The Pros (& Cons) of Being a Freelance Florist
A little secret...
I'm going to let you in on a little secret, being a freelance wedding florist is hard work. There's no doubt about it, despite all the pretty floweriness, it can at times push you to your limits, especially when you're trying to fit it in around a busy full-time job at Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts. However, since I started Morganna Designs over a year ago, I have learnt so, so much and am grateful that I started this journey. With all the highs and lows, I now have a little creative enterprise all of my own, something that I can cherish and develop, carving out my own niche of success, no matter what happens in life.
So here it is. The good, the bad and the ugly sides of being a freelance florist:
- For me, it's always ever been about having a creative outlet. Prior to starting Morganna Designs, I flitted from one admin job to another, never really feeling fulfilled or having any sense of direction. When I made the decision to leave my job at London College of Fashion and moved back to Manchester to enrol on a Level 2 City & Guilds Course in Floristy at Manchester College of Art & Technology I decided to follow my heart and find my life's passion!
- Unlike other artistic hobbies, being a florist allows you to look outside of yourself becoming more aware of the seasons and knowledgeable about the natural world. You start to notice and appreciate the resourcefulness of nature and all it has to offer. For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you'll know how much I love to photograph flowers! (One day I will have a garden...sigh!)
- I love a good party and I guess from all those years being a PA, I have a good eye for detail when it comes to putting together the styling for my wedding designs. This skill also brings in my love of antiques and rummaging through charity shops to find the perfect prop. Presentation is everything and is as important as the flowers themselves.
- Maintaining inspiration and excitement in all that I do is key. The internet has made it so much easier to widen your horizons and connect with other creatives. In the past 6 months, I've become obsessed with Bloglovin and regularly update images to my *floral* board on Pinterest.
- Working with brides and seeing the look on their face when you bring in their flowers on the big day is what it's all about. I've made friendships for life with some of my brides and connected with some great wedding photographers. There's nothing better than knowing that for one of the most important days in someone's life, you were there, doing what you do best.
- I'm really not a morning person, ask my husband! Unfortunately, when it comes to being a florist, say goodnight to long lie ins. When I have a wedding to do, I get up at 6 am to drive to my wholesaler in Milnthorpe and that's late in the floristry world! On the good side, you do get that virtuous feeling of being up before everyone else, 'the early bird catches the worm' etc. and if flowers are your passion then what better way to start the day?
- Flowers can be pretty, but they can also be incredibly messy especially when you live in a ground-floor flat with a husband plagued with hay-fever! Add to that, lots of buckets for conditioning flowers and slippy floors and sometimes it can be a recipe for disaster. A little creative mess is ok, but tidy working is key to health and safety.
- You don't need a gym membership when you do floristry and forget about floaty dresses. You're constantly lifting heavy flower boxes, moving buckets & vases full of water, running back and forth to the car and that's often before you've got to the wedding venue. For bigger weddings, I have my friend Ruth who comes to help, for times when it's just me, flat shoes, a good apron and sugar get me through.
- The flowers are just a small part of my job. The rest of the time, it's marketing, writing blog posts, meeting brides, drawing up quotes and most dreaded of all...completing my tax return! Some jobs aren't fun and the only way to deal with it, is to build in mini rewards for completing something you're avoiding like the plague. (And yes, my tax return has been submitted).
- Sometimes it's ok to say 'no'. This is a tricky one and something that has taken a bit of getting used to. When I first started Morganna Designs I did every job that came my way for fear of business drying-up and wanting to spread a good word. This was fast-track to burn-out and strategically not the best plan for my business. I guess it depends on the business you want and what success means to you, but now, I'm more choosy about who and what I spend my time on and that includes time spent on my own projects, ideas and indulgences. If it's not fun then it's not worth putting up with the cons. Life lessson learnt!
So that's it. The pros and cons of Morganna Designs. I hope it's been as enlightening to read as it's been to write.
Till next time friends,