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Exotic Flowers in Boston

10 Signs You Are Born to Be A Florist

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 07, 2018

I was a wholesale florist for twenty + years and even though I’ve moved on to other career choices, the industry will always be a part of me.  It is a business like no other I’ve ever found that sinks below your skin and maybe even into your heart long after you say goodbye.  Many people wonder why this is and ask, “What makes being a florist so special in the first place?”  If you’ve worked in this field, you know it’s not because it’s easy.  In fact, that is one of the greatest misconceptions of the floral industry and no- not everyone can do it.  For whatever reason, the flower biz is often thought of as a “creatively whimsy” existence demanding very little education or know-how to get started.  A general opinion that “working with flowers must be such a joy!” or “being a florist must be like an eternal vacation!” is often a preconceived view.  Is there any truth to these statements?  Well… Not really….  


Becoming a florist is honestly one of the hardest professions to stick with for a prolonged period of time do to the mental and physical stresses put upon employees.  Realizing the image of designers and managers stopping to smell each and every blossom throughout their work day is a common misunderstanding, shedding light on the real conditions about what it’s like to work in the industry might prove interesting!  Here is a list of the top ten signs you’re meant to be a florist and I’ll bet you’ll be surprised by the reality of the business.  If you find yourself matching at least half of the qualifications, contact your local Boston florist immediately.  They will be lucky to have you!

10 Signs You’re Born to Be a Florist

  1. You don’t mind waking up early-like REALLY early. (Retail 7am; wholesale as early as 2am).
  2. You’re okay looking messy most of the time.  (Jeans, T’s and sweats are your go-to wardrobe.  New clothes just get ruined.)
  3. Kissing most holidays and weekends goodbye is no big thing.  (Yes-you’ll work through most of them).
  4. You can’t sit still.  (Most florists rarely sit down for more than 1 hour during a 12-14-work shift.  Nine-hour work days during busy seasons usually don’t exist.)
  5. Lifting twenty to thirty pounds is what you consider a healthy workout. (Florists unload dozens of pounds of product within a week. Weaklings need not apply.)
  6. Speed is your middle name. (You have to move and MOVE FAST in the flower business for unloading, setting up and design tasks).
  7. You have a strong memory.  (You’re going to need to know hundreds of varieties of flora and fauna.  Triple that if you work in a garden center.)
  8. You can multitask like nobody’s business.  (Doing five things at once is your expertise.  Small businesses rely heavily on their employee’s ability to work in several other positions than merely under their title in the shop.)
  9. You can be nice when you don’t feel like being nice. (Florists have to be upbeat for customers.  No grumpy-gusses.)
  10. You’re satisfied with an honest day’s pay instead of an exec’s salary. (You may not make a ton of $$ but you’ll feel good at what you’ve accomplished.)

Tags: Boston Florist Staff, Working in a Florist, Florist

Thirteen Sign That Might Mean You’re Destined to Become A Florist

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Sep 08, 2017

It’s true… I was a florist for over twenty years in the Boston Wholesale Floral Industry- a job the where the word “difficult” might be an understatement for adequately describing the profession.  Rain or shine, sleet or snow, the crew gathered together in the middle of the night to unload tractor trailer trucks packed with thirty to forty pound boxes which we would have to haul off, open and distribute before the sun actually had risen.  It was grueling exercise, the kind of workout that would leave you aching for days in your back, legs and arms with little to no rest that would allow healing.  Nevertheless, there was something inside of me driving the covers off when the 3:30 am alarm clock rang, the sound of a relentless drill sergeant commanding the start of a new day in the Boston Flower Exchange.  Looking back, I could have left and got a job in an office like most twenty something’s do but instead I made the choice to stay.  Regardless of the empty threats to leave the business in search of “easier” means of work, I continued to show up exactly on the hour required by employees (well, most of the time anyways…) and do my share of lugging, carrying and schlepping while being left with a strange sense of fulfillment at the end of the day.  There could only be one explanation for this feeling that also came along with pain, exhaustion and bruises… I really loved being a florist.


