Name: Stacey Spence
Role: Student at Doncaster College, studying the Level 2 Diploma in Floristry (full-time)
Where did you grow up? Doncaster
I grew up in Doncaster, in the Wheatley area. School-wise, in upper school I didn’t do very well. I didn’t sit GCSEs so now I’m at college I’ve just started doing my maths and English – the college has been really helpful and offered this. I’m a mum of two boys and in the past I worked in different industries from sales assistant in a variety of roles and I did courses in jewellery too. When I was on leave with my second son, I became more interested in floristry and gardening, and I realised how creative I could be with it. I wanted to do it for a few years but I didn’t have the confidence to start. One day I applied, had a chat with the tutor and she seemed lovely so I thought I’d give it a go, and I absolutely love everything about it. It’s built my confidence up and it’s open to anybody, it’s not exclusive at all.
What is the best thing about your floristry training?
I like everything! But maybe the practical side of it. It’s really good because you’re not just given something to do and then assessed on it, you do it a few times. If you get stuck or you’re not 100%, our tutor Jo is happy to help – she is great. We have a flower shop here at college and usually (before Covid) we can go there and work with Jackie, who manages it, to build some confidence so we’re ready for assessment. It really helps stop you from panicking when you’re getting assessed.
What’s the biggest challenge?
It was a bit of a challenge when I first started because obviously, we didn’t know anything, it was all new and you don’t know what to expect with the practical side or the theory. The assessments are the hardest part because I didn’t have much confidence when I first started, so every time I had a practical assessment I would always question myself. Jo helped with my confidence and I realised that I am doing things right and am happy with my work. And you don’t really learn unless you make mistakes! I’m proud of where I have come so far, thanks to Jo and Jackie.
What advice would you offer to others who are interested in training in floristry?
I would definitely recommend the course I’m doing because everything is involved, you learn a lot. If you want to do it, just have a little bit of confidence and go for it! The tutors on my course have been lovely, they build your confidence up. If you’re artistic and creative, floristry is a great career because you really get to express yourself.
What are your ambitions for after you’ve finished this course?
I’m going to go on to do my Level 3. I didn’t think about it at first, but now I’m enjoying Level 2 so much, I’ll go onto it as soon as I’ve finished this one. And then I really want to have my own business. You do learn a lot about the business side too, so that helps you decide.
Events and weddings have always interested me and doing this course has made me realise what I can achieve with events – making someone’s special day even more special. So I hope that one day I can be that person who creates beautiful designs for people’s special occasions. After I leave college, I plan to get experience in a floristry shop to build more experience up, and then hopefully start working from home – with a place built in the back garden, and then I can hopefully get my hands on premises, like a shop.