Most sources answering the question, “What is a florist?” would probably cover all of the usual aspects of this career choice: selling flowers, flower care, floral design, flower arranging for special occasions and events, delivering flowers, etc.
BUT, you may not know that being a florist requires so much more than this list of tasks! There is a ton of behind-the-scenes work that florists put in to give you the gorgeous end result we all love to admire.
The biggest misconception about what florists do
One of the biggest misconceptions about being a florist is that our work revolves solely around flowers and that’s all we think about all day. The truth is, we’re constantly wearing several hats at once while trying to balance a million different things!
Want to learn more about some of these lesser-known (and maybe surprising) aspects of what a florist is? Let’s take a look!
Surprising answers to “What is a florist?”
#1 – I’m a florist, but call me MacGyver
A florist could also be called “MacGyver.” Remember that TV show about the secret agent who uses random, household items in unusual ways to solve problems? That’s pretty much what florists do, too!
Florists often set up tricky floral installations that require complex mechanics to secure everything in place. Sometimes, these setups don’t go as planned…florals won’t stay in place, our supplies aren’t as effective as we thought, etc. So, we have to improvise and find a new solution to make this crazy floral installation work. We’re often working under pressure and tight time constraints, too. Being a florist means being able to think quickly on your feet and always having several plans up your sleeve.
#2 – Multitasker extraordinaire
As I’ve implied already, a florist is also a Multitasker Extraordinaire! While we’re MacGyvering the mechanics of our installations, we’re also selecting florals, communicating with clients and colleagues, and trying to stay on schedule. A florist is someone who can handle many different types of tasks simultaneously.
#3 – Florists = nerds
Don’t let this title offend you. As a florist myself, I’m proud to call myself a nerd! My obsession with flowers and floral design is what got me into floristry in the first place, as it made me want to learn everything I could about these things. To this day, I’m still passionate about learning all I can about working with flowers.
On top of that, being a flower nerd is what makes me a great florist. My fellow florists will understand me here: we’re good at what we do because we do alllll the research to find the best flowers to use, discover unique design styles, and figure out how to make sure our arrangements stay gorgeous and vibrant. Plus, I will never get tired out geeking out and talking for hours about all things floral. (Good thing I’m a floral design educator, am I right?!)
#4 What is a florist? The answer: an artist
When considering the question “what is a florist?” the word artist may come to mind. It’s true, florists are artists. Yet, people typically only think of us as artists when it comes to our work with flowers.
The truth is, a florist’s knowledge of art usually goes far beyond floral design. We are also color theory experts who are always putting together new floral color palettes. Many florists study things like architecture and sculpture art to gain structural style inspiration for their arrangements. Other fields of art, such as painting, drawing, fashion, and photography, are endless sources of inspiration for florists. We look for inspiration everywhere and find value in all kinds of art.
#5 – We are logistical geniuses!
The thing about being a florist is that even if logistical task skills don’t come easily to you, working in this field requires you to learn them. This is because there’s actually a lot of planning and strategizing that goes into floristry.
Some of these logistical factors include:
- Accurately estimating how much a project will cost
- Designing gorgeous florals within a specific budget
- Time management during busy times (hello wedding season!)
- Figuring out how to lug around tons of supplies on event days while also keeping all your florals alive
- PLUS, staying on top of all of the numerous everyday tasks running a business requires (bookkeeping, emails, inventory management, marketing, etc.)
These tasks are definitely on the less glamorous side of floristry work, but my answer to “What is the florist?” wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t talk about this part!
#6 – Magician
Finally, floristry work definitely requires a little bit of magic. Being a florist means resurrecting dying flowers, designing floral installations that defy gravity, and creating beauty out of thin air. If that doesn’t make you a magician, I don’t know what does! (Wink, wink.)
Seriously though, these things would be hard for just about anyone to accomplish, and we need to give ourselves credit. Our work can be pretty difficult, yet we do it (and do it well) anyway!
A florist is a person with many skills and talents
If you’ve been wondering, “what is a florist?” some of the answers in this post may have surprised you! Or, maybe you’re a florist already and this post really resonates with you.
As florists, we don’t always talk about everything that goes into designing our floral arrangements, but I hope this post gives you more of an idea on how much time and passion we really put into our work.
If you’re a florist, be proud of how many unique skills and talents you have. You are amazing!
P.S. You can always check out my Business + Design Workshop to learn more about both the logistical and creative elements of being a florist.