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Online floristry courses(4 Posts)
Apologies if this is the wrong section to post in.
Has anyone done an online floristry course. Can anyone recommend a good one. For various reasons I can't do the one at my local college so online is my only option really.
What's your plan? Do you want to become a florist or is this a hobby?
If you want to become a florist, then more than anything you need hands on practice. Someone can show you how to do a handtied but you need to practise over and over. You need to be able to select flowers (to the right value that go together), put them together and talk to the customer. That's quite daunting to start with!
Some shops want qualifications and others don't care. I know of great florists who have art/design backgrounds with no floristry qualifications and are amazing florists. There are also florists with qualifications but who have no sense of what flowers/colours go together. I tend to think you've either got it or you haven't.
I'm a florist. I've worked in retail, event and hotel floristry. Currently in retail in a mentally busy central London shop.
If you want to have a career as a florist ( and I usually beg people to do virtually anything else when they ask me if its a viable career) then unless you are naturally gifted you are going to need hands on experience at some point. Employers ( the majority these days who will expect you to be self employed as more and more are operating on zero hours contracts) want someone who is physically very robust, moves fast, thinks on their feet, is great with people, can do decent mental arithmetic, has good spoken and written English skills and that's before you've picked up a flower
Floristry is Hard Work. This week for example I have been up at 3, at the market at 4, in work at 6.30 and on my feet without a break till 9pm. This isn't normal if you're in a little shop in the shires, but standard for city floristry. I can do 75 hour weeks without breaking a sweat.
Anyway. Back to the online course. If you have experience with flowers then it could be a helpful way of learning more skills but I don't know how you would be critiqued. Do you have to send pictures of your work in? How do they know how long it takes you to make something? Are you working via Skype or similar so you can be assessed? It sounds a bit ropey tbh and if you came to me looking for a job with just that as a qualification I'd be a bit until I'd seen you make something up
in under five minutes
If you are determined that you want to be a florist as opposed to 'doing some flower arranging' ( there is a VERY distinct difference!) then your absolute best bet is to try and get yourself a junior position in a local shop where you will be scrubbing buckets and sweeping the floor and watching how stuff is done. Then you'll be allowed to practise when it's quiet. You can supplement this with an online course if it speeds you up. The best florists I know started this way. Don't bother with NVQs, no one gives a shiny shit about those if you've got talent.
If you're just interested in learning a new skill and improving existing know-how then there are tons of YouTube videos out there that don't cost a penny and give you ( I would imagine) the same instructions as a paying course but without the feedback. Trade publications and specialist magazines like Fleur Creatif are great for inspiration.
Sorry for the epic post. I hope I haven't put you off, but I've been in the industry 28 years and finding florists with true ability is getting harder as 90% of applicants I see for jobs are
middle aged women people who have done a bloody weekend course, can make a hand tied ( in half an hour) but have no idea how to do anything else. I see a LOT of people who think floristry is fun and 'playing with flowers' but who have no idea that 70% of your day is spent cursing customers doing mundane repetitive things like washing vases and sweeping up, taking telephone orders and -crucially- making up things that you don't actually like but the client was insistent.
As with anything, determination and application will get you where you want to be if you're dedicated. If not, these things are best kept as hobbies.
Saw your message and wanted to let you know that there is a good online floristry course offered by the London Flower School. They have had to close the usual classes due to Covid, so they have created online classes - these might be ideal for you?