Do you ever wonder what it’s like to work in a flower shop? Well, read on for a little bit about my time as a designer working in a local flower shop. In my upcoming novella Violet’s Vow, I drew from my experiences in writing the flower shop scenes in Violet’s shop, Fragrant Sentiments.
My Flower Shop Days:
I greatly enjoyed working with flowers and getting to create beautiful arrangements. I especially took fulfillment in creating unique pieces for funerals. Often, I prayed as I designed them, for the families who were grieving the loss of their loved ones and for the one who had passed on. I found it a privilege to be able to bless the families in that way with something a little extra special to help them remember their loved ones.
One of the best things about working with flowers was being able to create my own designs. Although, I often had to copy designs that were on the website or in a book. It brought me joy when I had the freedom to create a designer’s choice arrangement. Maybe, the customer would select the colors they wanted, the size, or style, but I got to choose the overall elements of the arrangement and let my creativity flow. That thrilled me!
I also relished unpacking giftware. It always seemed a little like Christmas on those days. (Insert a happy face here!)
However, working in a flower shop is not all roses, hearts, and sweet things. Anytime you work in retail, you must deal with the public, and sometimes people are downright rude and contentious.
Another thing I didn’t care for—the feast or famine swing of daily operations. One day you could be swamped with funeral or daily orders, and the next there would be barely anything to do. To say nothing of the holiday seasons, Valentine’s Day being the largest, Mother’s Day the second largest, and thirdly prom. During those holidays and events, I put in long hours creating arrangements and corsages as fast as I could, while still making a quality product.
When you work with a perishable product, you have a limited window in which to use that product. Most orders could only be assembled and styled the day before or the day of and kept in the cooler. The same with holiday orders. Thus, you have a lot of work grouped into short periods of time.
I would have much rather worked on a steady, even keel than haver been caught in such a swing-like system, but I know that could not have been avoided. That’s the norm of things in a flower shop.
An excerpt from Violet’s Vow: a description of Violet’s shop
A kind of happiness brightened Violet’s heart as she quietly created, in the space she had come to cherish. With quick hands and flashes of her knife, Violet cut and arranged a mixed spring bouquet in a green, matte, glazed vase. Not thinking too intently about the design, Violet took in her shop with a smile on her face.
Rows of shining, colored and clear vases, perching on shelves in an open wardrobe, winked at her across the room. Sachets of scent and small bars of soap shaped like flowers occupied a dresser top nearby, while colorful scarves spilled out of the dresser’s drawers. In the middle of the room an old pushcart contained a lush assortment of green and blooming plants.
Greeting cards lined a portion of one wall on narrow shelving Roger had constructed and put up. Some silk-flower arrangements in various pots adorned a round tabletop in the far corner of the room, and tiny, linen bags of hand-blended, floral teas lined a basket on an old dining chair, positioned near the counter.
Over the last few months, Violet had tucked more merchandise into the nooks and crannies of Fragrant Sentiments, until the shop had become a pleasing blend of gift items, potted plants, and fresh flowers, and she felt a glow of pride and contentment at her labors.
Thank you for reading! What do you like best about flower shops, other than the flowers, that is?