Posted by & filed under Floristry.

Is the floristry client always right?

Apprenticeship Floristry Flowers_Melbourne_Apprenticeship

There is the saying “the client is always right” but is this actually correct?  An experienced florist should listen to their clients’ needs and requests but always remember advice based on expertise of study and years of practical experience should be respected by the consumer. Who knows and understands more about the floral product and what it can or can’t do? The experienced florist does.


Possibly the area of most concern is wedding flowers. I often hear florists say “this is what the client wanted”. But is it the best choice for the client and could the florist be under stress by allowing a poor choice with possible negative consequences? I reiterate, who is better informed? The florist is. A good florist suggests and designs a bouquet to complement the gown’s features and the brides body shape. Guide your client to the best choices based on your knowledge and research. Do not accept copy bouquets but rather suggest a style that will accentuate the features of a gown. A bouquet should not be held too high with a gown featuring an ornate bodice. Hand held bouquets are not suited to many gowns because of the positioning of where they will be comfortably held against the gown. A talented florist designs and positions the bouquet to be held to feature the gown.


I read with interest the article written by John Jones (AFI March 2013 edition) about natural stemmed rose posies he described as “Roundy Moundies”. How many industries promote a product that has had a twenty year cycle? Surely the florist industry should be more inventive.


Don’t create hardship for yourself. Consider a bride who wants to carry a bouquet of all oriental lilies. These flowers need to at the right stage of their beauty, they bruise easily and they can drop or wilt quite quickly. A wise florist will not use these around the perimeter of a bouquet unless they have a solid foliage surround because they bruise easily especially when put down. In warm weather they are at risk and best used in a bouquet holder to avoid collapse. These lilies used in a hand tied bouquet are greatly at risk unless a water source is used and concealed in the mechanics.


Labour is often under estimated by florists. Take the time to compare floristry costs with other associated industries. You will be surprised. Consider the cost of hair styling to flowers. Hairdressing and floristry have similar apprenticeships and salons promote sample styles for weddings at full cost to ensure the final design is the right one. Do all brides have the same hairstyle? No and nor should they all carry “Roundy Moundies”. A piece of porterhouse steak could be bought at the butchers for around five dollars yet at a good restaurant it may cost forty to forty-five dollars. (more in some cases) Consider the labour margin and apply the same margin to your wedding work. Our industry grossly underestimates how it charges for the skill of labour.


It is wise to look at past floristry and use this to your advantage in floristry now. All flowers were wired and yet some florists today fear they will not last. Nothing has changed they did last then and they will now provided they are conditioned correctly. In the southern states of Australia frangipani was used as a popular flower in weddings of the nineteen sixties and seventies. Frangipani must be re-cut as the latex seals the stem from drinking. Always condition flowers before use. I recall more than once a bride coming to me requesting frangipani and advising they had been told by another florist that they bruise and do not last. Yes, they do bruise if they are not handled correctly and do not use them around the edge of a bouquet.


I recently used frangipani, lisianthus and roses in my daughter’s traditional wedding. The venue asked if they could take photographs of the ballroom as they had never seen the room look so magnificent. They used the power of technology – the day after the wedding flowers were all over twitter and Facebook. This is a great tool for advertising their venue and likewise a great tool for florists to use.  It was surprising that this venue should have flowers with all weddings and they had not seen flowers on this scale. Use functions like this to promote your work. Use an IPad at your point of sale to show your photo story. Alternatively, set up dual monitors with a slide show of your wedding images with one screen facing your client. This is a simple and cost effective way to promote your work. The other screen can be used for your records. Record all data and costing for future use.


In conclusion, show your clients what you can do for them. The more the client can see the more they learn. Obviously, it is not cost effective to make bridal work on mass for display. Use technology to show what you can create for your client. Make sure prices are shown and describe briefly your product as often a client is not aware of what you can do. Consider tiara’s, cake top, pew flowers, car flowers as an example. Show your client as they may not think of these items. I remember a bridal gown maker saying to a client who complained about cost of a gown that is only worn once. The response was that every time you look at your photographs consider you are wearing your gown again. I have used that line many times with brides to great advantage.


The customer isn’t always well informed and it is our responsibility to ensure we can supply the best memory possible to our client.

Gregory Milner
Greg teaches floristry apprentices at Marjorie Milner College


Posted by & filed under Floristry.

Floristry Insurance

Are you covered with the right insurance?

James Milner


Australian Association of Floral Designers Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show Gold Display 2015


There are many hazards in a florist shop that should be considered when making decisions about insurance, a critical aspect of the floristry industry. For example, a client could slip in a store on water, flowers or foliage. In one case in 2014, a customer tripped over some boxes in an Australian retail store, resulting in a broken leg and a claim that settled for over $100,000. It is vitally important that a business is adequately covered with the right insurance.


