It’s their job: Florist developed passion for flowers in youth

Name: Aileen McAlister

Job: Florist

Background: Twenty-eight years ago, I went to Texas for florist training before I took this job and became a master florist there. Then I returned to Portales and opened this flower shop. Now I am a New Mexico advanced master florist and a member of New Mexico State Florist Association. I held the director of the organization for two terms. Now I also teach as a New Mexico advanced master florist.

Time on the job: 28 years.

What is the typical day like for you: What I do is open up the shop and get everything ready for the day, which includes taking orders and watering flowers and plants. More important, I design these flowers, and get to know what flowers the customer needs.

Why did you choose this job: I have always loved flowers. When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a small yard which we planted many flowers. When I stayed with her, she sent me out to pick flowers. My grandmother also asked me to arrange vases. At that time, my niece wanted to open a business, so I suggested to her “Why don’t we start a flower shop?”

What type of training does this job need: Basically it needs different caring and handling (training) about flowers. When I went to class in Texas, I learned the principles of flower design. The rest of it is the creativity of designing.

What do you enjoy most about this job: My customers, my employees, and working with God’s creation is what I enjoy most about this job. I think this is the best job in the world.