is a person who cultivates or sells flowers. A florist is a profession in the floristry industry. It encompasses flower care and handling, floral design or flower arranging, merchandising, and display and flower delivery.
Wholesale florists sell bulk flowers and related supplies such as flower accessories to professionals in the trade. Retail florists offer fresh flowers and related products and services to consumers. Today retail florists around the world provides more than just flower arrangements, they provide a spectrum of products and services. Products ranging from flower arrangements to gift baskets and hampers. Many florists also offer flower and gift delivery services. Some florists go to the extent of providing round the clock, 24hrs delivery services and there are increasing number of florists provide floral delivery service overseas too.
Florists have been around since at least 1623, when the word "florist" first entered English. Like the word for "flower," it is derived from the Latin floris, which means "flower." Florist is one of the world's oldest trade yet today their product and services continue to be very much sought after. Florists generally offer their services to a wide segment of society, but there are some who find their niche in providing gifts and flowers to businesses and corporations. There are some who find their niche in the retail consumer market. Even within this segment of societies, there specific niches florists specialised in, for example, weddings, events, funerals etc.
The great thing about being a florist is working with the most phenomenal natural product; flowers. More and more florists today are professionally trained. As the demand for good florists who not only have the aesthetics of flower arranging but also able to multitask in handling projects, day to day operations and customers. A knowledgeable florist understands what each type of flower symbolizes. Different flowers have different meanings in specific cultures. Different colours have different meanings too. The presentation of the mixed of flowers and colours not just sets the theme and mood of the flower arrangement.
Like all professions there are many levels at which floristry can be achieved from just wrapping bunches of flowers to creating exquisite works of natural art, but mainly a florist is expressing their customers emotions whether it's an ostentatious expression of love, a single sunny flower of greeting or a message of sympathy. A florist sells dreams and aspirations; the look of the design must convey the customer's sentiment to achieve satisfaction.
So what strengths are needed to become a florist, there has to be a love of flowers and an artistic desire to create, the capacity to communicate ideas both visually and verbally and connect with the customer on a daily basis. Floristry is all about meeting deadlines, the funeral will not wait whist the florist fiddles about with the floral tribute, and so time management and the ability to work under pressure is essential. Tenacity is probably the most important factor for a would be florist, sometimes it can be back breaking work, in cold conditions and at peak periods such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day the hours are long. Like all creative businesses floral trends change continually it's a constantly shifting environment and as a florist, he or she must be receptive to new ideas and quick to react to the latest design style to stay on top of the pack.
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