Unbeknown too many people out there, being a floristis actually one of the hardest professions to survive within, and that includes both in terms of physical and financial wellness.  There are long, grueling hours, limited opportunities for pay increases and the toll of heavy weight lifting on the body after years and years of exposure.  Truly, you have to be one tough cookie to make it in the flower biz and as you can imagine- it’s not for everyone.  

You might be wondering, “If it’s so bad, why do it then?”  It’s an honest question with an honest answer-you’re a florist because you were born to become one.  Seriously, it’s the truth.  There are several personality traits that can lead a person into this profession which will determine if it’s the right fit for you.  If you’ve always had an interest in this field, you might want to go over the top 13 traits of a true florist.  Your destiny may be calling you…

The Top 13 Traits of a True Florist

  1. You’re Hardworking No Matter What
  2. You LOVE Anything That Grows
  3. Not Having A Garden Is Sacrilegious
  4. Working Saturdays Is No Big Deal
  5. You’re Inherently Creative
  6. You Like To Gamble
  7. Weather Conditions Don’t Affect You
  8. You See Yourself As An Artist
  9. Your Work Means More To You Than A Paycheck
  10. You Continue to Enjoy Learning Long After You’ve Finished School
  11. You Like People But You Like Time Alone, Too
  12. You Prefer To Move Than To Be Sitting Down All Day
  13. You Use Your Hands More Than Any Other Part Of Your Body

Tags: Wholesale Flowers, Boston Florist, Working in a Florist, Florist Blogger, Florist

Famous Florists Who Have Made Their Mark

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jul 14, 2017

When you think of famous people, actors, doctors, astronauts and inventors may be the first professions that come to mind.  These are the careers chosen to influence the world by making it better place through ingenuity, brilliance, healing, entertainment and discovery.  While these are obviously some of the most sought after positions, it’s imperative we take a look at those who have gifted society with beauty-perhaps a florist could fit well in this category?  Over the years, there are certain florists who have pushed their way up to the top due to their impressive visions of creative floral design.  Gifted with imagination, talent and the ability to implement inventive presentation by the use of blossoms, these famous designers have truly put their mark on the industry, revolutionizing our appreciation and pride within the floral industry.  Read their stories and learn how they rose to become the highest celebrated professionals in their realm.  


Simone Gooch - photo credit via


Simone Gooch has been said to be the top floral designer of London whose clients include Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton.  Her style is categorized by a “minimalistic” approach and sways towards “less is more” attitude when designing pieces.  Gooch is often inspired by visiting wholesalers to see what catches her eye instead of always relying on ordering a particular type of flower.  Although London is known to encourage an “English feel” to their floral arranging, she prefers to be more architecturally animated instead of compact as the traditional style demands.

Klaus Wagner


Klaus Wagner is an important industry leader for his native country of Germany where he is the first German designer to be awarded the honor of “World Champion”.  He depends solely on inventing new materials to use in his arrangements, creating optimally extensive “works of art” instead of mere bouquets in vases.  Kraus is the owner of the flower shop, “Blooms” as well as a floral publishing house and agency.

Menno Kroon  


Menno Kroon comes from a country where floral designing is one of the most competitive professions you can be in, yet he still manages to rise to the top as one of the best.  Starting at a young age, Kroon was mesmerized by anything that grew, particularly seeds and their process to grow into something beautiful.  He nurtured his passion by studying under some of the most renowned florists in the Netherlands until he, too became a Dutch Master himself.  He is not only recognized for his beautiful talent with flowers but also for his interior and exterior designing skills.  


