Derek Law, like many of our students, came from a 9-5 office job and craved a creative outlet for his passion in floristry. Once he realised that he could turn his passion for floristry in to a successful business there was no turning back! In the past few years Derek and his wife, Wendy have developed their own business ‘Fable Studio Co’ as well as regularly freelancing elsewhere as a florist. They make the perfect team with Wendy planning and styling their events and Derek as head florist. Being a partner in a small business, Derek took on many responsibilities across the business to successfully grow their brand. The Certificate III program at Pearsons was the perfect stepping stone for Derek to grow his skills and study with likeminded students. During his studies, Derek took on multiple work experience opportunities as well as attending the wedding Master Class held by John Emmanuel and Pearsons School. We have really enjoyed seeing the ‘Fable Studio Co’ business continue to grow and can’t wait to see what the future brings! Here is Derek’s story…
Company: Fable Studio Co
Florist: Derek Law
You have had a busy last few years Derek! How has it all been starting a family while juggling your growing business?
I started my Pearsons Certificate III course in January 2018 and my son Cedric was born in March of that same year. This was one of the reasons why I quit my courier job and got in to studying floristry. My time needed to be more flexible to handle our new born baby, study and weddings. After September I finished my course and started to freelance for other florists, this made me quite happy to have flexible timing as a freelancer and be able to handle my business. During 2019, Cedric started childcare which was the most wonderful thing in the world, so that I then had more time to continue developing a freelance network for myself and my business which I’m enjoying.
What initially attracted you to studying floristry? And if it was a career change, what were you doing before?
My main hobby is gardening and plants, I have a lot of pot plants and a vertical garden on my balcony. In my spare time I create terrariums as gifts for friends (which I sell through my other business @wenderplant). I thought one day to myself that this is a very enjoyable industry to explore further and perhaps I could change this to be a career. I also agreed with my wife’s suggestion, that studying floristry to expand our existing wedding business would be a great idea so I took my first step by deciding to study at Pearsons School of Floristry.
What did you love about studying the ‘SFL30115 Certificate III in Floristry’ with Pearsons School?
As a newbie, I totally had no knowledge in floristry, I was absolutely blank about flowers. So if you told me that I would have to buy materials myself for school, I would totally freak out. Luckily Pearsons choose and supplied everything for us during the program - I loved this particularly when first starting.
Did you take on any work experience opportunities that were presented to you during your study at Pearsons, and if so what were they?
I think the Pearsons Facebook Group was very useful during my studies. At the beginning of the course, most of my work experience that I completed was found from Pearson’s connections and support. The work experiences that I undertook in the course was mainly focused on weddings to compliment my existing floristry business.
Do you have a favourite event/wedding that you have worked on so far in your floristry career, and if yes, why?
I love all of my weddings I’m involved in, no matter whether it is my businesses job or I am freelancing for others. Every wedding is unique and I get to work with different talented florists. Each wedding has different challenges, for example the bump-in time limits, the heights for ceiling installation, and the number of things you have to setup. Every time I do a freelance job, I can always learn something from other florists.
What kinds of things have you learnt about floristry since leaving the classroom and working hands on in the industry?
Floristry is not an easy thing to do, it’s not just about designing a bouquet or table arrangement. You need good planning to set up things like the customer’s budget, choosing local or imported flowers, costing and pricing plus many more. During the course, all materials are supplied and thought through, so it is easy to combine and match beautifully. But in the real world, not every customer knows what they want, so you have to educate them, choose what combination is good and use your sense of style to create for them. So I quickly learnt in the real world that initial communication with customers is very important!
What would be your go to flower of choice?
At this stage, I find that roses and anthuriums appeal to me the most in my arrangements, they are the most comfortable materials for me to use. I also love carnations, dahlias and chrysanthemums.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get in to floristry?
For aspiring florists think about what you want to do as your end goal. Whether it is the retail side of the industry working in shops, or the event side working on weddings and events or another avenue. For the retail side, you are usually working rostered and fixed hours. For the event side, you are working job by job and need to be more flexible in timing.
Once you know you can develop on your strength. For me I loved to create large arrangements and ceiling installations, I chose to work on the event side and take as many opportunities to freelance as possible to gain experience. If you are loving to create bouquets and gifting, take as many opportunities as possible to work in a retail environment, you will gain more confidence as you see your happy customers leaving the store with your bouquets.
No matter which part of the industry you choose, practice makes perfect, know what’s on trend, build your network with other florists and flower growers - these things will all help your ongoing floristry experiences.
What does the future hold for you and the business?
I’m hoping to get involved in some corporate functions and events in 2020 and build a floral team for both weddings and corporate events in the future.
Ready to start your creative career?
Find out how a Certificate III in Floristry can open up many career opportunities.
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