A florist is a professional who specializes in the selection and arrangement of flowers for the purpose of selling them to customers for decoration in their homes, offices and public functions. Florists work all over the world, some from huge warehouses which ship flowers internationally to small roadside stands in rural areas.
Many people find themselves using the services of a florist at some point in their lives, since people appreciate gifts of thoughtfully arranged flowers, especially on important life occasions. Florists traditionally work with cut flowers, although some may sell potted plants as well. The cultivation of flowers is left to gardeners and horticultural specialists who have individual contracts with florists to deliver flowers, usually daily, to ensure that they are fresh. Florists do not generally require professional training, although most start out as apprentices working with a skilled florist who can teach the tricks of the trade.
A good florist has an excellent eye for color and the aesthetics of flower arranging. He or she must also be talented at working on multiple projects at once; a florist might be making arrangements for a big wedding while handling day to day customers, for example. Some florists also run their own shops, in which case a head for business is vital.