Come and learn with me

I’ve always loved teaching and in a former life spent years teaching English as a foreign language to adults, so it feels only natural to use my skills for sharing knowledge and insights by offering floristry workshops.

I love welcoming people like Clare of Wall Flowers Seasonal Blooms, pictured here, into the dramatic light of my home studio and handing over my flowers and brains to be thoroughly picked!

One to one sessions are particularly fun for honing in on really specific areas and arrangements and it’s great to feel that I’m answering the questions, and providing the guided floristry experience that students have come looking for.

Group sessions are a joy too – I love the dynamics of a session filled with enthusiastic learners and the laughter, support and swapping of tales and techniques which fill the day – as a one woman band, it’s a treat to spend a day talking about flowers with people who love them as much as I do!

Claire makes a wedding milk churn with flowers in the workshop at Tuckshop Flowers, Birmingham, with the best of seasonal may flowers.

Making learning fun

You’ll always learn best when you’re enjoying yourself and my sessions are designed to help you get the best out of the day. They’re led by what we’ve decided on as an arrangement type or business focus, and by the questions and issues which naturally arise in conversations as the day progresses. In group sessions, I know that other students can be a great source of experience and information too, so I build in plenty of opportunities for people to work together and to compare notes whilst thinking out loud, rather than having everyone work individually in relatively silent concentration. My other half often comments, if he’s working from home with the window open;

“Sounds like you were all having a good time in there!”

as he hears the amount of chatter and laughter coming out of my garden workshop when I’m running a session. Well that’s because we are! Photos below: Flowers by Liz and Pip showcase seasonal spring flowers and their new brand aprons; getting stuck in to wedding flowers for British Flowers Week; Jade of Hookheath Flower farm captures a photo of her funeral floristry in the Tuckshop garden.

Why do a floristry workshop?

Spending a day immersed in flowers is like a floral spa: it’s an opportunity to enjoy the most gorgeous aspects of floristry, without the bucket washing mountain, flower sourcing logistics, stem count calculations and endless workshop sweeping which the realities of the job entail! Make the most of having a curated selection of beautiful blooms at your disposal and dive straight in, chatting as you go, to create stunning florals of which you can be proud. And it’s not just the array of flowers and foliage which make a workshop such a treat: workshops also provide the luxury of giving yourself dedicated time to focus on ‘that thing’ that you want to do, rather than it only receiving the crumbs of your attention which are left over after everything else is dealt with.

Workshops provide a ‘safe’ environment in which to experiment and learn – there’s no commercial pressure to meet a client’s expectation with the flowers you’re creating and instead there is the support and camaraderie of others to talk to about ideas and issues as you get to grips with the practicalities. Access to other people’s experience and learning about the considerations for particular types of arrangements means you don’t have to learn about their pitfalls the hard way – ouch.

Sustainability

With me as a floristry teacher, there’s no right or wrong way to tackle things – my main goal is to help to give you the confidence to trust your own instincts and abilities so that you can build on techniques and theories to develop your own style and a business that will be able to stand on its own two feet and support you going forwards. My only line in the sand is that I won’t use plastic floral foam to support flowers in arrangements as I want to be part of the movement that shifts the floral world towards more sustainable floristry practices.

If you want to learn how to arrange flowers using non-foam based mechanics, there’s a whole world of invention out there awaiting you! There are so many simple ways to support flowers without using this petro-chemical source of micro-plastics which are going to hang around on the planet for longer than we will. I hope you’ll also develop the confidence to come up with new ways of your own (then you can teach them to me too!).

Photography – build your portfolio through floristry workshops

Carole of Tuckshop Flowers loves photography almost as much as floristry and loves to capture images of floristry workshop students which they can then use for their floristry portfolio.

If like me you are a single person business, even if you’re a handy photographer, it can be really hard to capture good images of yourself at work. If you’re wondering why this matters or are thinking that you don’t want to show your face, just remember that your business IS essentially you, so you need to tell the story of who you are and what you do. Small businesses can provide that special, personal level of service that larger corporations can’t easily emulate, so capitalise on this USP and show the world that there’s a person behind the business. People buy from people.

Photography is another reason why workshops can be great: they provide the time, opportunity and lovely flowers to capture great images of both you and your work. I’ve always done workshops as much to get these types of images, as I have to learn about particular types of arrangements! If you weigh up the cost of a workshop versus the cost of hiring a professional photographer to work with you one-to-one, a workshop with a photo bonus suddenly seems to look like a bargain! I wouldn’t for a moment put myself on the same level as the fantastic photographers that I’ve worked with on floral or wedding shoots, but I’m still probably handier than many with a camera šŸ˜.

When running workshops, I’ll factor in time to take candid photos and shots of finished arrangements which I’ll share with you after the event to use as you please. It’s so important to have good images if you don’t have a bricks and mortar shop and rely instead on a website as your shop window.

Having images of the kinds of flowers you’d love to create in your business is invaluable – people tend to want to order things that they have seen – so if you haven’t yet made something for an order, a workshop can be the perfect opportunity to get images to showcase the work you’d love to be doing more of!

Floristry workshops and value for money

When considering what floristry workshops you’d like to do, and with whom, it’s worth thinking hard about what return you hope to get on your investment before splashing the cash.

The cost of floristry workshops cost can depend on a wide range of factors which go far beyond just the length of the day and the volume of flowers available. Some are held in beautiful venues which are perfect for evoking brand values and setting a high bar for aesthetics on the day. Some offer a wide range of styling opportunities, models and professional photographers. Some have multiple teachers and assistants. Others may include catering and accommodation like a mini break with full floral immersion.

Think carefully about what you want to get out of your workshop experience and whether the investment you’re making is right for the stage of your business and your commitment to it. Will the value of the work that this learning will help you to produce cover the cost of your investment in the day? Or are you investing in an experience to remember which is more about feeding your soul than your business bank balance?

What kind of floristry workshops do I offer?

I offer mainly small group and 1:1 workshops here at Tuckshop Flowers in Birmingham. These take place in my home studio which can accomodate up to 6 people depending on the scale of the work we’re producing. I also offer business mentoring and advice.

Topics for workshops can be tailored for bespoke groups and 1:1s but to give you a flavour of recent sessions, these include sustainable funeral floristry, hand-tied bouquet workshops and I’m really excited about my upcoming wedding floristry collaboration with Flowers by Meg next month. This one, ‘Weddings with a WOW!’ will take place in the beautiful Worcestershire countryside in a white marquee and covers all aspects of wedding florals from personal flowers for the bride and groom, to larger arrangements for venue decoration.

Join me for a floristry workshop

If all this talk of flowery workshops has whetted your appetite to devote a day to learning new skills, to improving existing ones or to expanding your floral repertoire, you can find details of all my upcoming sustainable floristry workshops for groups and individuals here.

Prefer to learn floristry online at your own speed and convenience? See online courses

See what people say about workshops with Tuckshop Flowers.

See wedding flowers gallery

Floristry workshops with Tuckshop Flowers