When he was studying to be an accountant in college, Monty Pereira never imagined he’d find himself in the floral industry. Today, he is the proud general manager at Watanabe Floral in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“People don’t really understand that there’s such a vast array of professional career opportunities available [in the floral industry],” says Pereira, who was hired at Watanabe Floral as an accountant 26 years ago.
That’s why when Pereira learned about Seed Your Future’s Green Career Week during SAF Phoenix 2023, he jumped on the opportunity to promote different types of floral careers at Watanabe Floral on social media.
Pereira was one of hundreds of professionals who joined the national Green Career Week initiative last week by visiting schools, inviting students to their businesses, or showcasing employees and their passion on social media. Seed Your Future, the industry organization leading the charge to raise awareness about jobs in floriculture and horticulture provides participants with turn-key resources to make it easy for businesses to participate. Since the inaugural Green Career Week a year ago, more than 500 professionals have accessed those resources, says Seed Your Future Executive Director Jazmin Albarran.
“Participating is simple, and the more businesses that participate, the more attention we can bring to careers in these industries,” Albarran says.
Florists Get Involved
Watanabe Floral published a blog series spotlighting its IT manager, operations manager, and supervisor of the design center team and promoted those posts on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
“Being able to paint the picture — especially for this younger generation — of all the kinds of things that they’re really interested in that they don’t necessarily associate with a floral shop is why I think everyone should participate,” Pereira says. The next Green Career Week is March 4-8, 2024.
Jennifer Barnard, AAF, co-owner of Tillie’s Flower Shop in Wichita, Kansas, and a member of SAF’s Board of Directors, also participated in Green Career Week for the first time this year. She found the experience exciting because she loves giving people a behind-the-scenes look at the business. The company posted three videos on its TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook accounts to showcase two designers — one new and one with 60 years of experience — as well as a marketing intern.
The reception from followers was positive, says Barnard.
“One person commented that she enjoyed knowing the background story,” Barnard says. “She said, ‘I never really thought about it, but when you buy a flower arrangement, you’re also buying a work of art individually created by an artist.’”
Barnard plans to share more stories about her business during the next Green Career Week because there is so much for people to learn about the industry.
“It’s important to support our industry, grow it, and bring awareness to the different jobs a lot of people don’t think about,” she says.
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