The experts at Edgewise Insurance Brokers have tailored insurance specifically to the floristry industry. A new electronic resource is now available to help florists find the information they need. By entering data about their business into the Floristry Insurance website, the user can obtain an instant quote and potentially save substantial amounts on their insurance.


The Floristry Insurance resource is an initiative of the Australian Association of Floral Designers (AAFD) for members. The AAFD is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation with an aim to assist the industry to grow and prosper. The AAFD has just launched a new website, and is always looking for passionate florists to get involved to better the industry. If you have some innovative ideas for the future of the industry, please send us an email. The AAFD run several workshops during the year. Details can be found on the AAFD website.



Posted by & filed under Floristry.

The need for floristry training in particular in-shop training

Florist Training Marjorie Milner College


Florists are often surprised to hear about the rigorous internal training regimes used by many businesses in comparable industries. These businesses maximise the value of their staffing cost by incorporating methods of ‘upselling’ into the staff training process, to encourage staff to achieve the best results possible in meeting the needs of the business. Product knowledge, skill, and speed combined with accuracy are all taught and promoted. Employers of apprentices (school-based apprentices) fuse their training with that delivered by registered training providers (RTOs). While an RTO is bound by the National Floristry Training Package, SFL10, and its requirement to provide broad-based industry training. Most often apprenticeship is Certificate III in Floristry SFL30110 in Australia. However, in-house training provides additional advantages in that it is site-specific and targets the unique needs of the business and its client base.

In floristry, in-house training forces senior florists to re-examine their skill level and performance. This is a highly beneficial part of the process, because new staff members will mirror the skill level of the florist training them. Sometimes florists become ‘matter of fact’ about taking orders and selling, and they can lose the passion and drive that are so important for making successful sales. For this reason, a review of their own processes is a great starting point.

Anticipating potential problems

Often a florist will show a new staff member an order form, ask them to look at the headings, and then tell them just to ‘have a go’. This is actually quite common. However, why subject the client to such inexperience? Consider the potential consequences of a lack of training and the major problems it could cause to the business and to client confidence.

For example, think about the cost to the florist associated with a non-delivery. Courier companies charge a fee to deliver the flowers, and if the recipient is not at the hospital, office or home, there is a charge to return the flowers to the florist and a further charge to re-deliver. While such situations do happen and may be understandable, they can be difficult to explain to a frustrated client.

Scenarios resulting from poor training that might cause problems or non-delivery might include the following:

  • The florist assumes that a hospital order is for a patient, but it is actually for a member of the hospital staff. This could result in a non-delivery, as the recipient is not on the patient list. Even if the recipient is known to be a staff member, they may not be on the staff list if they are employed in a temporary capacity.
  • The driver arrives at the hospital but is uncertain whether the patient is in the maternity or general ward.
  • The recipient is a day patient and has already been discharged.
  • The gender of a new baby is not determined when taking the order. Due to privacy restrictions, the hospital will be unable to advise the florist.
  • The delivery address is in a remote area and sufficient details are not recorded. The customer might say, “Everyone knows them”. Everyone perhaps, except for the florist and the driver! Remember, a country road can be twenty kilometres long and without a clear description, the driver wastes time and money.
  • The property has a security fence and no-one is home to provide access.
  • An apartment has a security entrance and no-one is at home. The driver tries other apartments, but no-one is home there either. As a result, the flowers cannot be left safely.
  • A corporate address does not list the name of the firm, the floor, the department or the extension number. The recipient could also be a temporary staff member and not on the list.
  • Funeral flowers are required for a casket, but are not correctly labelled as the florist did not ask. As a result, the flowers are not placed on the casket and the client makes a severe complaint.
  • Insufficient details are collected by the florist regarding other aspects of a funeral flower order. For example: Should the flowers be sent to a church or a parlour? What are the expectations and procedures of the venue? How and where should the deceased be referred to on the card?
  • The florist takes an order but forgets to take the client’s contact phone numbers. The credit card is declined, but the florist cannot contact the client. Do they send the order or not? If the numbers were not repeated and checked carefully when the order was taken, it could be the florist’s fault and then you will have a very angry client if the flowers are not delivered.
  • A new staff member takes a pick-up order and fails to record the client’s phone number. The order is made, but is not collected by the client. In this case, the result is an unhappy employer and a loss of revenue.

These are some of the broad areas and potential scenarios in which a lack of training could damage a business. I’m sure there are many other specific examples you can think of, depending on the various types of orders, clients and workplace situations.

