Lots of florists start with happy occasions like simple bouquets for first dates or weddings, but I was thrown into a deep end of dressing a wake in a private residence within a month of starting my florist business. It seemed daunting that this client trusted me to make this wake a pleasant place to commemorate his late mother. I had to do fabric drapes, garland style arrangements, large arrangements, all on the spot, under the eyes of the grieving, and overlooking the deceased. At that point in time, I wasn’t sure if this is what I signed up for. All I wanted to do was work with flowers, but now I had to front the business talking to clients and I never know projects like that would come my way.
Rejecting the client wasn’t an option to me, so I took up the job, despite the possibility of revealing my inexperience in front of all these people, fumbling on the ladder, not being about to complete the work in such a short time frame etc. I called up an acquaintance who was also a florist – she was very kind to come to my assistance at such short notice, and also teach me so many things I never knew I needed to know. I find myself asking if I would so readily help others in the same way she helped me, because after all we could be considered competitors.
16 years on, I’ve cut my teeth making flowers for occasions spanning cradle to grave, all of which would not be happen without reaching out for help, relying on the generosity and goodwill of others, accepting challenges, work that I may not personally like, and taking criticism. All these things not only boost my confidence in my work, but it helped me to not be afraid of keeping my mind open to new work, new people and new relationships. The latter two give me many reasons to be thankful.