Heidi BakerGraduated: BSc (Hons) Horticulture
Occupation: I run my own florist shop, The Flower Studio. My job title varies on a daily basis! Manager, florist, book-keeper, counsellor and general dogsbody!
My Writtle University College
The contacts I got from the floristry lecturers were amazing and I still use some of them today. My business is being featured in Florist & Wholesale Buyer Magazine in September, which is something I am sure wouldn’t of happened if I hadn’t of been introduced to the Editor whilst I was studying at Writtle! Also being able to compete in the Chelsea Flower Show was amazing and an opportunity I never thought I would get!
The friends I met in my first week at Writtle remained my closest during my three years of study and I met loads more along the way. Again I am still in touch with a lot of them, although living on the Isle of Man has made it difficult to see each other as often as we would all like!
My Career Path
Immediately after graduation I had a seasonal gardening job with my local council, but when that finished I got a job as a florist. This was only a part-time position though so I started looking for other jobs to boost my income. I was then asked by Tynwald Mills, a shopping centre, to put a proposal together to open a florist in their area. They liked my ideas and have supported me as business advisors ever since. I also received assistance from the Isle of Man Government with their Small Business Start Up Scheme.
My shop has been open since March 2009 and since then I have been on an almighty learning curve. I do my own book-keeping, ordering and stock control as well and being a florist and shop manager. I work seven days a week most weeks and don’t pay myself much at the moment so that my business doesn’t get swallowed up in the recession. I had to make one of my part time florists redundant recently which was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
The degree doesn’t teach you everything you need to know to take the path that I have chosen, but the experiences that are available to you whilst studying are so valuable that these two things together give you a pretty solid grounding.
My Current Job
I love my job because every day is different, and I am constantly challenging myself. I love the relationships I build up with my customers and to be able to give them the best service is my goal. I go home most nights with a smile on my face and I don’t think I have woken up yet and dreaded coming in to work!
Hints and tips for Writtle students