Flower Play is coming up again—Saturday 7th April—and I'm really excited! I can't believe how fast the year has gone. It feels like my first Flower Play class was only yesterday! If you're interested in how it went, you can read that here. And if you want to come play, you can book your spot here.
I thought that I'd go through and explain a little bit about what you're paying for when it comes to classes or workshops you attend. I know I have a greater appreciation for artists, artisans, creatives—you name them—since actually becoming a Florist myself. Before then, I just didn't understand. I'm definitely one of those people who like to keep things real. It's what I expect as a consumer myself and how can I not live up to that in my own business :). I could definitely be charging a bit more but for now I'm keeping it as it is while I'm still at the beginning stages of A Pocketful of Roses.
As I'm sure you know, there's quite a bit that goes on behind the scenes with any sort of event or function. But you may not know just how much work that actually is. So I wanted to give you a bit of insight into what you're paying for with classes and workshops... or at least, Flower Play—you can actually see a break down for me with Flower play here. This list isn't exhaustive but it's definitely a good start. So here we go!
This is a big factor for sure! There's so much to consider here such as travel time to and from the Sydney Flower Market (oh and petrol!). It's a very early start too as they are open for trade at 5am. It can be quite difficult to get up so early especially if you're like me and live so far away! Then once you're there, there's the parking situation. It's a little better from after 6-6:30am and with the extended rooftop parking ... but it can be nightmarish if you want to get there for 5am. Your frustration is chased away by the smell of fresh flowers and foliage as you enter the markets.
Another time factor is the sourcing, selecting and paying for the flowers. It can be quite overwhelming as there are SO many people... not just Florists, but also lay people as well. I do believe that this makes a difference to the efficiency of your flower market experience. I'll talk more about the sourcing and selecting in the next section but the market itself is so big and crowded it can take you over an hour just to find what you're looking for.
And then there's the actual workshop time, which includes setting up and packing down and paying helpers to ... well, help! You get an explanation of the workshop/class and are given instructions, then there's catering to the very individualised participant's needs and answering questions. Some people get things naturally and it can take others a while to get the hang of something. So it can be quite exhausting... but this is definitely my favourite part! Seeing people get the hang of something and just having a chat whilst creating. It's so great!
This is the no-brainer part but yes, you need to pay for the flowers used in classes and workshops. I've mentioned a little bit above but I will continue it here because there's still quite a lot more. I didn't mention this earlier but there's a $10 cash entry fee to the flower markets—free on Saturdays if you feel inclined to go one day! It can take from an hour + to select and source flowers at the flower markets. The market is quite big and you want to pick the BEST products and this can take over an hour depending on the amount you need to buy. Being prepared with a list definitely helps but don't be fooled that because you saw a particular flower in a particular colour the week before that it will be there the next week... or at the same price for that matter. Like anything, prices fluctuate for various reasons like seasons and imports. Once you've selected your beauties, they're paid for and that's the not-so-fun part... They're then carried to the vehicle, ready for travel home.
Once the flowers have been brought back home/studio/shop the flowers need to be prepped and maintained. After flowers are sourced and selected, they're stripped of leaves and packaging, the stems are trimmed and they're put into pre-cleaned vases. They are monitored from thereon in to make sure they are consumer ready. It's a long and important process and working with nature can throw some curve balls.
The best part for all you flower lovers is that the flowers you use to make an arrangement are all yours! So you're paying for the flowers you take home. I LOVE seeing the flowers in situ in their homes. I think I'll write up another post explaining flowers... but essentially each stem has a price. That's right! So the amount you pay for a class/workshop can determine how many flowers and foliage you have to use.
We need these babies. They include vases, cutters, wire, twine, parafilm, aprons and so on. There may be less or more depending on the kind of workshop or class you're attending. Some are resuable and others aren't but regardless your payment also covers the cost of any tools or other equipment used... and even covers potential damages/breakages such as vases or cutters. It happens! and it's good to be prepared.
If you're like me and haven't yet got a space to call your own it means that you have to pay for space hire. Some spaces charge by the hour and they can be as little as $30p/h to $200 for 4 hours in a non-negotiable package. Even if you have your own space there's rent and electricity to pay for too and so that gets worked into the
So there you go. I've been as detailed as I can... I'm sure there's plenty I'm forgetting. Did you think about this before? Is there anything that I'm missing? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :)