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How I got my job as...head of operations and florist at Maison Des Fleurs – Emirates Woman

How I got my job as...head of operations and florist at Maison Des Fleurs – Emirates Woman

Full bloom

Maison Des Fleurs’ floral team is led by Cheryl Cox, a florist and plant specialist who has been a creator in the floral industry for over 15 years, since she’s graduated from the Floral Arts School of Australia.

Maison-Des-Fleurs

The Dubai-grown Australian native has quickly gained prominence for her talent with flowers and plants -both in the chilly Dubai winters and the crazy hot summers.

Want to follow her path of petals? Read on…

What did you study at university?

Although I am a huge advocate when it comes to it, I haven’t gone to university and it isn’t something to be ashamed of. I went on a different approach in life – getting married and starting a family exceptionally young so had to venture another plan to study. In between raising a family of 5 kids,I completed an online course in floristry and then continued practicing the skills it taught me for my friends’ weddings and other social events.

What was your first job?

My first job was a nursery school teacher. I found joy teaching and it was a rewarding experience working with kids as well.

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What inspired you to become a florist?

My passion for flowers and expressing my creativity through working with them. I have always been creatively inclined and being a nurturer for so long, this turned out to be the perfect outlet for it.

What are the key elements of your role?

Creative Design and release of our seasonal collections of fresh and artificial flowers. Dressing window displays across seven key store fronts. Weekly ordering of fresh flowers for our stores as well as experimenting with new varieties to test how well they last in our climate. Floral design for weddings, events and corporate clients. Keeping up with trends in the market and making sure our clients are receiving the best of our crop.

Talk us through your daily routine. 

Routine is not a part of my job. Every day is different which I find refreshing. Here’s what today looked like; checking what flowers are in season and ordering some to check quality and longevity; Meeting a client or doing a site visit to give floral design advice for an upcoming event as well as home décor; Making samples of floral elements for display in our stores or next collection launch; Sourcing décor elements for Christmas or other celebrations; Training staff on implementing the latest floral trends for the festive season; Working on quotations and floral recipes for our presentations. The list goes on.

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What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

The best advice I can give is to get your hands stuck in. Learning about floristry techniques is one thing but there are so many different approaches. It is important to stay authentic to yourself and find your own style. Experiment working with flowers and practice as much as you can to truly utilize your time and money. Secondly, start off with formal training to help master your craft, there is a great amount of online floristry courses to choose from that is available now. Lastly, Commit – it can seem like an uncommon career path but if you are truly passionate about something, find a way to master your craft and don’t give up on pursuing it. I was a little intimidated by the industry as I found there was not much concern or value in the market for professional floristry background when it came to hiring, but I tried anyway and was blessed to find Maison Des Fleurs who pride themselves on hiring experienced, qualified staff with a keenest for creativity!

Which fashion brands can we find in your work wardrobe?

I love expressing myself through fashion as well. I don’t really shop at one particular place but rather choose pieces that I love and reflect my sense of style. Over the past few years, I am particularly choosing more statement pieces made of good fabric, that are more sustainable and high quality. Brands such as Riess, Karen Millen and COS are some of my current favourites for work and casual. On the weekends, as a proud mum – you will often find me wearing clothing from my son’s brand Early Retirement (the merchandise line of Sole DXB) and Haraamis.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

To be vigorously pursue what you love and not limit yourself for any reason. My father always encouraged me that I can be anything I want to be, no boxes and no prerequisites are required. No matter the circumstances, if you try hard at something you can always intimidate your fear with work ethic. That motivates me every time to keep pushing forward.

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And what is the worst?

“To be successful, one must compromise.” Although it is good to be flexible, I think it is healthy to have boundaries and more than anything personal integrity. Staying authentic to who you are and being adamant and sometimes even creative about seeing through what you want for yourself is key.

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

The biggest challenge I have come to accept is in my head. Taking on projects that demand thinking out of the box can be scary. Fear of the unknown can prevent stepping out. Ultimately I know I have someone watching over me so that is where my trust lies.

Media: Supplied, Instagram