I couldn’t even tell you how many weddings I have done. I LOVE weddings! While they are the most labor intensive designs, they are vital to the event. This is a sacred ritual about love and commitment. This is about making vows; I celebrate and support that. I am a born romantic.
My life as a florist
After I quit the Kubert School and began my adult life as a gypsy, it became apparent that I needed a job to survive while I worked on my portfolio. My ambition was to become a book illustrator, I spent hours in bookstores researching children’s books. I studied fairy tales, folklore and mythology but that wouldn’t pay the bills. I worked as a cashier in a grocery store in NJ, waited tables in a Chinese restaurant, worked at a Burger King in IL, a bakery in OH, a pet store, an office supply store, made chocolates in a candy kitchen, sold cheese at a Hickory Farms in Colorado. I saw a sign for a Floral Design course one day. $150 for 30 days and I could be a certified florist. Well, it IS design and I love flowers… what I needed was a 2nd career to pay for my non existent art career.
It turned into a 30 year occupation that was very good to me. Creativity, money, travel, great people and a sense of purpose. The local florist plays an important role in the lives of the townspeople. We are there when people are born, when they get married, when they die, and all the other milestones along the way. Every time I moved, I could usually get a job at a flower shop. There is a quote about stopping to smell the roses, well I found a way to be busy and still smell the roses every day! Just so you understand, this is still manual labor. No one thinks about the lifting and cleaning of endless buckets of water. A florist is on their feet for 8 hours a day. Double that for holidays like Valentine’s day and Mother’s day. It is also a retail job, so one must provide friendly customer service to the bitchy, snobby, cranky, and condescending as well as the nice ones. But it was a good career and it led me toward knowing plants better. Which led me to landscaping, greenhouse work and garden design. All very satisfying jobs and ways to indulge my passion for flowers! I probably would have stayed in landscaping if not for a back injury that ended my days in the field. Even if I no longer garden for other people, I still garden for myself. I plan on having a lavish cutting garden, so I can wander leisurely in my backyard and clip flowers for my table and parlor. I will still be making arrangements for family and friends, for all of life’s big moments. I guess you could say, I am living the dream! I did have a successful career after all, just not in the field I set out for. Maybe it is finally time to get back to that first career that I kept putting on the back burner. The art….the art….