A desire for a career change saw John taking the leap from the high energy of the fashion world to the fast past environment of a retail flower shop. We talk to John Gunter about how existing skills and experience can be an advantage in the change of direction to a new career.
John completed our SFL30115 program in 3 months studying full time from September to December 2019 and has been working at Pearsons Florist Bondi Junction over the past year.
Tell us a bit about your floral journey - what did you do before and how did you come to choose Pearson’s for your training?
Prior to studying floristry, I worked in the fashion industry in New York, Tokyo and Sydney. I held various positions in Visual Merchandising and Store Design working for global heritage brands. A desire for a career change led me to Pearson’s. Pearson’s own heritage, authenticity and positioning in the marketplace is what attracted me to want to take the certificate III program. I spent years going to flower markets in NYC for product showroom and event presentations and always loved and appreciated the art of floristry. This felt like a perfect fit to continue my creative journey.
Tell us a bit about the flower shop you work in?
I work at the Pearson’s shop in Bondi Junction. It’s a very fast paced environment with high turnover of stock. I love the energy of the shop and conversation engagement with our customers. We have a large regular customer base that is loyal to the shop and the Pearson’s brand. This combination creates a sense of pride amongst the staff to achieve the highest level of consumer experience.
How did you get this job and how did Pearson’s benefit you in entering the industry?
I felt like with my prior experience in store environments and working in the creative industry for a number of years, I could make an impact at a store level for Pearson’s. I also wanted to continue fine tuning my floristry skills in a fast environment shop. I approached Bernard and Avi to discuss a possible position with Pearson’s
What do you enjoy most about training at Pearson’s School of Floristry?
I most enjoy the individuality of teaching styles and personal skills of the trainers. Each trainer presented a very unique approach to their style of training and it was up to us as students to take away the learnings and apply this to our own individual style, technique and creativity. I didn’t want the course to end!
What 3 things do you love most about working in a flower shop?
- Learning more about the operational side of running a flower business
- Understanding in depth the seasonality of each type of flower.
- Engaging in conversation with the customer to create something beautiful that suits their brief.
Is there anything that has surprised you about the industry?
Greater general understanding about plants. We touch on this briefly in the course however in the shop, you require a greater knowledge of house plants. *information and personal research to understand care, type etc.
Any advice you would give to someone new entering the industry and wanting to get a job?
Be confident and don’t over think everything. Floristry can be a very labour intensive career but the end results of your ability to create beautiful artistic designs is far more rewarding.