So, You Want To Be A Florist?

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Here’s a conversation I’ve had 4267 times:

“So, what do you do?”

“I’m a florist.”

“Aw!! That sounds like so much fun! I wish I could do that!”

----

...well, it IS fun. It’s also work—and it’s work that is much harder than it looks. So before we dive into how to open a floral design business, this post is for the dreamers out there. If you’re considering taking the leap and becoming a floral designer, here are 5 questions to consider:
 

1) What do you want your life to look like?

There’s a ton of grunt work involved in the day-to-day life of a florist. Are you ready to lug heavy boxes? Lift buckets full of water? Are you sure that's how you want to spend your days?

 Can you hustle? Flowers are a perishable product. Wedding days are whirlwinds. And wedding “hangover”—the exhaustion that sets in the day after a wedding—is no joke.

(If you can’t do all of the above, not to worry. The beauty of opening your own business is that you can hire help to handle the things you struggle with. But it’s important to be prepared for the physical realities of the job—and the ableism you might face in the industry—at the outset.)

Similarly, are you ready for early mornings? Are you prepared to work weekends and holidays? If you’ve been working Monday-Friday in an office for years, it’s a significant change, one that warrants careful thought.


2) Are you a hard worker?

Are you sure you’re up for it? In a saturated market, it can be hard to find work or get a business off the ground. But if you’re a determined self-starter, a team player, and you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll do well. (Being a team player is vital. Be prepared to sweep floors and take out the trash; we all do it.)
 

3) Are you good with people?

Yes, there will be flowers. But there will also be people: farmers, wholesalers, customers, brides & grooms (and their parents!), your fellow wedding vendors, the other florists you work with. Lots and lots of people. You will be interacting with them all day, every day.

You don’t have to be a social butterfly (I’m not), but if you’re not prepared to deal with other humans, you will be miserable.
 

4) How much income do you need to make?

Most florists are in it for the love of the game. For a quick reality check, let’s check out a few statistics from the Bureau of Labor, shall we?

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/mobile/floral-designers.htm

Sobering, no? It’s not that you can’t make money as a florist, but it's not the easiest way to make bank. Again, what does your life look like? Are you ok with this?

Considering this from the outset can also help you determine your goals. Do you want to work in a shop long-term? Do you need to find a job with benefits? Do you want to start your own company? What type of florist do you want to be?
 

5) Do you love flowers?

See above: labor of love.

Despite its occasional headaches (again, see above), I LOVE my job. I get to work with one of the most phenomenally beautiful things on the planet. Floral design can make for fulfilling creative work. Working with couples on one of the biggest days of their lives is meaningful. And who doesn't like flowers? (Ok, ok—they make me sneeze too, but shh. They're amazing.)

It’s not a job that’s right for everyone. But if you're creative, have an eye for color and design, and want to spend your days surrounded by the most beautiful of blooms, becoming a florist might be the right move for you.

Want to become a florist but not sure where to start? Download our guide below!

Want to become a florist?

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Not sure where to begin?
Download our FREE 5 page starter guide!

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Have a lovely day! xo R

Love.

This post may contain affiliate links for products we use and love. 

photo credit | chaz cruz

photo credit | chaz cruz

Sending you a little love, xo Team Taproot

Happy New Year! (+ welcome!)

This post may contain affiliate links for products we use and love. 


Happy 2018! (Buh-bye 2017!)

Welcome! Since I'm hoping we'll be the best of friends, I thought I'd answer a few questions you might have:
 

Who are you?

Hi, I'm Rachel, and I'll be your cruise director. I'm still surprised that I'm a florist, but I'm not surprised that I own a business. (Two, if we're counting. Soon to be three.) A bit about me:

  • When I'm not working on weddings, I work as a small business consultant, marketing strategist, and copywriter. As much as I love flowers, my favorite thing to do is coach & teach women who want to start and grow new businesses.

  • Before I did any of this, I was a professional stage manager. Prepare yourself for the occasional musical theater reference. You've been warned.
     
  • Right now I'm kind of obsessed with Poppy from Trolls. Anyone else? Anyone? Ok, moving right along...

 

What is this?

When I first opened Taproot, I felt lost. The stakes were high. The learning curve was steep.

But at every stage of my life as a florist, I've been shown extraordinary generosity by a handful of incredible businesswomen. I’m awed by them. I'm awed by the kindness and support they’ve shown me.

