A Day in the Life

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said: “The Earth laughs in flowers.” With a bit more normalcy returning to life, people are searching for ways to beautify their personal spaces. Whether you’re interested in brightening up a room with a splash of color or you’re planning a major event, flowers are always a smart choice. But the life of a florist takes hard work – just ask Toni Garner, owner of Toni’s Flowers and Gifts
in Tulsa.

Flowers are ordered from all over the U.S. and from as far as South America and Europe, she says. When they arrive (usually every Monday), arrangements are designed and produced. Many shops like Toni’s have an idea of what each arrangement will look like, and Toni says her shop has its own personal style of design. 

Her staff, she says, are all truly passionate about floristry and have decades experience between them. They do like to keep their designs fresh, so a lot of time is spent perfecting ideas seen on social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest, as well as ideas from specialty magazines. Another large aspect of the job involves marketing and keeping up with their own social media presence. 

“Every day is different, but we stay busy,” says Garner. “There is an art to floristry.”

Their busiest times are the big holidays: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, followed by Easter and Thanksgiving. Wedding seasons have spread out some, so while June remains a popular time to tie the knot, the fall has sprung up as another in-demand season for nuptials – meaning consistent business for florists. But you don’t need a specific holiday to enjoy fresh flowers; Toni’s has arrangements for all occasions and budgets.

Learning the Ropes

Jaykob Janes, manager of New Leaf Florist in OKC’s Casady Square, says that floristry is a passion, and it’s best to learn in a more hands-on environment rather than a classroom. 

“There are avenues to take, like floral design at OSU, but if floristry is something you’re passionate about, come spend a busy holiday week in a shop,” he says. “If you love it, that’s half the battle.” 

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Marketing classes would also be helpful to a budding florist, says Janes.

Recently, New Leaf partnered with Infant Crisis Services for Mother’s Day and donated a portion of proceeds to the cause. To Janes, giving back is a definite bonus, especially after the last year full of turmoil. 

“It’s so fulfilling to have the ability to use flowers as my art, and giving back to the community is equally as important,” he says.

Whatever the case – be it a wedding, birthday or holiday, it’s safe to say there is a flower or an arrangement for every occasion. Florists like Toni Garner and Jaykob Janes are more than willing to dream up and create the perfect piece for you.