Sharing special occasions

At Work

Floral designer likes being a part of life's highlights, but holidays can be tough

At Work


September 20, 2006|By Tessha Dixon | Tessha Dixon,Sun Reporter

Rachelle Bland

Floral designer and owner

Baltimore Blossoms Floral Boutique, Baltimore

Age --38

Salary --$10 to $14 an hour

Time on the job --11 years

How she got started --Bland started by answering phones at a flower shop, where she worked her way up to making fruit and gift baskets. She continued to work at several other shops until she completed a floral program at Dundalk Community College and went on to open her own business. "That's why I worked [at flower shops] - I knew eventually I wanted to have my own."

Typical day --In the morning, Bland sends out orders and takes new ones. From 2 p.m. until about 3:30 p.m., business is usually slow. Things pick up around 5 p.m., when customers get off work. In addition to floral arrangements, the shop offers fruit and gift baskets and bouquet preservation.

Requirements --Although certification is not required, Bland completed a floral design apprenticeship at Dundalk Community College. She is also accredited by the American Institute of Floral Designers.

Busiest holidays --The busiest one-day holiday is Valentine's Day. But Bland sees the most business around Mother's Day because many customers place orders days before and after the holiday. The average flower arrangement costs from $45 to $75, and while the company delivers in the Baltimore area, orders can be shipped worldwide, Bland said.

Favorite flower --Phalaenopsis orchid, an indoor plant and popular wedding flower that typically has white or pink shell-shaped petals.

Near disaster --Two years ago, when Bland handled the floral arrangements for a 1,000-guest wedding. When she went to take pictures the morning of the ceremony, she discovered the wedding planner hadn't started setting up yet. Bland, along with her daughter and a friend who happened to be a wedding coordinator, ended up setting up the flowers - and everything else. "It would've been a nightmare," she says.

The good --Doing what she loves while sharing the highlights of people's lives. "They share their celebrations with you."

The bad --Holidays. "It's non-stop, but it's part of the job so you get used to it."

Philosophy on the job --"Keep it simple, sweetie."

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