Although the consequences of such problems can be dire for a business, the good news is that there are certain training strategies which can make a big difference. For example, to reduce the likelihood of issues associated with deliveries, it is a good idea for a newer staff member to spend at least one day with the driver. I can assure you, after this first-hand experience, they will be more precise with the questions they ask and the details they record. To prevent problems with credit cards or pick-up orders, a florist should have clear procedures in place regarding the types of details that are collected and the way they are recorded. In these relatively simple ways, the well-considered in-house training of staff can improve the efficiency and bottom line of the business.

Selling skills

After training has been done in operational areas such as details and deliveries, the most important area to focus on is in the actual selling of the products and services, and also in recognising opportunities to ‘up sell’.

Most florists’ websites feature prices, but only some suggest occasion. How many florists are missing the opportunity to suggest to the customer the occasions and uses for which an item might be suitable? It is a great selling tool, as it guides the client but allows them to ultimately make their own choice.

It is always best to take down the card wording on a phone order before you commence selling. This allows the florist to determine the purpose of the purchase and the closeness of the client to the recipient. If the card is to read, “All my love darling, John”, it indicates an important need or special occasion. So, take the lead, and sell up. Suggest the prestige or premier range for the client. Establish upselling as a routine procedure in the business, and ensure that it is taught to newer staff members. In this way, the business will not only become more profitable, but it will also ensure that the customers always get what they need. I find that it is not uncommon for florists to ask a client what they want to spend. But this is a counter-productive approach to selling. I don’t know about you, but I would be surprised if I walked into a butcher or bakery store to be asked, “What do you want to spend”? It is actually a case of what you need to spend, to obtain the item required.

 The informed and uninformed client

The uninformed client will be guided by you. Assist them to the best choice. Suggest that they leave the flower and colour selection to the florist, unless there is a specific request. Tell them the approximate size of the final item and practice how you describe the item. Sometimes it is wise to describe a made-up item that you can see in the shop or workroom. These tips in serving the uninformed client can end up saving a lot of time for the florist.

In contrast, the informed client knows exactly what they want, and can easily confuse an inexperienced florist. In the early stages, hand this client over to a more experience staff member, and encourage newer employees to listen and observe how they are handled.

When quoting prices, it is suggested that instead of quoting a range, it is better to state an average price. You will generally find that with this small change in the way the information is delivered, the average price will often be accepted. Again, for a special occasion, suggest the premium range, and explain clearly why it will be the best choice in meeting the client’s specific needs. Remember, the client may be accustomed to paying more for a quality result, and if you underquote they may feel insecure about the standard that you can deliver.

There are a number of additional ways in which the florist can change their thinking when selling, and can train their staff to do the same. If a client requests roses, why assume that a dozen is normal? Why can’t a client order two, three of four dozen? If we suggest a dozen roses, the client will think this is normal and what everybody else does, which will lead them to settle on that decision. I know of one website which advises the cost of ordering one thousand roses! Add-on sales should be always at the back of a selling florist’s mind. But it all comes down to training.

In-house training is a continuous effort on the part of a good business. But if it aids professionalism, promotes higher sales, creates client satisfaction and leads to return sales – surely it is well worth it.

This article was written by Gregory Milner and was published in the September Issue of Australia Flower Industry Magazine. Greg teaches floristry to apprentices and students at Marjorie Milner College. For more details about how to study with Marjorie Milner College Floristry Department please contact the College on 98807257.


Posted by & filed under Beauty Therapy.

How to achieve excellent customer service in Beauty Therapy and Hairdressing. beauty-trainers


An integral part of the hairdressing and beauty industry is excellence in client service. This is achieved by providing the client with an efficient service with which they are satisfied. By achieving these standards, the client will be encouraged to return to a beauty business for future services and treatments, and may also recommend the business to others.


Every workplace is going to have a different way of doing everything in the clinic. However the clinic should “do” everything the same for every client. It should not matter who the practitioner is giving the treatment: every client deserves the very best treatment. The way the client is greeted, to the way the treatment is set up and completed; to the way the client is farewelled should be identical. This way it does not matter if one member of staff is away sick or has left. The client will always have the same service. Certainly there is always going to be a personality in the individual therapist but the way the service is done MUST be the same.

Hands massaging female face at the spa

Good Customer Service

How to communicate with clients:

Personal – clients will be speaking to you from the first instant they arrive. You need to ensure that your language is within the appropriate language of a clinic. Although you live here in Australia; it is not appropriate to say things like “would yous like to come to the wax room.” You have to speak in a clinic voice; not loud; but softly spoken.

