Here are the most often asked questions about floristry, according to Google search. The answers given below are from our own experience running a flower shop in Columbia, Tennessee.
Do florists make a lot of money?
Probably not as much as you think. While flowers can be expensive, the florist is the last person in the supply chain before you receive flowers. There are growers, flower markets, shippers, wholesalers and distributors that all tack on their fees before a florist ever marks up those flowers to sell to you. Florists also incur high electric bills to run floral coolers, fees to keep delivery vehicles in service, rent, flower loss, association fees, business licenses, taxes and liability insurance. According to NerdWallet.com the average florist in the USA can expect to pay themselves 10% of their annual gross profit INCLUDING taxes and benefits. They also state that most independent florists gross less than $200,000 annually. The math is pretty simple, floristry is not a lavish lifestyle. You have to love flowers and interacting with people that love flowers, and accept that as part of your compensation.
If you've ever wondered why florists carry a home décor, gift items, etc. in their shop now you know. So the next time your in Bloomstall, add a candle to that flower order! ;)
How much should you pay a florist?
The short answer is, whatever they ask. Florists aren't normally in the habit of haggling over their prices. The price of flowers in a shop is dependent on how much the florist paid for those flowers to begin with. They are marked up to cover expenses and to make a profit. If you are concerned about the price of flowers at a shop, call around to a few other florists in the same town to check pricing.
Flowers will ALWAYS be cheaper at Wal-Mart, Kroger and the like, and they should be. Grocery stores and discount stores buy in bulk and they aren't as particular about the quality of the flowers as a florist would be. Even grocery stores with a dedicated floral department often carry only the cheapest and easiest to grow flowers. A good florist finds their niche and provides quality floral design at a reasonable rate.
Is a florist a good job?
If you like to work with flowers and the public every day, yes! While starting a flower shop is not the easiest thing, it's not the hardest business to open either. Your biggest hurdles will be rent, utilities and keeping your flower costs as low as possible while still providing flowers that your patrons can't find easily at the big box stores.
Who is called florist?
Just about anyone that designs floral arrangements and sells flowers. Florist is not a highly specialized title like Doctor or Lawyer. In most states you do not need to go to school to be a florist, it's a career that's best learned by doing, and the experience of a florist should show in their work.
Are florists artists?
That would depend on the florist and the caliber of their work. It could be argued that a florist in a big box store or grocery store that's simply copying designs from a book or from a teleflorist network might not be considered an artist as much as an independent florist that designs all of their own flower arrangements. There is certainly the potential for artistry in floral design.
What is the hourly rate for a florist?
Florists don't charge by the hour. Florists mark up their arrangements and offerings according to what they paid for flowers from their wholesaler or distributor.
What qualifications does a florist need?
In many states you don't need any qualifications to become a florist. You can simply open a flower shop. It would be beneficial to tutor under and experienced florist, to read as many flower arranging books as possible, take online classes, workshops, etc... to hone your craft. It takes experience and skills learned from that experience to properly run a flower shop and provide a quality product.
Where do Florists get their flowers from?
Flower wholesalers supply florists with their flowers. Some florists are also able to purchase flowers directly from local flower farms. A small number of florists might even grow flowers themselves.
Why are florists so expensive?
“Expensive” is an arbitrary term. What might be expensive to you might be affordable to someone else. As we've mentioned florists incur several costs in putting fresh flowers in your hands. Most florists mark up their flowers at a reasonable rate, if that rate is high to you there are always more affordable options at big box stores and super markets. In the end you truly get what you pay for, when you pay an experienced florist you are paying for their skill and artistry as much as you are paying for flowers.
How much do brides spend on flowers?
According to WeddingWire.com the average cost for wedding flowers in the United States is around $1500 with most couple spending between $700 and $2500.
Averages are well and good but actual pricing for wedding flowers and wedding floral design depends on a myriad of factors. A small wedding with just a bridal bouquet, a few boutonnieres and one or two smaller arrangements might run under $1000 while a wedding with ten bridesmaids, twelve table settings, alter flowers, etc. would obviously cost much more.
Cost should not be the only factor considered when selecting a wedding floral designer. You should like the florist's work. Review their portfolio and work with them on your wedding flower budget.
How do you start a florist?
We can only speak on how we started as a florist. Michelle has always loved flowers and a few years back she decided that she wanted fresh flowers in the house every week. That started with simple arrangements made from grocery store flowers. There was a cute little nook for rent at the Columbia Arts Building that Michelle would admire every time she was there. It had really good light from the old factory windows. With a little prodding she decided to open a little flower stall. She began very small, offering flowers by the stem on the weekends. Bloomstall became popular quickly and Michelle outgrew her little stall and decided to move into her new space on Garden Street.
Starting a florist shop is not easy. The hours are long and the costs are high. The profit margins are not the best but if you love flowers and love interacting with the public it can be fun and rewarding. Before starting your own flower shop we highly suggest you find an experienced florists and talk to them about your plans, consider paying them for consulting you and don't ask a florist in the same town that you are considering opening up shop in. From there learn all you can about running your own business and the business of flowers and floral design. You can take online classes, local workshops and there are even schools where you can learn flower design. Before opening your shop you will also need to source weekly fresh flowers from a wholesaler. Your relationship with your flower wholesaler will be a long one and you and your flower rep will likely communicate daily, if not several times per day.
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