Meet Catherine a recent Graduate from Pearsons School of Floristry as she shares her journey into the wonderful world of floristry.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself, career history, anything that you think that our readers would like to know about you.
I’ve had lots of different careers at specific times in my life, and over the last 15 years I’ve been teaching Spanish and conducting research in the university sector. I have loved my job, especially the face to face teaching. As my children are now young adults, I have to a certain extent more freedom to explore additional pathways in life, hence my foray into floristry!
What initially attracted you to studying floristry?
I used to (half) joke that if I had another life I would be a florist! During COVID I found myself with a free 9 months as University work was quiet for that period. I didn’t want to be idle for that time, and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try living my ‘other life’ and to study something creative. What a happy decision to have made! I enrolled in Cert 3 and spent a very fruitful best part of a year immersed in floristry!
What was it about Pearsons School that made you want to study with us?
In the first instance it was word of mouth. I then made contact with the school and immediately had a positive feeling about the way the school was operated and the way Cert 3 was presented. It was an easy choice!
What did you love about studying the ‘SFL30115 Certificate III in Floristry’ with Pearsons School?
There was much to love about studying Cert 3! The quality of the teaching was excellent, the variety of fresh floral materials that we worked with at school and then happily took home, the environment of supportive learning and the associated camaraderie that developed between the student cohort.
Did you take on any work experience opportunities that were presented to you during your study at Pearsons, and if so, what were they?
Most of my work experience took place at Pearsons, at both the Design Centre and also at PSF helping with the short courses. In addition, I worked at my local florists (Blooms of Bowral) as well as on a largescale wedding. I appreciated the variety that these various work experience opportunities offered me.
Now that you’ve finished your studies, what are you up to into the industry?
I’m busy setting myself up as a freelance florist in the Southern Highlands area. I’m calling my business Flora Catalina (Catalina is my name in Spanish). I’m fortunate to live in an area where residents are generally mad over anything to do with flowers and gardens so I am well placed! I’m still working in the university sector so my goal is to create a floristry business that can operate in tandem with my career as an educator. Not sure what that will look like but I’m very curious to find out!
How have you found finding and securing work in the industry?
It’s very early stages for me. My focus has been on doing the groundwork, getting myself set up, and deciding which aspects of floristry best suit me in terms of passion, lifestyle, market and practicality. I’m busy setting up my home studio so that I am ready with a dedicated space to operate from.
What is your favourite experience so far in your floristry career?
There are two! The first was doing the flowers for a friend’s wedding – table arrangements, posy and boutonnieres. It was a small, casual affair and doing it for someone I am close to made it very special. I was really happy with the result! The second was submitting an entry for the Wildflowers Australia’s Floristry Competition. The brief was to design and create a fascinator using 80% native materials. After various iterations I came up with my final version! I learnt so much from the process and loved working with Australian and South African natives.
What kinds of things have you learnt about floristry since leaving the classroom and working in the industry?
Lots of things! Mainly that it’s up to me to make the decisions - all of them! I do feel though that Cert 3 was good preparation for the real world of floristry.
What are your flower favourites and go tos?
My ‘go tos’ seem to centre around analogous colour harmonies – specifically reds, oranges and pinks, all together. In addition, I love working with greens and whites together. I am particularly attached to Queen Anne Lace, as I find its dreamy, whimsical quality very appealing. Oh, and I am currently obsessed with pink Pieris.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into floristry?
I’d recommend taking a couple of short courses at Pearsons as a taster. They are an excellent introduction to the world of floristry and a great launching pad from which to commence a Cert 3 training course. I would also recommend looking for paid work or work experience in retail or other floristry businesses in order to familiarise yourself with some of the floral maintenance techniques, and also to build your knowledge bank around flower and foliage types.
What does the future hold for you?
Who knows? My hope is that I can enjoy parallel careers in floristry and in tertiary education. Then the creative and the intellectual parts of my brain and being can happily co-exist! Whatever happens, I know that flowers will follow me wherever I go and whatever I do!
Floristry business links,
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