Telephone – The first contact with a client is via the telephone. Always smile on the telephone, it shows in your voice

Verbal and non verbal – The verbal is clear & concise but the non verbal communications are your body language, the tone of your voice, the look on your face!

Culturally appropriate greetings and farewells- in other words, if you have a non Christian client, don’t wish her/him Happy Christmas or Happy Easter. Talk about having a wonderful holiday period. Or if you have client a great deal older than you, speak in a respectful manner. Offer a chair; sit at the same level as them; not you standing and them sitting.


Clients may include but are not limited to:

New or regular clients with routine or special needs: clients with special needs may be challenging to your ability as a therapist and also challenging in your clinic environment. You may have a client that is sight impaired and has a guide dog. By law this dog is allowed into the clinic room. Or you might have a client who is in a wheelchair and not all clinics will be able to accommodate a wheelchair as the clinic room maybe too small or the person would not be able to get up the flight of stairs. You could if your workplace would allow it, suggest that the client is seen in her home so that the client does not miss out on the treatment or you could suggest that another salon might be able to accommodate her.

Male or female clients

People from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds with varying physical and mental abilities


1. How to receive clients

Without clients there would be no business and no job for you, so you have a good reason to be genuinely pleased to see any client visiting your workplace. Every time you receive and greet a new client, you have the opportunity to initiate an effective and positive relationship. Your greeting should be sincere and welcoming. Your aim is to make the client feel special.

First impressions are usually lasting impressions. To many clients, you are the face of the business. When a client says, ‘I always come here, it’s so friendly and relaxing’, this usually means that the interpersonal communications with staff made them feel good, rather than a comment on the interior design. The impression of friendliness is created by the way the staff communicates and the attitudes conveyed through their interactions.


2. Workplace communication

Communication is about sending and receiving messages. Unless the message is both sent and received communication does not happen. For example, a client could ask for an appointment for a leg wax and you would write the appointment in the book. If your client sat at home and only thought about making an appointment and did not telephone you, then the message would not be sent or received.

A message may be communicated verbally or non-verbally.


3. Verbal

Verbal communication means using words; the words may be spoken or written. A client may say ‘I am cautious about having my ears pierced.’ In spoken communication, tone, pitch, speed and the emphasis that is placed on what is being said is also important. If the client said ‘I am cautious about having my ears pierced’ in a shaky voice, it may indicate that your client is in fact very nervous, not just cautious.

4. Non-verbal

Non-verbal communication is visual. This type of communication includes signs or symbols displayed, or the body language you are projecting, such as facial expressions, eye contact or physical movements, which include head, hand and arm movements. For example, ‘I am cautious about having my ears pierced’ may be accompanied by a frown and shaking hands.

5. Effective communication

Receiving the message is just as important as sending it. If a message is sent but not received, no communication has taken place. Receiving a message means:

  • listening if the message is spoken
  • reading if the message is written
  • noticing if the message is non-verbal

Over the Phone:

Your communication with clients may be in person or over the phone. When communicating in person, remember that your body language conveys a great deal of information to the client. In both cases, in person and on the telephone, your tone of voice can actually change the meaning of the words you say.

Keep the following objectives in mind in all workplace communications:

  • be sure of the message you are trying to convey
  • speak clearly in a pleasant tone of voice
  • use easily understood language; avoid jargon or highly technical terms
  • talk at a reasonable pace, not too fast or too slow
  • check that your communication is understood
  • be patient and sincere
  • listen carefully and attentively
  • ask questions to check your own understanding
  • use friendly and welcoming body language
  • accept others as they are, without judgement
  • use humour appropriately; no loud laughing and no rude or inappropriate jokes

Most workplaces have standards for communicating with clients in person and on the telephone. These differ according to the ambience and style the owner or manager wants to create. The standards may be verbal (the way we do things) or incorporated into written procedures;

Workplace policies and procedures may include:

  • Communicating with clients
  • Customer service techniques
  • Promoting products and services
  • Handling complaints
  • Personal presentation
  • Record keeping
  • Scheduling clients
  • Processing sales and refunds
  • Complaint resolutions

Some workplaces have a relaxed, informal style, which suits their clients’ needs and expectations. Other workplaces have more formal procedures in place for welcoming clients. You need to understand the overall impression the workplace is seeking to make. Both your personal presentation and conversational style must match the impression the business owner intends.