Tags: Flowers Worldwide, London, Working in a Florist, Florist

How to get a Job as a Florist or in a Flower Shop

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Apr 28, 2014

Flower Shop Employee

Having worked in a Boston flower shop for more than thirty years, I am proud to share my experience in how to go about being a florist. I always joke that my first job was cleaning geraniums in the Lombardi Florist greenhouses in Roslindale when I was six years old. But you'd be amazed that creating amazing weddings and stunning florals starts at the bottom. My father has been an established florist in Boston for more than sixty years. His best advice has always been, 'never hire anyone who cannot sweep the floor,'.

floral design I strongly suggest starting at the bottom, sweeping floors, cleaning roses, assisting flower delivery drivers. Start as an intern or apprentice in any flower shop. Whether you are in a Boston florist or New York city flower shop, never lose sight that the basics are so important to provide with you a solid foundation for your career choice as a florist. I also believe that your career path as a florist should begin in a flower shop and not in someone's garage or design studio.

I am not knocking the design studio florist. As a matter of fact, some of the most elaborate floral displays and wedding flowers are created in these flower design warehouses. I suggest working in a flower shop because you will be a witness to all types of clients and their unique requests. 

In a flower shop, you will learn how to wrap flowers, make corsages, design funeral tributes like rosaries, crosses and heart shapes of flowers. The more every day requests you fill for a client, the greater your skill set will be. You will also be forced to think on your feet when dealing with rushed and demanding clients on the retail sales floor of the flower shop.

floral design as a career

Turnover in a flower shop is generally pretty high. New associates often have no idea that the job is so physically and mentally demanding. What the floral apprentice must learn is that paying your dues, working for little starting pay and working holidays can lead to a great career. As florists, we make a difference in people's lives. Florists share emotions. When someone dies, when someone is born, married, sad, celebrating a birthday, falling in love; your local florist becomes a part of your life.

If you cannot wait any longer and your visits to Craig's List are just let down for job openings then get on Twitter and follow @GetFloralJobs. Recently, they posted a job link for a florist in Boston. Check out these requirements, do you have what it takes ?

Ability to work well in fast-paced environment
Completing tasks in an efficient manner
Pleasant manner and outstanding customer service skills
Ability to work well with others as well as independently.
High level of enthusiasm and self-motivation

Team members manage the following responsibilities on a daily basis:
Provide excellent service to customers
Assist clients with product selection
Flower Preparation and Processing
Floral Design
Ability to take phone orders.
Making impressive outdoor displays daily

Please send your availability include hours, from Monday-Sunday. Candidate must be able to work 30-40 hours/wk including at least 1 weekend day.

Tags: Floral Design, Boston Florist, Boston Florist Staff, Working in a Florist

Exotic Flowers in Boston Reviews The Language of Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Sep 28, 2012

   Flowers meanings BostonThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was released in August, 2011. Since then, this novel has touched the hearts of florists, flower lovers, romantics and fiction fans. As a florist in Boston, many of my clients, colleagues and vendors have been asking me for months if I have read the novel. I am an avid reader and what better target market for the author than a florist in Boston who enjoys reading.

Upon the book's release, Diffenbaugh was living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She even credits Cambridge florist, Brattle Square Florist in Harvard Square as being a valuable resource for the creation of the novel. Although the author is not a florist, she creates real life floral characters in Renata and Victoria as florists and Grant as a wholesale florist.

the meaning of flowers in bostonThe book which is now in papeback was a New York Times and Boston Globe best seller. The accolades and reviews continue to pour in for the first time author and this novel. What really grabbed me as a reader was the insight into the meanings of flowers. Often times as a florist, we get the question "what does that rose mean,"? The author gives the reader so many floral meanings that your head will spin. 

Victoria Jones, the protagonist, realizes what many other florists come to realize as well. Depending on which book you read, there are many flowers that have multiple meanings. This revelation forces Victoria to create her own floral dictionary. Florists throughout the world will realize that working with their own interpretations of the language of flowers will work best for their clients too. 

Here is a video of Vanessa Diffenbaugh sharing her personal commentary on her debut novel.

"The Language of Flowers" cane be purchases in local bookstores, like The Andover Bookstore.  

