Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: Session 43

gloriosa daisy 12 city blossoms and danny kim photo

                                                                                                                                           image via City Blossoms (Danny Kim Photography)

Question:

I've been a floral designer for 6 years with a college degree in fashion design. I have been at my current position at a floral design studio for the last year but am looking to move onward and upward! My goal is to be hired at another design company that handles larger volume and more extravagant weddings and events. I'm in the process of creating a portfolio of my work and I was wondering what your panel looks for when hiring designers. I have scoured the internet looking for any bit of information. There is plenty on the hiring techniques of lawyers or teachers or what have you, but of course, not so much with floral designers.  What makes one floral designer stand out from another? I love mixing and melding my background in fashion design with my love for floral. What would one like to see with floral experience? What about being CFD or AIFD certified? Any other tips?


The Answers:

I hire only freelance support. I have been lucky enough to have been sought out by up and coming designers who want to work with me, and I have yet to solicit help. But even still, when I bring someone on, I am looking for designers with a good eye, basic design skills, a passion for my business and the stamina to work long days. Definitely a portfolio helps in seeking a new position.

-Clare Day (Clare Day Flowers)

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If hiring a designer I would look for a person that would fit my style. My belief is that if you're not 100% into the same style as the studio/shop you're working in, you will always struggle somewhere else. So in order to "struggle" in the same direction you need to have the same style. It's quite important for you, as an employee, that you are happy with the current style and that it feels like "you" as well, otherwise you won't be happy there.

-Emelie Ekborg (Svenska Blomsterbloggar and Flora Inspiro)

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Most high end designers who handle larger weddings and events have an in-house style so it is important if you do create a portfolio of work to show a potential employer, that you show work that is relevant to that designer's style. Of course, I am looking for creativity but only within the parameters of what our style is. You also need to be wary about selling yourself as "mixing and melding your background in fashion with your love of floral". This says to me that you want to gain some experience of what we do before setting up your own business. So my advice would be not to oversell your enthusiasm for design, instead you should tell me what you love about my company's in house style. In terms of experience I look for someone that is working with similar clients to us or someone that can demonstrate the difference between what they are doing now versus the type of work they would like to do at my studio. I don't want to hear about the fact that you do lots of funeral work and Interflora orders because that's not what we do. Work out your transferable skills and tell me all about them!

With regards to certification you will find that business owners that are certified like to employ staff who are certified. Business owners, like me, who are not certified, are not particularly interested in these sorts of qualifications.

-Nick Priestly (Mood Flowers)

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A strong portfolio with gorgeous photographs of your design work would be the most important element to me. Absolutely, under no circumstance include a photo from another company's floral design portfolio. It's amazing how many people contact me about a position and I take a look at "their" portfolio only to find photographs of gorgeous designs stolen from another company's website.
If needed, hire a photographer and create gorgeous designs and have a mini-photoshoot. Show off only your best work! Certifications, etc. don't sway me when hiring designers - I always found the designers who are artistic and have a desire to learn worked out to be the best assistants.Good luck!

-Alicia Schwede (Bella Fiori and Flirty Fleurs)

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Thanks Emelie, Alicia, Nick & Clare!


A shot of inspiration from Kathleen Deery Design as you go about your Wednesday…

30  kathleen deery and jose villa photo

032 kathleen deery and jose villa

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522560_371213059568216_142513459104845_1187198_1141821814_n kathleen deery design

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(first 2 images: Jose Villa Photography)

Hope your Wednesday is wonderful!

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