What started out as a thirst to just learn more about flowers, grew to become a passion for the creative scene. Things have certainly changed through this 1-year journey with Poppy Flora Studio and honestly, it has been a bittersweet experience. Things weren't all that I expected: People come & go, Business was not all that smooth, Bosses have several bad days, Duties were unpleasant... But then again, what is Life without the unexpectancy & the lessons? If it had all been easy and seamless, I wouldn't have been able to say that this Gap Year was worth it. As the saying goes, there are no regrets in life, just lessons. You can also read about why I decided to take a Gap Year over here. I'm going to summarise my experience as a florist in 6 different aspects:

  1. Housekeeping is a big part of a being a florist. Behind the curtains of beautiful fresh blooms and artistic displays, there are lots of flowers that needs to be refreshed every alternate day, pots that need to be cleaned, floors to be swept, sink to be cleared, and so much more. I've witnessed several interviewees who backed out of the job after hearing what's in store for them, simply because they're not ready. You just have to know and be ready for several cleaning duties if you wish to be a florist.
  2. Retail - It was my first time working in a retail store during my time in Poppy. Being in retail definitely requires good technical skills (for stock taking), customer service skills, and initiative (to read and learn the most you can about your products). Although it is a less popular option to open up a retail business these days due to high rent, there are some interesting takeaways from working in retail such as the variety of people you get to meet with and even design strategies to discover and experiment with.
  3. Business - As Poppy Flora is unlike most florists in Singapore, the tasks that we employees undertake have a wide spectrum which ranges from Floral Styling, Events Conceptualising, Marketing, Workshop Curating, Human Resource, Corporate Alliancing, Social Media, and the list goes on and on! To sum it up, a real eye opening experience.
  4. Stereotypes - A lot of people, even my parents, have said that I'm not working in 'a real job'. Although flowers in Singapore are not appreciated as much as it is in countries like Korea, Australia, Holland, etc, that does not mean that it is not a 'proper job'. Even suppliers and working partners may tend to treat you indifferently; we are never a priority in their arrangements or we get treated with a different level of respect. Stereotypes are stupid. Do not let these shallow minded soulless people drown you out. Instead, show them what confidence, passion, and creativity entails.
  5. Competition - Floristry is becoming a trend in this age of entrepreneurship. Just in the past year, I've already known 3 friends who started their own flower business. It is definitely a good sign for the country because it means flowers are becoming more popular and demand is increasing. However, for the businesses, I would say it's important to stay together instead of competing with one another. Think about it, to build a community of floral enthusiasts instead of fostering a group of highly competitive and hostile individuals would be much more rewarding.
  6. Job - As fun as it gets, a downside to being a florist would be the pay. At most, it is estimated to be about 2k. Different jobs have different trade-offs and this is just the trade off for the flower business, so list down your priorities and review if you're able to afford this trade-off.

 

 I've definitely not regretted taking the chance during my gap year. Apart from gaining a new skill, I've also discovered many things about the creative scene which has always been a part of my interest. I've made new friends and most importantly, I've discovered myself. My mind is clearer, I know my weak points, my strengths, and what I should look out for in the future when I'm working. It is important (and much more assuring) to feel that you have a direction in Life. One of the many valuable lessons that I've also taken out from my time in Poppy is to really keep an opened mind. Remember, everybody has their own story.

Published by Cassandra Chong