- Rick Canale







Tags: Author, Working in a Florist, Rose Symbolism, Books, Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Why Boston Florists Should Visit Their Vendors

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Mar 27, 2012

floral supplies in boston resized 600
I know the first reaction from my colleagues is 'why don't my vendors visit me,?' And of course you are right. Your vendors should be visiting your flower shop often. As florists in Boston and throughout the world know, we work our asses off. Time in our shop is often way too long and when we get out, we look to spread our wings socially and with our families.
As the old saying goes, in order to grow your business - you need to work on it as well as in it. As a Boston florist, we are blessed to have access to the Boston Flower Exchange on Albany Street in Boston. Only five miles away, we often take the Flower Exchange for granted because of its proximity. Florists from all over New England flock to the exchange every day to procure orchids, herbs, roses, tulips and thousands of other magical flora and fauna.
At Exotic Flowers, we have drivers in the Boston Flower Exchange every day picking up product. Often times, we are so busy in our flower shop that our buyers, designers and management rarely get to visit the Exchange. We have been dealing with many of our vendors for decades and they have become personal shoppers for us. 
floral supply boston resized 600 
Recently I was invited to stop by Jacobson Floral Supply and visit with COO Nick Fronduto. Nick and I not only have a common interest in business, but getting to meet face to face has showed us how similar we are as baseball fans, history buffs, Italians and fathers. My visit to Jacobson's left me inspired and refreshed. I was able to meet many of the phone faces as well as touch base with the reps I do know. I came away with new product ideas, met a legend in Buddy Jacobson and got a behind the scenes tour.
As a florist, we are in the business of relationships. Exotic Flowers has a responsibility to our vendors to show an interest in their products. Vendors are our business partners. A strong vendor merchant relationship will benefit both parties.
Next time you visit the Boston Flower Exchange, stop into Jacobson's and tell them Rick Canale at Exotic Flowers in Boston told you to get a tour.

Tags: Wholesale Flowers, Boston Flower Exchange, Boston Florist, Working in a Florist

Could Paris Hilton Work at Exotic Flowers in Boston ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jul 29, 2011

Of course.

Paris Hilton

Paris would be an asset to any company whose vision statement is' Reaction Guaranteed.' Paris is a marketing genius who reinforces her personal brand daily. Born with no marketable talents like singing, acting or nuclear science - Paris Hilton has turned her charm, looks and enthusiasm into a multi-million dollar empire.

Paris Hilton lives out loud. She engages with her fan base through social media outlets like Twitter. She grows her brand through shock and awe. Arrested, vilified, and x-rated; Paris' star only shines brighter. She is a fighter. Exotic Flowers in Boston believes in this energy. She turns lemons into lemonade and rarely hurts anyone in the process.

paris hilton02 resized 600

Although Paris has never exhibited the work ethic we look for in employees, she has proved her mettle by doing all types of labor intensive jobs to succeed. And at Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are looking for go-getters like Paris. Paris lives out loud. She is a trail blazer who generates revenue. What business would not want an employee who is rings the cash register? Paris Hilton is a rain maker and every small business especially florists could use a rain maker.

Paris also recognizes her fan base, also known as her customers. Paris realizes every fan matters. Just like Exotic Flowers realizes every customer matters. When a fan asks for an autograph request, her response. "Of course.'  Paris Hilton gets it. She is in the marketing customer service business. Paris knows every customer helps build her brand/business.

And of course, by evidence of the photo below: Paris Hilton loves flowers too. So Paris, if you're interested; you have a job at Exotic Flowers in Boston.

Paris Hilton and Roses

Tags: Paris Hilton, Celebrity Florist, Working in a Florist

Bed of Roses (1996) - Movie Trailer - Working in a Flower Shop

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Aug 20, 2010

Some say working in a flower shop is a dream job. Others might say being a florist is physically exhausting and financially challenging. Some might even relish or dread dealing with demanding customers on a daily basis. Florists know one thing for sure; being a full service florist is an emotionally fulfilling and rewarding career.  Florists send emotions.

In 1996, Christian Slater starred in the movie - Bed of Roses. This movie gives a glimpse into the life of a florist. A few things have changed since 1996, but the pride and purpose of a florist has not.

Boston Flower Shop ?

Tags: Florist in the Movies, Bed of Roses, Working in a Florist

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