The last few weeks have been incredibly busy organising and running workshops as well as the behind the scenes work on ensuring that I am continuing to push myself to develop as a florist, Each week I spend 1 day in York studying for my Level 4 Higher Diploma -its time consuming, tiring, expensive and hard work ……. especially when there’s wreaths to be made too ……. so why bother??
To be honest I have never asked myself ‘Why?’ or just thought ‘Why on earth am I doing this?’ For me its simple – I have a goal……. to be the best I can.
As a tutor I feel its important to deliver high quality training. Not only do I have my Floristry qualifications but I also hold a BA (Hons) in Education which, of course, helps me to break down and separate skills into different layers and building blocks for teaching. I feel I owe it to anyone attending a workshop to continually extend and deepen my own subject knowledge. Personally When I sign up to supplementary courses I look for recommendations / qualifications / look at the trainers range of styles / How long they have been in the industry. (There are some most amazing bench trained florists out there too). I research other florists and have a list of people I’d love to see or train with (call it a florist hit list!!) and seek out training providers that are reputable.
Through studying my Level 4 I’m loving the opportunity to develop and refine new designs, explore different methods of construction, allowing me a greater insight to creating either with minimal or no floral foam. Getting feedback on how to extend to the next level is amazing. A sense of achievement came about this week with the arrival of my Certificate of membership to the Institute of Professional Florists as an Academic Member. Things have certainly moved a long way from initially setting up as Ivy House Florals many years ago to becoming Flowers by Valerie Jayne .
The workshops over the last few months have been fabulous from beginners to professional level. It’s been amazing to see the design work that has gone out of the doors of each class. Not only have people left with wonderful pieces they also have a knowledge of techniques and how the design works from rhythm, movement, proportions, and creating areas of dominance where the eye will rest a while before continuing its journey around the design.
Training at a deeper level does not happen overnight. Of course qualifications are not the be all and end all, just know what you will get from a course. I have taught both accredited and non- accredited courses and love both -each for different reasons. Standards are not only measured in qualifications, but your interactions, your reputation, your actual working skills, professionalism and your portfolio. Choose wisely and build on all aspects.
So why have standards, why seek more training? To be the best you can!!