Meet a florist.
Sarah Wilkinson—Sinikka Floral Design
I began work as a freelance event florist. I specialise in weddings, events, shop window installations and florals for photo shoots. I also do the occasional retail and corporate flower delivery, but I don’t have flowers on site with me the way a retail florist does. Freelance florists like myself are a growing sector of the floral industry and an exciting area to be involved in, with work varying from race days, editorial content, lavish weddings and interesting retail displays.
My trade background is in Graphic Arts. I then worked in Visual Merchandising, which was a fantastic springboard into floristry. Initially, I interned with several florists in Melbourne who were very kind in letting me tag along and learn about flowers, event floristry and the business side of things. I then took part in a floristry course while I was starting up my own freelance business and quickly found my feet in advertising and growing my clientele, mostly through word-of-mouth.
This was a career change for me, and initially I was concerned about going out on my own as the new kid on the block! But I have been blessed with lots of help from other florists, friends and family in growing my business. I live and breathe flowers – it’s my passion. I while away many hours sourcing inspiration, organising concepts for my clients and learning about new floral trends.
I started a Certificate II in Floristry when I first began in the industry, but due to personal circumstances I decided to postpone my studies. I took a great deal away from my experience interning with established florists; I learnt so much and it helped prepare me for all aspects of owning a floral business. I highly recommend people entering the field to approach local florists they admire and ask to spend time with them in an intern arrangement, in a formal arrangement to benefit both the business and student.
My day-to-day work varies. As a freelancer I am not tied down to a shop front or to regular trips to the market. I tend to get my flowers delivered as it suits my lifestyle better. My day could start with coffee at a local café with a new client to discuss their event. Later in the day, I could be prepping flowers for a wedding, and in the evening, creating mood boards for a client, quoting and emailing.
Wedding floristry is not for the faint-hearted! Clients can need a lot of reassurance and attention and you can be sent many, many emails on ‘visions’ and ‘ideas’. Lack of knowledge on flower availability is a common conversation with clients, and this can take great patience! The day of ‘bumping in’ a wedding can be incredibly long and challenging, with the logistics a constant battle but also providing a real sense of achievement when everything eventually comes together beautifully!
Event floristry is a rewarding career, and I highly recommend it if you have a natural flair for styling and a keen eye for colour, shape and form. While it has its physical challenges, it is a great field of work and suits those with a burning ambition to one day work for themselves.