September 26, 2022

Description of Job
• Prepare and assemble flower arrangements to clients’ specifications.
• Create custom wreaths and decorations.
The Need
Flowers, flowering plants, and lush foliage will beautify any room. But expensive long-stemmed roses will last only a week; Christmas poinsettias may struggle to make it to the new year, and even a hardy zebra plant will wither and die if
not cared for properly.
Unless you have unlimited resources and time, one solution—done properly—
is to use high-quality artificial plants made of silk and other material. (Strike from
your mind’s eye any thought of cheap plastic carnations; a well-made artificial
plant sometimes requires lengthy, closeup examination to confirm it is not the real
thing.)
Another answer is the use of well-prepared and properly arranged dried flowers.
Faux foliage can generally be placed in any light and temperature variation,
and can be created or ordered in almost any hue. A client may want a centerpiece
to match the color scheme in the dining room; a bride may want a bouquet that
will last longer than the ceremony.
A wreath of dried sunflowers offers a welcome addition to the front door all
summer and fall, and an attractive artificial or dried flower wreath brightens any
indoor holiday setting.

Challenges
Even artificial plants need a bit of care; they’ll need to be dusted and occasionally wiped with a damp rag. Dried plants may fade over time and become more
brittle, but if not abused will probably last longer than other decorations.
You’ll need an artistic eye, good judgment of quality, and a sense of style. It’s
important to understand how to harmonize and avoid clashes and to have an
appreciation of size and proportions.
Make sure you fully understand your client’s hopes and wishes before you
commission any custom pieces or place orders.
Know the Territory
Become familiar with suppliers of artificial and dried flowers. Area decorating
companies may sell silk and other artificial flowers at wholesale prices to professionals; you’ll also find many sources on the Internet.
Dried flowers can also be ordered online or from catalogs and are generally
available from local sources, including hobbyists and professional flower
growers.
Many large cities have a wholesale flower district where you can find both
artificial and dried arrangements.
You’ll also need to suggest appropriate containers for the arrangements;
among popular materials are wood, ceramic, brass, and silver. Some designs benefit from accent pieces such as ferns, feathers, ribbon, and other types of fabric.
How to Get Started
Advertise your availability through flyers and ads at community centers, schools,
home supply stores, and other retail outlets. Take out ads in newspapers, shopping guides, and local decorating and women’s magazines.
Teach a class at a community school or college. You will get some publicity
and maybe a few clients.
Consider renting a table at local craft or holiday shows.
This type of business also works well as a virtual company, taking orders
through a web site and through catalogs.
Up-front Expenses
Principal expenses include advertising and promotion. You should also prepare a
portfolio with photos of actual and suggested arrangements.

You’ll need some basic hobbyist tools, including shears and blades, and a
supply of floral foam to serve as the base for the display.
How Much to Charge
Price your work at a flat rate per piece, taking into consideration the cost of materials, shipping, and the amount of time required to complete it.

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