My late night posts can get a little heavy, so if this one is a bit much for you please forgive me, but I just have to write this. I just got through a serious stroll through the internet where I saw lots of cute people talking about how much they love flowers, and weddings, and all things pretty. God knows I spout out all of the time about how much I LOVE weddings, flowers, and design. The truth is I really do, its my whole world, but it’s literally my whole world. I have my family and then this, only this. The impression from some people on the internet or social media is that the floristry career path is easy or cute, or even clean and simple. This misrepresentation almost makes me ill. This minimizing of the work a floral designer does devalues our art and the value of hiring a wedding florist. In my typical work week, I work 7 days a week. My business is a small business which means, I have to do all of the marketing, all of the selling, all of the emailing, all of the contracting, all of the fire putting out, all of the buying, a lot of the designing, or at least overseeing it, a lot of cleaning, and then I have to get it all delivered. Earlier today I received an email by mistake from a 1-800 flower company explaining why DIY  flowers were a great option. This on top of the latest and cutest want to be flower designer is a bit disheartening. There is NOTHING easy about my job NOTHING. I am a small business that needs to take care of my family, my insurances, my property, my employees. I have studied and trained for over 20 years. I am an expert in my field, and my work, is work, and its valuable work.  I just realized that perhaps I have been contributing to or even minimizing the seriousness of the work I do. Please know that every time I say I LOVE  flowers or LOVE my weddings there is a whole lot of blood sweat and tears behind all of the LOVE.  I am often asked to explain my pricing, and my services. It’s as if I can waive a magic wand and make the flowers cost me less, obtain fleets of vehicles or get gas at a discount, or just explain to an employee, or an insurance man that I would like to pay them less this week because my customer needs me to reduce my prices. There are so many costs associated with this little flower craft of mine. Hey, its like a business or something.

  • isha | isha foss events Says: (02.05.2013 | 01:18)

    Thank you for saying it so well.

  • Says: (02.05.2013 | 01:31)

    Amen ~

  • Carmel Vandale Says: (02.05.2013 | 01:48)

    Well said!

  • Daevid Reed Says: (02.05.2013 | 01:48)

    NO truer words ever spoken!

  • Sugar Taylor Says: (02.05.2013 | 02:04)

    I feel the SAME way about planning + design. We offer the florals for our smaller weddings, and its an extra 8-10 sometimes more, hours or LABOR added to the plate. No way should it be minimized! 🙂

  • Peggy/Sherwood Design and Events Says: (02.05.2013 | 02:07)

    Holly…..say it like it is girl!!!!! No truer words spoken! Maybe with wedding season approaching and Valentines Day next week…..I have felt the same as you…..seems to be the industry most are willing to take for granted or even bash:(

  • Angie of Posh Floral Designs Says: (02.05.2013 | 02:22)

    Thank you Holly for your openness and honesty. May these words filter through to all the people that think being a floral designer is glamorous!

  • Jan Dekker Says: (02.05.2013 | 02:37)

    Thank you for sharing! So true and said so well.

  • Cori Christensen Says: (02.05.2013 | 02:48)

    This was a nice surprise to wake to. It’s my belief that until you have worry lines, some gray hair, and stained finger nails you are not quite the real deal(to mention a few). Thank you for putting this out there for the world to see.

  • Alexandra Says: (02.05.2013 | 02:50)

    Preach it flower sister! We go thru a lot of ugly, along with sweat and a few tears every now and then to make a lot of pretty. Do we love it?… yes but it is a lot of work!

  • Laurie (Fleurie) Says: (02.05.2013 | 03:04)

    Could’nt get my computer up fast enough to read, Holly’s fired up and there’s probably a great reason! I feel your pain, though on a much smaller scale, for I am the back-up salary, not breadwinner. I’m not young nor “cute’ so I need to go on my skill and experience. Those that are not dead serious about this biz don’t last long and turn a profit. Thanks for saying it!

  • Jennifer Says: (02.05.2013 | 03:30)

    Perfectly stated. Thank you for sharing.

  • Heather Says: (02.05.2013 | 04:34)

    You’ve expressed this so perfectly. Thank you!

  • Atelier Carmel Says: (02.05.2013 | 04:36)

    Thanks for sharing! I think the best proof of all this is how many “designers” pop-up and then quickly disappear! After a few months, they realize that the flower business isn’t this magical job that’s fun and easy… Before I started my own business 5 years ago, I worked in shops, and the employee turnover was ginormous! Most newcomers would come in with sparkles in their eyes, and then quit after 2 weeks. They’d look at me and say: “but when do we get to arrange flowers?”. They just didn’t realize that making bouquets is only about 10% of the work load… But when you love it, it really is the best job in the world. It’s up to us to educate our clients, and that will always be an uphill battle!

  • Courtenay Lambert Says: (02.05.2013 | 04:44)

    Well said Holly. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I’m definitely not opposed to newbies coming into this business, nor am I opposed to sharing with them. At the same time, there is a reason why a new person charges what they charge, and a seasoned/skilled person charges what they charge…’re getting a totally different experience and usually a different product. This business can “eat your lunch” if you know what I mean, and it’s really tough when the skill, training, and experience that we’ve earned gets minimized.

  • Camelia Austen Says: (02.05.2013 | 05:05)

    You’re so right..

  • Lisa Says: (02.05.2013 | 05:40)

    Perfect post! Thank you.

