“I must have flowers, always, and always.” – Claude Monet
Faith Arendt is a freelance floral designer in Provo, Utah who has worked with multiple prominent floral companies in her area. Working as a paralegal previously, she was let go during the pandemic. Faith relied on her lifetime of artistic study and shifted her career to floral design in January of 2022. Since then, she has found great fulfillment in helping create beautiful events with flowers and other supporting mediums. Check out her interview with DEPCO below:
-Can you tell me about your journey that led to a career in floral design?
I got let go at the end of 2021. I was applying for paralegal jobs and I had a hard time finding something. The pandemic made it really difficult. I decided I needed to broaden my scope in finding new work. I initially started applying for event manager jobs. The skill set that I have as a paralegal actually transfers pretty well to event management. I ended up interviewing for a job with a design company, which required me to present a portfolio of design work. They ended up really liking my portfolio, which led into freelancing with floral design. The companies I work with gave me really good advice about my career. It was a career path I had never heard of before.
-Can you tell me about your experience with design and art previous to your floral career?
I started in art when I was young. I won a lot of awards as a kid for textile and apparel and acrylic painting. Those along with charcoal and graphite were where I had the most experience. I was put into art lessons when I was six years old and left art lessons when I was 18 years old. I started sewing when I was 8 years old, and have sewed continually throughout my life. I’ve done quilting, dresses, apparel, really anything. I’ve designed my own patterns.
That’s where it all started. Once I had my career shift, I decided to take an education shift as well. I decided to apply for UVU (Utah Valley University) school of arts, I got in, and now I’m majoring in design marketing. It’s a broad major, which was intentional. I can do a lot of things in design and I want my resume to reflect that.
-Do you feel that your artistic background has translated at all into your design with florals?
Absolutely. The principles are often the same. In every piece of art and design, you create elements to create a whole. Your project is based on elements. What has helped me with this is the color study I have experienced over the years in painting, in clothes, and in quilts. It’s important to make something elevated and beautiful, something that a person who doesn’t do design can look at and think “Oh, that’s stunning” but they can’t piece all the elements together to understand why.
-Did you enjoy horticulture before starting as a freelance floral designer?
My grandmother and mother were really into gardening and flowers. I didn’t know that it was weird to know as many flower names as I knew before starting out. That background helped me a lot.
-What’s your favorite thing about floral design?
I love the medium that I get to work with. I work with flowers and all the different materials that compliment them. I just love how everything comes together.
-Do you have a favorite flower?
This is hard; there are so many cool flowers! I love this Japanese ranunculus called the Charlotte ranunculus. Usually ranunculuses are super dainty, but this one is crazy. I might be saying that because it’s currently the background of my phone. I also think snap dragons are really cool.
-What’s your proudest moment working in the floral industry?
At the beginning of my freelancing, I was hired to make a Valentine’s Day floral design for a chain of grocery stores. I loved walking into my local grocery store and realizing: “I did that!”
In general, I just love getting to the end of a project. On Saturdays, I’m often working 12+ hours for events. It’s long hours but it’s amazing to see the final product. Seeing everyone’s hard work reflected in a beautiful design is so satisfying.
-Is there anything about floral design or the design industry that might surprise people?
It’s really competitive. I definitely feel like I have to work my keep. Also, they may not think about the physicality that comes with working with events. Designing is pretty and fun, but it’s important to make sure the event comes together. That might mean you are filling up glass with water or quickly hot gluing things together. I definitely get my body moving on a job, but that’s one of the things I love about it.
Also, the event will happen whether we are ready or not, so my managers often have to find creative solutions to problems that come up. In event design jobs there is time pressure: “This has to be amazing…right now.” I love the pressure though; it’s where I thrive.
-What advice would you give to anyone interested in pursuing a career in freelance floral work?
Study floral design. Right now I’m taking some extra online classes called Flowering Minds. A lot of people think “Oh, I can mess around with flowers. I can do a wedding for a friend.” But those important floral design elements have to be learned. You can’t rely on just an artistic eye.
Faith and her husband Ethan live in Provo, Utah. Living in one of the best states for outdoor activities, Faith enjoys skiing, camping, hiking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, canyoneering, and any sport she can play. Faith spends lots of time cultivating her own garden, and loves to cook with her home-grown ingredients.
Discover Horticulture with DEPCO!
Horticulture is the science and art of growing, propagating, processing, and selling ornamental plants, flowers, turf, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Horticulture is unique among plant sciences in that it incorporates not only science and technology, but also art and design principles. Students will learn the fundamentals of Specialty Horticulture Arts, Turf Management, Landscape Design, Floriculture, Floral Design, Forestry, and Greenhouse Operations and Management in this curriculum. Students make their own terrarium mold, floral arrangement, and handmade paper. They also assess the skills required to operate a greenhouse and sketch a landscape design.
To learn more about our Horticulture curriculum, click here!
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