The truth is.. I’m not quite sure.
There is a lot of stigma attached to the job title of ‘florist’. The general reaction I have from people when I tell them that's what I do is; “Oh, that must be nice”, and I immediately tell they are envisioning me slowly wrapping up bouquets of Chrysanthemum and Ruscus for passers by from a shop five days a week.
This vision couldn’t be further from the truth, particularly when you’re an event florist, particularly when you own a planning, event design and floristry business, particularly when you’re…. me?
About four years ago my Uncle who I hadn’t seen for a long time said something that really stuck with me. “So, are you an artist?”... I was shocked. No one had ever asked me that... “I’m not sure, what makes you an artist?”.
He asked another question - “Are you a business woman?”... “Yes, I’m definitely a business woman,”... “Well no artist ever became successful unless they were a business person, sounds to me like you’re definitely an artist.”
That made me view my business so differently. Because I honestly see each arrangement or installation that I make as a piece of art. Sometimes I’m not happy with it and need to start again, sometimes I feel like I’ve probably made something similar before and whilst that’s ok, it doesn’t particularly excite me. However sometimes repetition is necessary for the overall look and then that final picture does fill me with joy. Sometimes, something completely random inspires me and I design something that really pushes boundaries. And sometimes, a client trusts me and let’s me create whatever vision I dream up at the time, and it’s honestly the best feeling in the world. An initial colour palette or a single story turns slowly into an detailed cohesive event design plan.
Jessie and I work for countless hours on the overall design of spaces before we even begin to plan them, because we believe that we’re not doing our job properly unless we’re creating new work. That’s what ‘creating’ is, right?
That right there, is where art and business meets. There are many florists that are run purely as a business. But what we do is (and should be) so much more than that.
How do I explain that in a simple one word answer when people say “What do you do?”.
Here’s the thing. We (all the florists/floral designers/floral stylists/whatever you currently call yourself!) have created a new job role in a flourishing and growing industry, and OH MY is it exciting. We’re not sure what it’s called yet, but we’re working on it.