With more than 35 years’ experience in the floristry industry it is fair to say that Debra Dwyer knows a thing or two about being a florist. Debra started out her career working for David Jones while gaining her floristry qualifications and participating in their annual spring flower shows. She later took on the role as senior florist with Pearsons Florist and then transitioned to Pearsons School of Floristry where she has stayed ever since. Debra now works as our commercial course manager and senior trainer. This includes development of the course, delivery planning, managing flower and sundry orders for all classes and staff training. Over the years Debra has clocked up her fair share of achievements participating in numerous Interflora competitions, Sydney Royal Easter show talks and parades as well as demonstrating with the PFA. We would love to share Debra’s story with you all..
Where did your passion for Floristry begin?And how did it lead you in to teaching?
I wanted a career, not just a job and I wanted something hands on and creative. After finding a floristry junior job at the job centre, I haven’t looked back. I completed my qualification while at David Jones Florist and gained invaluable experience working with their talented floristry team before moving to Pearsons Florist. I enjoyed working with the junior staff and I was asked to take up teaching.
What is it that you love about being a Certificate III trainer with PSF?
I enjoy watching the students develop and grow, mastering their new skills and establishing their own style. Hearing what my students are doing in the floristry industry, all while sharing my love for design and creating something beautiful.
Why would you suggest Floristry as a career?
Floristry has been a great career for me introducing me to talented artists and good friends. Sharing our love for design and creativity and always learning from each other. Floristry is hands on, creative and is a skill that can travel around the world. Floristry is always changing with fashion trends and technology.
How would you describe your Floristry style?
I like to use a broad range of materials and create diverse design. So I would call my style ‘eclectic’. Nature is so amazing and inspires me to create different floral styles.
What’s something our students wouldn’t know about you?
I’m pretty casual in my classroom and the students and I chat about a lot of things. They know I do line dancing, yes boot scooting, I have a gold medal. I make cards and beaded jewellery as gifts for my friends and have the best ever children and grandchildren.
What is your favourite flower and why?
My favourite flower is the Peony because it is fragrant, soft and feminine and it is seasonal. Therefore it is very special when it comes in the shop.
To our budding florists and floral enthusiasts, do you have any care tips you’ve picked up along the way to share?
Flowers are just like people, we don’t all like the same things. Flower knowledge is the tip for caring for your cut flowers. Flowers from dry climates don’t like to get too wet so don’t spray them with water. Flowers from tropical climates like to be sprayed and don’t like dry heat. And flowers from alpine climates don’t like to get hot and dry out so keep them cool. Seasonal flowers from local suppliers are always your best buy as they are acclimatised and have not travelled far from the farm.
Who do you look to for inspiration in the industry?
There are so many talented florists, both in Australia and internationally, to look to for inspiration and new trends I can’t list them all, but I’m always on the lookout for new ones. Face book, Instagram, Pinterest, web sites, floristry forums, industry groups and magazines and all great sources.