Over the years, especially when I worked in the small shop, I've thought about the possibility of a Floral Designer's Union. I talked about it with other florists at trade shows and everybody agreed it would be a wonderful thing.
In small shops, the pay is minimum, the hours long, the benifits non-exsistent (unless you factor in customer delight). There are hazzards like spray-paint breathed, sharp edged tools used, and wobbly ladders climbed, not to mention allergies....
So, why isn't there a Florist's Union?
1. We are artistes. Individuals! You would lump my blinding skill with that high-school junior on her first job?!
2. We could demand higher wages, yes...but Mom and Pop still couldn't afford it. So, is it better that the Little Flower Shoppe goes out of business instead?
3. "I'm artsy-craftsy, and I'm just doing this til I get a real job".
4. A florist with more than 5 years experience is usually a job-hopper or a sadder-but-wiser former shop owner. You wanna hire a UNION florist who might not even stay?
5. Everybody knows that union rules would make impossible demands for a small shop: minimum amounts of product to work with; time allowed using solvents; fourty hour work-weeks! Sheesh!
6. We florists are a jealous lot, bedazzled by our own creativity. We're building masterpieces and merely allowing the public to behold them. Would Michaelangelo have joined a union??
Naw, it would be like herding cats.