Thank you so much for bringing up pricing on Flirty Fleurs. With all the gorgeous pictures on Instagram and Pinterest, I am always curious about the real life costs.
I recently returned to floral after many years away from it. I left because of low pay and hard work. Now I am back and with the Internet it’s possible to see all the floral art from all over the globe. I am inspired daily!
I am so impressed with the new generation of designers and their fabulous work. It seems in the last few years floral workshops and classes have really skyrocketed in price. The little Flower School and Ariella are 2 that I follow and would love to participate someday. They seem to sell out and I am so curious how working hourly florists can afford these classes.
Saw the pictures from the Florabundance workshop that you attended recently and I’m sure it was an incredible experience. ( did not find the cost of that (from Alicia, the cost was $1,100 for three days) ).
Please educate me since I am jumping in later and am so curious about the investment of continuing education vs. how it reflects in ones income. I do floral work as a labor of love but I also need to make a living wage, truth be told, I am not making a living wage!
Also would like to know what the wage range is across the country. Is it possible to make a living with events only, not having a retail space?
Clearly teaching is a new way to increase income.
Looking forward to hearing back,
Anonymous in Oregon
I don’t see it an expense…. I see these workshops as an investment in my business. I save up for it or set goals to book X many events before I can sign up and go. I will honestly say my business has grown and flourished thanks to all of the people I’ve met at these workshops and the connections I’ve made. They refer me business, they are someone to reach out to when I need to bounce of ideas or they are someone to talk to when I need floral mechanics help. I’ve also learned about suppliers,
wholesalers and other vendors (that save me money!),Yes, it is expensive after you add up travel, lodging and meals…. but in the end the return on investment is huge. Put it as a goal for next year to put a line item in your budget of $3,000 to attend a workshop.
Alex, Exquisite Designs, Illinois
YES! You can absolutely make a living as a florist and afford to relish in a workshop or two. My shift into floral from a former life as a teacher was a complete and welcome whirlwind! Our seasonal resort laden location has played a huge part in our success in event work ,which we now do exclusively without a retail location.
For those designers just beginning, here is a snapshot of what we did to get started. Begin by assessing your local market for event (or retail) work, make sure what you are hoping to accomplish is indeed relevant in your location. I recommend connecting with as many local event venues and vendors as possible if event work is your goal, keeping your target market in mind. Bring them flowers, business cards, invite them to lunch, whatever it takes to get your business cards on their desks. Perhaps attend a few bridal shows to practice your elevator speech and build connections with other vendors, select a few key shows that are in line with your target clients. Build a solid website and engage in social media of course; 90% of our business comes from web avenues. And as all of your efforts meld and grow, decide how truly busy you wish to be. Once you have saved enough of your hard earned money, no one ever said this biz was easy you can spoil yourself by attending an amazing workshop or two or three.
Jennifer, Bloom, Michigan
Funny thing is you left the floral industry because of hard work and low pay!! Things have not changed a bit. STILL such hard work and long hours. But if it’s in your blood it’s always gonna be there.
I call it an investment in me. I belong to the Michigan Floral Association and take many classes and have had an an amazing mentor to guide me. Keep reading, looking on line, reading magazines – invest in yourself. It will pay you back tenfold.
I have known Holly Chapple for about 5 years and although we have never met in person, we have talked on the phone and emailed over the years. I have wanted to attend her workshop since the birth of it, but have not because of family, time and money. This year I am going to NYC. I am breaking the bank and just doing it. It may be the only year I attend, but I really want to meet up with all the great designers I have known for so long via the internet. Maybe just save up and plan to attend one next year. I can say as a wedding designer only and in such a seasonal place like Michigan I am not in a spot where I could support my family on just the flowers. Maybe if I added a linen line, did more holiday work and such I could support us all, but with that means adding more employes, longer hours and added cost as such. For me I am happy it’s a “part” time fun, great dream job. As far as wages here in MI for the designers I have it depends on their experience. I start out at $14.00 an hour and they do get bonuses and raises, too. They also are part time in season help.
Tracy, Park Place Design, Michigan
I have the same question – I can’t wait to hear the answers. I haven’t been able to afford any of the classes and training I want to take let alone airfare and hotels.
Every penny I make needs to pay the bills! I wish there were grants for us little companies to be able to attend these amazing seminars and workshops so that we can improve our business!
Andie, Dandie Andie Floral Designs, Ontario
I’m weighing in on today’s question. First, yes, I do believe you can make a living wage and support yourself in this business. I supported myself during my 10 years of Bella Fiori in Colorado. I was a single youngster when I launched my business, with a mortgage to pay on a condo and rent to pay for a studio – and I did it. Later on, when my husband was laid off from his job in 2009, I buckled down and worked harder – he worked for me as much as he could and we started the rental division. Point is, yes, it’s possible to make a living doing this, although not always easy!
Granted, what is easy? My husband got laid off from a “stable job”, as did most of our non-self employed friends in the year of ’09. My dad always said to me that the good side of being self-employed is the owner is always the last one out the door. *little shout out to my dad for telling me today how proud he is of me, and he brought up 2009*
I will also say that I’ve studied with The Little Flower School and Ariella – they are both extremely inspiring, so save up your pennies and take a workshop with them some time.
As for teaching the workshops as another income stream. Yes, it can be good money if done well and if expenses are kept down (as with all things in business). However, I don’t think this is the only reason so many people have started teaching. I teach because I want to surround myself with like minded people. Obviously I can sell flowers to brides – but, let’s face it, each new bride is a new job interview. You are always selling yourself to the next client. When I teach a workshop, I don’t have to sell myself like I do for a wedding. Instead glorious people who love glorious flowers want to come and hang out with me! That’s fun, and easier than the bride/job interview.
PS – DandieAndie, there will be scholarships in the future… I’m working on that.
Alicia, Flirty Fleurs & Bella Fiori!
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