Updated: Sep 4, 2020
A question I always heard throughout my life and work is: where did it all start; how did I become a florist, and what drove me to this career?
My answer is always the same and is something I have become quite proud of as I've gotten older and experienced life... & here goes the scenic route of the story of how I became a florist.
My Dad has played a huge part of my florist life - he has always worked hard but fate stepped in and got him a job on a lorry. Not just any lorry... A magical lorry! It seemed to be at the age of 8 it was filled to the brim with the most amazing array of flowers. I wasn't the only one happy about this as Dad started bringing flowers home "Ma" as you could imagine was over the moon about it and it was from that moment when dad walked in with a bunch of peonies with all their leaves on wrapped in brown craft paper, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. Helping my mum fill beautiful vases of stunning fresh flowers I knew I was destined to have flowers in my life.
Once I was old enough Dad finally started bringing me to the lorry on a Sunday morning to give him a hand which gave me a bit of pocket money too. I'd work early hours in and out of flower shops. I couldn't stop looking at these beautiful shops, I'd think to myself "what a lovely job!" or how much I loved each shop for their uniqueness. In high school I wasn't, let's say "paper smart" & I came from a small street, in a small estate, in Ballymena. Mum & Dad always worked hard to give us every opportunity in life but flowers gave me a little independence; it gave me pocket money to buy whatever I could with £20; and a passion I never thought would take me this far. When I sat in a class room I couldn't focus, even with the help of my amazing teachers I couldn't learn like everyone else, which led me to being the class clown sometimes and when questioned, "Well Shannon, what are you going to do with your life?" I'd answer as quickly back - "Open a flower shop!"
Next stop CAFRE!
Leaving school I applied straight away to study my Level 2 Floristry at Greenmount campus I got to live on the amazing grounds and walk to class every morning, the craic at night in the cybercafe, formals and jive can only be described by someone who went to Greenmount! I studied all things floral for the next three years graduating with my level two and three. My teachers were amazing Annemarie and Sherry will always be a huge part of my story as they drove me to be the florist I am today. I went on to compete in competitions that I will go through in detail in future blogs, I've worked on and off in flower shops before becoming a Wedding Florist for a year, then I finally took the huge jump and opened my own flower shop in Ballymoney, Blossom & Birch making my life long dream come true!!
That's how I became a florist!! I'll be filling this blog with real life events, real life problems and how flowers can help with every aspect of this