How to become a florist: Emily's story

Meet Emily, 23, from Wiltshire, and find out more about life as the owner of a flower shop called Persephone Violet. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

I really love my little shop.

  • Emily learnt the skills of flower arranging and how to run a business as an employee in the shop - which she now owns. Latin helps her every day because this is the language used to name the different types of flowers
  • Emily studied a Diploma in Floristry and has recently won awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – one of the world's biggest and most competitive flower shows.

What to expect if you want to be self-employed

Emily gained experience as a florist, before becoming a business owner and running her own flower shop.

You can get into floristry through a college course, an apprenticeship, or working towards the role by building up experience. For example, at college, you could take a Level 1 Certificate in Floral Design, Level 2 Certificate in Floristry or Level 3 Extended Diploma in Floristry. Find out more about floristry on the National Careers Service website.

Working for yourself, like Emily does, looks different for each person and each business, but in general it means you:

  • run your own business and are responsible for its success
  • can decide how, when and where you do your work
  • charge an agreed, fixed price for your work
  • sell goods or services to make a profit
  • can hire people at your own expense to help you or to do the work for you.

The salary and working hours when you own a business can vary enormously but what's most important is you work hard and love what you do.

You can be both employed and self-employed at the same time. You can work for your employer during the day, for example, and run your own business in the evenings and at weekends. It’s important to contact HMRC for advice if you’re not sure if you’re self-employed.

You can get help with setting up or developing your business, through the government’s business support services, for example, for advice about tax or how to find funding to start your business.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service, GOV.UK)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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