Most workplaces have procedures for greeting people by telephone, and handling messages and enquiries, these procedures may include:

  • answering the phone after three rings
  • Using the company greeting, for example, ‘Good afternoon, Natural Skincare Clinic, Jennifer speaking, how can I help you?’
  • or; thank you for calling the Natural Skincare Clinic, Jennifer speaking, how can I help you?
  • writing down the name of the caller, the company, if relevant, and the reason for the call
  • using the caller’s name during the conversation.
  • listening carefully and attentively, using feedback such as ‘Yes’, ‘I see’, and repetition of the caller’s request – ‘So you’d like to have a ½ leg wax next Tuesday; is that correct’
  • asking questions, where appropriate
  • sounding friendly and attentive by actually smiling, even though no one is watching
  • explaining fully what actions you are taking, and gaining consent from the caller, especially when placing the caller on hold or transferring the call
  • closing the conversation by stating clearly your understanding of what the follow up action will be.
  • farewelling the client by saying, for example, ‘thank you for calling and we look forward to seeing you soon’.
  • Another way is to say “I hope that you enjoyed your treatment, I look forward to seeing you for your next appointment on Tuesday the 25th July at 2p.m.”


Some of this information comes from the Unit SIBXCCS202A Provide Service to Clients. This unit was written for the beauty therapy training package. This was written by Bev Greenwood.


Posted by & filed under Beauty Therapy.

What is Reiki?

What is Reiki Melbourne

What is Reiki or Rei-ki. This is a system of manual therapy which is a passive, stationary, hands-on treatment, not requiring movement or pressure for its principal effects of relieving stress and pain and stimulating the body’s own healing processes, by enhancing the flow of life force energy through direct touch.

Rei-ki is the ancient art of hands-on healing. It induces inner calm, enhances well being and enthusiasm for life, as well as renewing one’s sense of purpose. It is a simple manual art with a philosophical understanding of the human function; it is not a religion. This is the simplest art of life energy renewal and there are no exercises, special breathing nor words required. Regular classes and daily practice are not necessary.

Transmitted through the hands, the additional flow of rei-ki energy is perceived in a variety of ways: heat, chill, tingling, pulsing or vibrations are some of the ways people may experience it.

You can practise rei-ki at work, home or play simply by placing your hand(s) over the vital organs of your body for an ‘instant recharge’ without conscious effort. It integrates into one’s life very easily and is great to have in your everyday “toolbox”.

Rei-ki is a valuable first aid tool which helps relieve pain, reduce swelling, staunch the flow of blood and can be applied effectively in emergency situations to aid others as well as yourself.


History of Rei-ki,

A century ago, Dr Mikao Usui, a distinguished Japanese scholar, researched many ancient sources in search of a method of healing through the hands that had been practised in olden times. Eventually, after learning and studying many languages, he discovered a formula in obscure Sanskrit writings. Following a 21 day meditation on Mt Kuryama near Kyoto, Japan, he received a remarkable confirmation of the healing properties of the energy renewal system he called ‘rei-ki’. After fulfilling a seven year healing mission in a beggars’ camp, he set about teaching rei-ki and trained as his successor Dr Chujiro Hayashi of Tokyo, a retired naval officer who died in 1941.

Dr Hayashi appointed Mrs Hawayo Takata of Hawaii to ensure the survival of the technique during and after World War II. In the decade before her death in 1980, Mrs Takata started teaching in mainland USA and trained the Rev. Beth Gray as the first western rei-ki master in 1973.

Beth Gray introduced rei-ki to Australia in 1983 and trained approximately 20,000 students in her 20 year teaching career. Beth Gray passed away in May 2008 at the age of 90. The original traditions of rei-ki have been faithfully preserved within the Usui Rei-ki Network internationally in direct lineage by Beth Gray’s understudy,
Barbara McGregor and her colleagues, Keven Duff and Sue Lake-Harris.


How do you master the art of rei-ki?

There are two stages or levels in the practice of rei-ki, according to the original Usui tradition, taught by the Rei-ki Training Academy on behalf of the Usui Rei-ki Network (International). The first qualification Rei-ki 1 is being taught at Marjorie Milner College on October 23rd – 25th.

Rei-ki I

Access to the first level, Rei-ki I, can be acquired in a single three day (20 hour) weekend seminar – an investment which brings a lifetime of benefits as no further classes are necessary. The technique can be integrated into daily life at the touch of your hands. During your Rei-ki I seminar, you will receive four ‘energy transfers’ via the crown of your head, through to your hands by direct contact with your teacher.

Rei-ki II

If you choose to progress to the optional advanced level, Rei-ki II, you are also given a way to increase the potency of the energy flow and to project the energy over long distances to serve others who are not within reach. There is also enhancement of your extra-sensory perception or telepathic potential. Rei-ki II is a three day (or evening) 18 hour seminar involving two further, more complex energy transfers.


What we cover in our Reiki I seminars…


  • What Reiki is (and what it isn’t). