As a relative newcomer to the business (4 years in weddings and 1.5 in retail), I don’t have the wisdom of some of you who’ve been in the business for 10, 20, even 30 years. But as a designer who’s grown a business from 15 weddings in year one to 90 in year four, I feel like our growth trajectory alone, gives a little credibility! That being said, I wanted to share some of the things that I contribute to our success as a wedding & event floral design studio (more on the retail side later!).
First– Make friends! The majority of our business comes from referrals and word of mouth. In general, I think we are nice people who get along well with others and the relationships we’ve built with other industry professionals like wedding planners, photographers, and venue owners has been the most valuable resource for booking brides. Our relationships with other florists in our area have also proven incredibly valuable. Have you heard the phrase, ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’? In our local floral design community, we find this to be especially true! When one of us receives an inquiry for a weekend that we are already booked, it’s wonderful to have options of designers you trust to refer your brides to. If one of us has more inquiries than we can handle, then all of us are successful! To that end, it’s so important to have a community who knows what challenges you are facing and is there to celebrate your successes. Find people to help you process difficult brides and celebrate booking your biggest event yet! Doing it alone is not nearly as much fun!
Second– Consistency is key. This is true both in building a social media following and in maintaining a good reputation. Part one, we all know how important social media can be to a modern business. Especially in floral design where our product is incredibly visual, platforms like Facebook and Instagram act as a portfolio and keeping your images consistent, as well as consistently advertising the types of designs you want to sell is incredibly important. Part two, posting gorgeous photos is one thing, but the proof is in the pudding! If what you produce in real life isn’t the same as what you advertise on Instagram, your clientele will quickly figure it out!
Third– Find a good balance of confidence to humility. Be confident in the product and design you are selling. Your brides are coming to you for your artistic ability and your experience with weddings and events- sell that knowledge! Your confidence that you will be able to bring their vision to life and handle anything their wedding day might throw at you puts your clients at ease. At the same time, remember that no matter how long or short your career in flowers has been, there are always things to learn and improve. Never stop seeking educational opportunities and pushing yourself to expand your knowledge of the craft!
Lastly– The hustle is real! We as floral designers know how physically and emotionally demanding this job can be! Know that you will work long hours on your feet, occasionally in high pressure situations. Know this, and accept it! Power through and be intentional about time off and self-care. Schedule that massage, take a day sans consultations or emails, and treat yourself to that pair of slightly expensive but uber-supportive pair of shoes. Burnout is just as real as the hustle and balance is key!