This blog is my way of paying their generosity forward.

I work with a lot of young women, many of whom are a lot like I was a few short years ago. They want to open businesses but aren’t sure how to make that happen. Some of them are afraid. They're stuck; mired in fear and self-doubt. Some are already putting their work out there on Instagram, but aren't making sales. Others aren’t sure they can do it with the limited resources (time! money! energy!) they have.

So, this is for them. This blog is a year-long project that I hope will serve as a free resource for other new florists who are feeling lost.

We’ll talk about how to put a new floral design business out into the world and all that that entails—getting started, crafting a brand and a website, marketing, customer service, and the dos and don’ts of working with wedding clients.
 

Who is this for?

  • Florists and farmer-florists who are new to wedding work and are in their first year of business. This is for the newbies. If you're already an old pro: do not pass GO, do not collect $200—you are in the wrong place. There are tons of other resources out there for you. (Bye! Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a lovely day!)
     
  • Studio, farm, & home-based floral designers. To be clear: I do not run a flower shop.
     

Why the hell should I listen to you?

Good question. You should be asking that of everyone you learn from. (And you should be learning from as many people as you can. There is no one right way to do anything, and you're responsible for figuring out the best way for you.)

Anyway, you probably shouldn't listen to me. I've only been in business for about 3.5 years. We've had three wedding seasons thus far, during which we worked on 55 weddings. We don't do (very) high-end weddings. (Our biggest weddings to-date top out at $9100.)

I'm not the most talented florist. I make bad decisions. Often. I like a well-placed curse word. (You've been warned.) I don’t do this full-time, because I don’t want to. I have serious qualms about working in the wedding industry. I’m a writer who uses far too many commas. I'm a marketer who barely used social media in 2017. (But we did more weddings than ever last year. Newsflash: there are other types of marketing.)

And I’m unapologetic about my love of a good Mason jar, which I'm pretty sure most of my florist brethren consider sacrilege.

So...yeah. You might prefer to learn from someone with more experience, more talent, more of that certain oh-so-Brooklyn-hipster je ne sais quoi. (In which case, so long! Lovely to meet you.)

That all said, I have built something here. Something that I'm a teeny tiny bit proud of. It is a teeny tiny fish in a huge pond, but I’d like to think that this thing I’ve built has done a teeny tiny bit of good. We’ve bought flowers from 30 different local flower farms. Written paychecks to 33 women and counting. The work my team has done these past three years has made quite a few clients happy, it seems.

And so if something I can write about my own experience can help you start to develop whatever it is that you want to build—something that might employ other women, put money into the economy, and do a teeny tiny bit of good—well, that would be pretty fucking cool. (<-- See? I warned you.)

So, you decide. I'll be writing either way. Take me baby, or leave me. There's no marketing hype here. No guarantees. No perfection.
 

Why are you doing this?

1) See above.

2) In fun news: I've been sidelined. It's a story for another day, but I’m cutting back on wedding work this year to focus on my health. (I'll be fine. Life, amIright? ) I’ll be spending most of my time this year teaching and writing.

Which brings us full circle—happy new year! Good riddance, 2017.

Are you a fan of resolutions? I hate them. The minute you tell me I shouldn’t do something, the more desperately I want to do that very thing.

I do, however, like a good goal. Something concrete, something that involves a number that I can write on a Post-it note. Something I can work towards, and find a bit of satisfaction as I count the numbers down and cross each one off my list. For example, a few goals from previous years:

  • 2015—Do 15 weddings our first year (Did 16.)
     
  • 2016—2x wedding revenue (√√ Almost 3x’d it.)
     
  • 2017—SURVIVE (Kidding. Kind of. But √√√)

I have two big work-related goals for 2018:

  • help 100 women open & grow businesses
     
  • write 100,000 words

In this case, the numbers are arbitrary. If I write 25,000 words and help 2 women, I’d be pretty damn pleased with that. But I figure, aim high. Go big or go home.

And so: this blog. My big plan for the year is to cheer you on from the bench, friend. I’ll be rooting for you.

Now it’s my turn to ask the questions. Who are you? What’s your plan for 2018? What are your goals? I'd love to hear them—email me at hello@taprootflowers.com and let me know. Can't wait to meet you.

Not sure what your goals are? Download our free goal setting workbook below. Here’s to 2018! 

xo R

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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It's time to make things happen! Download our FREE goal setting workbook and start making plans for 2018!

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