to fill you in on the details you need to know to get started in becoming a florist!
How to Become a Florist
Step #1: Self-reflection
The first step to becoming a florist requires you to get really, really real with yourself.
Your goal is to self-reflect and discern whether you see floral design as a hobby or as more than that. Try to answer the question, “Is becoming a florist really truly a good fit for me?”
I recommend grabbing a cup of tea and journaling it all out!
Ask yourself these questions:
- How much do I like working with flowers?
- Do I have enough experience to know I truly love it? What could be potential blind spots?
- What do I love about arranging flowers?
- Can I see myself doing this for work? If so, for how long and how often?
- How much am I willing (and able) to invest to learn how to become a florist?
Here’s something else to consider as you reflect: being a florist isn’t just about creativity and design. It also requires a lot of strategy and technical knowledge, especially for event florals and large installations.
With this in mind, also ask yourself:
- Do I think quickly on my feet?
- Can I improvise and solve problems?
- Do I work well under pressure?
- How do I adapt to change (especially when it’s last-minute)? Am I comfortable doing so?
The less talked about and less glamorous side of being a florist is that it can be hard grueling work. You’re setting up gravity-defying floral installations at weird angles, working long hours to make sure event florals look picture-perfect all day, and lugging heavy containers of supplies all over the place. It’s a lot!
I don’t share all of this to discourage you, but to give you the full picture of what my norm as a florist is like. Is it worth it? To me, 100% YES. But, I definitely need to be very intentional about self-care to ensure I don’t burn out and/or seriously injure my body!
It may be helpful for you to chat with a local florist in your area to ask questions and see what their day-to-day work life is like!
Step #2: Learn How to Be a Florist
Once you’ve decided “yes, a thousand times YES” that you want to be a florist (if you noticed that Pride and Prejudice reference, you get a virtual cookie), it’s time to focus on learning more about working with flowers.
There are two main ways to go about this: learning on the job and formal schooling. Both forms of education are great, but one may be a better fit for you depending on a few factors.
Before you decide which route to take, ask yourself:
- How do I learn best: in a classroom or on the job?
- What are my goals with floral design?
- How much am I able to spend?
- How much time can I dedicate to learning?
A formal education
A formal education in floral design may be a good choice for you if you prefer classroom learning. There are certificate, associate and bachelor degree programs that offer floristry classes and other florist schools that offer training, too. While this is a more costly option, some people thrive learning and practicing floral design in this setting. However, I do want to note that it is not necessary to enroll in one of these programs to become a florist, since there are no certification requirements or laws on how to become a florist.
On the job training
Another popular option for learning floral design is to get an entry-level job or apprenticeship with a florist or floral design shop. This option probably won’t cost anything or would cost very little. Rather, you’re more likely to be paid for your work. It may take longer than a formal floral education would, as you’ll have to work your way up from an entry-level position to more advanced florist work. If you want to own your own floristry business one day, this choice is super helpful, because you get firsthand experience seeing many of the ins and outs of owning a business in this industry. Even if you do participate in formal education in floral design, an apprenticeship is still a great way to gain extra experience and practice!
Floral design workshops
I may be a little biased, but I think that floral design workshops are a great supplement to both learning styles and pathways to becoming a florist. If there’s a specific skill or technique that you’re wanting to focus on, an intensive workshop could be just what you need. Or, if you’re wanting to learn more about the logistical or business side of floristry, a floral business and design workshop could be just what you need.
Floral workshops are great because you can keep taking them, no matter how long you’ve worked in this industry. I personally feel like one of the most fun parts of being a florist is that you always get to keep evolving and discovering. It’s so exciting! Attending floral design workshops every so often helps foster that growth.
Step #3: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Finally, the last step in learning how to become a florist is all about practice. It’s time to put what you’ve learned into real-life floral design! Practice floral arranging as much as possible in your free time, even if you’re already taking floristry classes or working in a florist shop.
Get into the habit of looking for floral design inspiration everywhere in your daily life. It can be anywhere…your neighborhood, a painting, a random building, produce at your local market, a garden sculpture, the album art from your favorite record…this list could be endless. As you become accustomed to finding inspiration from unlikely places, your ideas for gorgeous, unique floral arrangements will explode!
As you practice flower arranging, try to practice many different styles and use many different color schemes. You want to find your own style, and one of the best ways to do that is to try many different styles and see what resonates with you the most. Pay attention to what colors and styles you’re drawn to the most. The more you practice, the more your own personal style as a florist will emerge.
Don’t forget: practice the technical elements of floral design, too. Pay attention to the mechanics of your floral arrangements, and try out different methods. There are many excellent online tutorials on using different floral mechanics. I even have some videos on my Youtube channel covering my own favorite recommendations and techniques.
How to become a florist: are you ready?!
Now that you know how to become a florist, what have you decided? Is it the right career for you? If so, are you wanting to jump right into a floral design job or learn about floristry in a classroom setting?
Remember: there’s no right or wrong answers. This is YOUR personal journey with floral design, and you get to make it your own. No matter what path you choose with floral design, don’t give up, keep learning, and have FUN…you’ll end up exactly where you’re supposed to be!
In the meantime, if you have any other questions on how to become a florist or other floral design questions, let me know! I’d love to chat with you.