INDUSTRY SECTORS EXPLAINED
There are a few sectors in the floristry industry. Most florists fall into one, maybe two categories. However, being the florist who does ALL the things can be super hard business-wise, as you're marketing to, well - everyone.
This is why florists generally pick one and go all in.
1. Retail shop
A retail shopfront in which customers can walk into and order for same-day delivery. Flowers are on display and you can see the process of the florist creating your bouquet in about 20 mins from ordering to you walking out the door.
Depending on the size and demand of the shop, there will be a few market drops from the wholesalers (Eg. Sydney flower markets) during the week to sustain orders and keep flowers fresh. This market delivery can either be from a team member themselves heading to markets at 3am and returning to the shop before opening around 9am; Or from a courier/driver.
Shelf life is crucial to the success of a retail shop in maintaining returning customers.
The flowers must last from:
wholesaler > market > unpacking into studio > making arrangement > wrapping > recipient > last 5-7+ days in recipients home
Floral work includes posies & bouquets, indoor plants and vase arrangements.
For these florists, their work days are generally normal retail hours ranging from 8am-4pm (depending).
2. Delivery from studio
Generally not a retail space that customers can walk into. May be on or away from the florists home.
Online or phone ordering for the florist to deliver to recipient. More often than not, customers will pre-order (so not necessarily same-day-delivery; so that the florist knows quantities to collect from the market and can prepare)
This eliminates waste. Say a studio florist goes to market on Monday and buys a heap of flowers and then gets 1 order for the whole week. The rest is waste (physically and economically) as we're working with perishable product.
A retail florist can continue to use flowers for other orders and have them on display. They will generally have a higher demand.
3. Weddings & events
Working closely with specific clients for a number of months before date of event.
From initial enquiry > booking > further planning and changing design > whole design process from market to delivery > bumping out at the end of event.
This process is a more specific design and takes months of planning.
It involves a small group of clients/year (depending on size of business).
The floral work itself is generally of a larger scale including ceiling installations, table arrangements, bridal bouquets, backdrops, bar arrangements etc.
A florists working hours is completely dependant on each event.
The planning side itself is generally done in an office kind of situation on the laptop/notebook or meeting with clients in person.
The design process can start from Monday/Tuesday until say Saturday evening for a wedding client.
4. Funeral arrangements
Generally created by retail/studio florists. Casket designs, pedestal arrangements, single ribboned flowers etc. Usually ordered and arranged the week-of and more often than not delivered to event.
These orders are taken with great care and sympathy and can be quite an emotional ordering process given the situation.
Farmers markets are the best! Early Saturday morning heading to set up for the day. Surrounded by fresh food, unique creative humans and puppies everywhere.
These florists are usually either retail or wholesalers/farm florists to eliminate waste (use leftovers for other orders).
The kings and queens of the industry. Without these guys, all other sectors would fall apart. These guys and gals generally own/work on a farm filled with incredible flowers. In true form they're up before the birds and work damn hard.
Some head to wholesaler markets to sell to florists. Some from the farm itself or provide flowers to other wholesalers.
They know more than anyone in terms of the character and nature of each flower. Super knowledgable humans. I have a huge appreciation for them.
Some are florists themselves and are living every florists dream - being able to pick the freshest product and create something magical.
7. Online business coach
Someone who has done the hard yards. Learnt the lessons. Seen all the failures in the world. Worked in a sector (or all) or owned a biz themselves. They know the ins and outs of owning a floristry business and what it takes to be successful.
They may still work in a sector but generally for super specific clients.
More often than not they have a background in business/marketing.
They have so much to share and do so online. Information given by written text, live demonstration, personal call/check-up/advise, website analysis, Q&A, youtube, saved videos, step-by-step demos, photo demos etc.
These people show you how to build a successful floral design business.
They are SO valuable.
A florist who holds workshops every so often. Usually on a monthly basis. These are little classes for either the general public to learn basics or for other florists to learn how to be better at their craft.
This involves more planning than creating and a specific market trip to collect quantities dependant on numbers. This means little waste!
Although most florists are able to do almost all categories, it shouldn't be expected that their business model is set up to do so.
For example, don't expect a wedding florist to be able to do a single delivery order.
More on this point in another blog post....