  • Crystal Schachter Says: (02.05.2013 | 05:45)

    Many thanks to your truthful words.

  • Davida Buggs Says: (02.05.2013 | 06:20)

    Thanks for this post Holly. I know that we exchanged IM’s on this very subject last week and I’m glad that you went deeper into it. I am a newbie in the biz but I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get dirty–whatever it takes! I love the pretty but I also relish in the challenges and overcoming them. Thanks again!

  • Donna Hogarth Says: (02.05.2013 | 09:13)

    SO true. I couldn’t agree more. If someone thinks it’s an easy job they should see my hands!

  • Jan Says: (02.05.2013 | 10:29)


  • wendee sawran Says: (02.05.2013 | 10:44)

    could have not put it better!

  • Katie Says: (02.05.2013 | 10:56)

    Well said and so true. Especially good timing after the 20/20 series on weddings, which was just frustrating to watch as they devalued professionals in the business and and made brides think we are just out there to take all their money!

  • Sofia Says: (02.06.2013 | 12:12)

    Thank you so much for writing this down!!! Well said! Cheers

  • Dana O'Sullivan of DellaBlooms Says: (02.06.2013 | 03:06)

    So well said. I especially love the brides who come in saying they just want a “simple” look to their wedding day. I quickly let them know it takes just as much effort, bucket scrubbing, processing, designing, clean-up, etc. to deliver a “SIMPLE” design. This business is no piece of cake, but when you thrive on the passion of juggling it all delivery a great design it’s often your integrity which gets the pat on the back at the end of the day.

  • Susan of Three Sisters Flowers Says: (02.06.2013 | 05:16)

    Thank you for this Holly! It’s nice to know that others feel the same way. The floral business is hard work, very rewarding, but hard work.

  • Jaclyn Journey Says: (02.06.2013 | 06:44)

    Spot on. We feel ya, sista! Thanks for writing this!

  • Dawn Says: (02.06.2013 | 08:27)

    well said Holly! Thanks for posting!!! 😉

  • Brittany Flowers Says: (02.07.2013 | 06:50)

    Oh my goodness Holly, you just stole the words right out of my mouth! Honestly, this has been an extremely frustrating past year! I think you captured the reason accurately. It appears that everyone thinks they can do what we do, when the truth takes years to master what we do! I’m at the point in my career, where I find myself telling people to go buy flowers at the grocery store if all they want is flowers. That’s NOT what we do! It’s become a much harder business in the past few years for all of us, but you should draw strength from knowing that you inspire many of us who strive to be as awesome and dedicated as you are! inspire me to strive to be a better designer!

  • Chris Says: (02.07.2013 | 06:45)

    Holly, I just discovered all of what your business is about. I applaud you. You have it going on in all the right ways. I can not stress enough the need to pay for the quality services that master designers provide. I have been in this industry for 25 + years and have seen this $$$ issue come up. It’s not a game we play; this is real work. I call it “work boot wearing” work. I do it all myself or have done it all in some form or fashion. It’s labor intensive and I offer no apologies for my fees. Thank you for taking a stand on this.

  • janet Says: (02.07.2013 | 07:33)

    So true!

  • Amy Says: (02.10.2013 | 12:35)

    Amen sister!

  • kate Says: (02.11.2013 | 03:04)

    Well said Holly,
    As a grower I face the notion that my design work should be less expensive because I don’t have to pay for the flowers. Say What? They don’t grow themselves sweetheart!
    Floral designers are artists and business owners. They deserve a decent living and a profitable business.

  • Tanis Clifton Says: (02.11.2013 | 03:06)

    Ditto to everyones’ commments

  • Lynnette Says: (02.15.2013 | 05:11)

    I appreciate all that you have said; I guess we should take it as a compliment that we can make it look so right and so easy knowing all along how it can be such a struggle. I think of myself like a duck on the water: cool and serene on top and paddling like hell underneath!! Here’s to all of us!!

  • Valen Hunter Says: (02.19.2013 | 02:34)

    Haven’t seen any posts from newcomers yet. Well here goes:
    I always love what you write and I know you have the best intentions.
    I also applaud how genuine and open you are with your knowledge that you bestow upon newcomers!
    As a newcomer, I do hope to earn my place. I am still in the honeymoon stage where I really do feel like flowers is my “thing” and it’s magical and my creativity with it seems to be endless and ever flowing.

    I spent one season with Sarah Winward where she showed me how tough and draining this job is.
    I hated the repetitiveness of making 12+ table arrangements in a row. I hated picking candle wax off of votives, de-thorning roses, scrubbing buckets and lugging heavy buckets of water. It was really the design process and the gratification of making something beautiful that made it worth it- that part feels magical.
    It is sad to me when people view their profession as a means to an end. It sounds miserable.
    I hope that I stay in the flower la la land for a while longer. It is bliss! Didn’t you feel that when your business started roaring to life?

    I do feel confident in making my prices the same as my competitors. Lowballing is an insult to yourself! Though, if I ever do price cheaply it’s because I don’t know what the going rate is.
    Earlier today I gave a bride a price quote and she replied “Wow, that’s a great deal!”. Uhhh seriously? I wasn’t intentionally trying to give her any type of good deal.

    When things do start to get tough and this work becomes harder than I bargained for I hope that the blissful earlier times will remind me why I fell in love with flowers in the first place.

Leave a Reply

Send to Friend