Student Stories

Florist – Flowers and Bread

Sarah Lagrottaria

Which course did you study at Tallulah Rose Flower School?

I studied the 2-week Career Changes Course in February 2020.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

I loved all of it! Two things that stand out were the mix of activities—Rachel does a wonderful job of balancing the practical with the creative — and the focus on certain technical aspects that were new to me. And then there was the wonderful added bonus of meeting my new, and now very dear friends.

What was the most important thing that you learnt?

To be true to me. My situation is different from a classic career-changer as my floral business is 3 years old. My business partner and I are both teachers and began Flowers & Bread to focus on workshops and classes. But as the business grew, other aspects needed more attention. Midway though the course, I suddenly really, truly believed what we had been suspecting for awhile….it doesn’t have to be that way and we can change it. Ta-dah! A career “change” toward the life we really want to live.

What was your first big break or most memorable moments so far?

I had the honor of doing the floral installation for a dear friend’s funeral. His death was such a loss for so many of us and the floral process was a real gift to me then, a focused way to think of him and his family and how to best represent them. I’ll never forget that feeling of privilege and inspiration.

Describe a typical floristry day…

Every day is different and that’s why I love my job. But an ideal day begins with a morning workshop, preferably one in which we focus on color or an art inspiration, which so far are two of my favorite ways to approach flowers with a group. Ideally, I’ve set up the floral studio the day before so it’s simply a matter of having my coffee and looking over my notes. In reality, we scramble to process last-minute orders and get everything arranged to welcome our students. We’d have a mix of regulars and newcomers in the workshop. Some of our regulars are so talented and so generous that they end up helping some of the newbies which I love to see! Once class ends, it’s a quick clean-up with my events manager, a quick bowl of soup for us both, a quick social media post, and then on to creating orders to go out for delivery, answering phone calls and emails, event questions, and usually a semi-panicked call or two to our floral rep (Hi, Cindy!), who saves the day with some add-ons for the morning.

What’s been your highlight to date?

From day one, the highlight has always been afternoon time alone in our floral studio. I’m talking about when the cafe is closed and everyone has gone home. Maybe one of my children is with me looking at their book or iPad, and I’m just tidying or sweeping, checking the state of the next morning’s orders, or making a few notes. It’s my happiest, most peaceful time and I never don’t have a little happy rush of, I can’t believe I get to do this.

What advice would you give to a new student starting out?

Just be you and look to the things that inspire you, even if they aren’t “typical” floral designer things. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I only followed about 6 other floral designers on instagram before I attended my course (Rachel being one). It honestly hadn’t occurred to me to seek them out. My inspiration has always come from books and art and travel and people. It’s just the way my mind works. But I’m glad now…I think I would have been intimidated early on rather than having just gone for it. You just have to go for it…and if you’re genuinely you, you’ll find the peers you want to and are ready to learn from.

Click here for more information about Flowers and Bread