A day in the life of a florist
I first met Bridget Davidson at a home and garden exhibiton in Cambridge. Across a crowded room I saw an extremely stylish woman standing next to a gothic themed floral arrangement. I was drawn like a moth to a flame.
Bridget is a very talented florist. What I love about her work is that there is always something a little unexpected or quirky about her arrangements. She is also an avid forager and the upcycler in me relates to that.
So, let's find out a bit more shall we ...
Can you describe your job? What do you do?
I’m a wedding and event florist primarily, but I also provide corporate flowers, teach floristry workshops and do floral styling for photoshoots, window dressing etc. As Wild Rosamund is currently me and only me, I do everything from the initial consultation, through the design and creation of the arrangements, to installation. It’s a very personal service.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Obviously creativity is a must, as you need to produce something bespoke for each successive client. Listening is also a key skill. My clients often have their own idea of what they want their florals to look like so I need to take these into account to come up with a look that satisfies their vision. Organisation is vital too, as flowers are perishable goods and the work florists do is always time-critical, so you need to be super-organised. Flowers won't wait for you to tell them when to open, they’ll do it anyway, so stock control and precise ordering is massively important if you're not going to throw all your profit in the bin because of poor scheduling.
What is a typical working day for you?
There isn't really one, as different days demand different tasks. One day I might be up at 5am to visit a local wholesaler; the next might be spent answering email or preparing quotes. Then there are the make-up days, when everything else takes a backset to the flowers while I’m on my feet for up to 12 hours a day, making beautiful creations for clients. Those are my favourite days, when I see mine and my client’s vision come to life. Installation days are busy too, making sure everything is delivered safe and intact just in time for the event.
What do you love about your job and what isn’t so good?
The variety is one of the things I love most about my work, there’s never a routine to get bored of. I love meeting the clients and getting them excited about the possibilities of flowers. If I get the job, it’s the best feeling in the world, because it mean someone trusts you and loves your style. I obviously love the floristry itself. It gets me into a place of pure calm. With the radio on in the background and the most beautiful stems in the world to create with, I’m in heaven.
The downsides are when you don't get a job you’ve quoted for (thankfully quite rare). As floristry is a creative business, it sometimes feels personal and can be hard to take. Often it’s a question of budget, rather than creative differences and there’s not much you can do to argue with that. Working alone can be hard too, because everything falls to you, whether it's keeping on top of the website and social media, preparing quotes and invoices, ordering and conditioning stock or making up and delivering. The sense of overwhelm can be draining but it always passes eventually and I’m soon back on track.
How do you measure your success?
When I started my business my ethos was: ‘I want to make people happy with my flowers’. When I get an ecstatic response from a client seeing what I’ve made for them for the first time, I count that as a success on a personal level. I see floristry as an art form, so to have my art appreciated by others is the best success I could hope for.
On a business level, it's whether I get the jobs from the quotes I send out. So far I’ve had 100% success rate with my weddings, but there’s room for improvement elsewhere.
What are your plans for the future?
My business is only 18 months old, so I’m still trying to raise awareness and build up relationships and contacts that can recommend and support me. More long-term I’m brimming with ideas for one-off creative projects involving flowers, but for now, those are top-secret!
Visit Wild Rosamund - you won't be able to resist!