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Although most of us are not foreign to the term Florists, we often underestimate their role. Florists do not simply collect, cut and arrange flowers – floral design is actually a form of art and there is a growing number of universities who even offer it as a Bachelor’s’ degree! Florists are part of an ever-changing creative industry and with the persistent demand for flowers for events such as weddings and birthdays, their lives tend to be busy all the time. But what do they actually do? Let’s see!
1) Arrange flowers according to clients’ preferences
As we mentioned before, floral design is no easy business and matching their creative ideas to their client’s preferences and the occasion is a difficult task. Doing this multiple times in a day can be draining; just like how writers get a writer’s block, florists get some thought blocks too!
Moreover, to arrange flowers for different occasions requires the skill to be able to switch the mood of the floral designs swiftly. Arranging flowers for a wedding or a birthday would definitely not be the same compared to doing a design for a funeral to send condolences.
Arranging flowers also requires prior knowledge and experience on not just design, but also on colours, textures and utilisation of different materials like ribbons and stalks.
2) Be open to different forms of floral design and arrangement
Floral design and arrangement does not simply refer those of bouquets, but also include displays done in outdoor event venues and houses. Most of these arrangements require designing to be done on the venue spot and not in the florist’s comfort of their own shop. For such occasions, florists have to visit the venue multiple times to look at the facilities available for displaying flowers and other accessories like vines and ribbons. They also need to take necessary measurements of the venue and possibly even do a dry run with false flowers to ensure it is to their client’s liking!
3) Maintaining and growing flowers indoors under the appropriate conditions
More than using their knowledge to come up with innovative floral designs, florists are also required to know how to ensure their flowers stay bright and fresh even after they have been transferred to their clients. A significant amount of knowledge in botany is required to know how to water flowers, cut them and store them with the appropriate foilage and support materials.
This is especially important in Singapore, where florists mostly get their supply imported from other countries. These flowers are usually sent in under special conditions and specific techniques are required to ensure they remain fresh.
4) Performing retail and logistic duties
Florists, whether or not if they own their own shop, have to inevitably learn how to perform plenty of retail and logistic duties. This includes attending to customers, taking orders through the telephone, receiving payment and keeping good accounting records. Many florists in Singapore nowadays have to go through established courses on floral design before they get hired, however it is still in their job scope to perform these duties.
5) Communicating with suppliers and wholesalers
Although florists are able to predict busy periods like Valentine’s Day or Graduation periods for local universities, they are also required to estimate the required stocks on a daily basis. This does not just apply for flowers, but also for all the other supporting materials they use like foil, ribbons, plastic coverings and stalks.
Estimating the required supply for flowers is quite risky more so in Singapore as flowers are perishable goods. To add to that, the weather here, as we all know it, is highly unpredictable. With the high humidity levels in the air and unreliable chances of rain or shine, having excess stock of flowers stored indoors is not such a good idea. On top of learning how to gauge the demand, florists also have to actively liaise with their suppliers and be on the lookout for cheaper and good quality alternatives.
Moreover, florists in Singapore import plenty of flowers all year round, and this requires some baseline knowledge about the blooming seasons of various flowers from different parts of the world as well.
6) Be responsible for a punctual delivery and reasonable pricing of orders
Imagine anxiously waiting for your delayed flower delivery on your wedding day! Flowers are usually the highlight of special occasions and it often can break the spirit of the event if they are delivered late. Florists hold a key responsibility to ensure that the timely delivery of the flowers simply do their job by brightening up the event.
Florists also bear the responsibility to ensure that their orders are reasonably priced as especially during peak periods like Valentine’s Day, flower prices can skyrocket in Singapore!
7) Educating clients on how to maintain flowers
Sometimes, clients might want flowers to be arranged and displayed to last for a few days for occasions rather than just a few hours. Weddings of different ethnicities in Singapore that last a few days, other festivals and processions in our cosmopolitan nation requires the flowers to last long. One big duty of florists to ensure that this happens is educating their clients on how to keep the flowers fresh by trimming and watering them appropriately. Florists are also required to advise their clients on the type of flowers to display, depending on how long they want them to last. This, again, requires knowledge on botany which florists have to be trained for.
That’s quite some things florists need to know to function in their job properly, isn’t it? An actively creative mind, organised workspace, strong knowledge in botany, hardworking attitude and punctuality – all of this and more is required to be a florist. Now we are certain that you wouldn’t underestimate the roles and responsibilities of our local florists!