We get the inside word on how Freelance work is integral to the wedding and event industry.
And why some business owners not only rely on freelancers working for them but share the love, and freelance for other businesses in return.
We talk to Tegan O’Brien a past PSF student and founder of the fabulously creative Wedding and Event Florist The Lillipillian, about the freelance community and how it is a win, win for everyone.
Take one look at Lillipillian’s stunning website and it is clear to see that Tegan has built a beautiful brand, creating rich moody florals with the most stunning colour palettes. Tegan’s work is unique and sought after and has been featured in many high-profile publications including Vogue Italia, Hello May magazine and many more.
It is not unusual for Tegan to have a team of up to 6 freelance florists and stylists working with her on an event and in return for Tegan to help other Florists from time to time, as a freelancer herself.
Recently Tegan took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us and give us the low down on her freelance world.
Q - Do you currently still freelance for other people and why you love doing this?
I certainly do!
I love freelancing for others for a few reasons –
- Extra income of course!
- You learn new skills and techniques as everyone does things differently.
- You meet and form relationships with so many other florists.
Many jobs there will be a whole new team, so you are always meeting new people and creating new contacts as well. (Handy when you are looking for freelancers for your own jobs). Most of the florists that I freelance for now also freelance for me when I need help. You create a strong community, and we all help each other.
- You get to work in styles that you don't necessarily do yourself. Many of the florists I work for have distinctive styles to myself, so it keeps things fresh and interesting to do something different.
- It keeps things sociable. Running a business from home can be very lonely!
- It's an incredibly good mental break. None of the buildup and pressure of running and planning the event yourself. You get to arrive on the day without any of the stress and just create beautiful things!
Q - Do you often have freelancers come work for you and what do you look for?
Pretty much every wedding I do now I have a team of freelancers on. It generally ranges anywhere from 1-6 other stylists and florists helping including juniors and seniors.
It changes in each event depending on the difficulty of the job, how many events we have one on one weekend, the amount of styling we are doing and the logistics.
A tight bump with an installation and lots of candles will need a larger team than an all-day bump in with minimal needs.
What we look for ranges. Some events we need florists that have a lot of experience and I can show them my vision and leave them to create for me with just some guidance, but we also quite often need juniors who can help with styling, basing and one of the most forgotten tasks - cleaning and getting out!
Initiative is always appreciated. If someone is more interested in standing on their phone and taking pictures or fluffing around rather than getting in and getting things done, then we most likely won't have them back again.
Initiative, taking direction and working under pressure. These jobs are often rushed and not easy so we need to know that if we give instructions that they can be carried out efficiently.
Q - What helped you the most starting out in freelance work?
Just putting myself out there. Having confidence, looking for ways to help and if I didn't know something then I would ask. Don't just try and do something if you don't know how to do it!!
Q - Anything what do you think is of value to our students wanting to get into Freelance work?
Contact florists whose work you love, see if you can come along to a job even for some work experience or a trial. See if you connect with the person too.
Not everyone is a good fit and not everyone works well together.
It can take time to learn someone's style and way of working so don't get hung up on being perfect the first time.
Work hard, listen, and show initiative!
Thank you, Tegan, for sharing a snippet of your floral world with us. And it just goes to show that in Floristry you never stop learning and that it is a small world built often built on friendships and trust.
Freelance floristry can be a wonderful way to work and meet great floral friends. It can open your eyes to diverse ways of working and so many amazing experiences including being behind the scenes in some the finest Hotels and wedding venues.
Seeing firsthand just what goes into the production and challenges of a large event, from working with huge quantities of flowers, to organisation and design skills, there is something different to see on every job.
So, if you are thinking Freelance might be the way forward for your floral path, what are you waiting for!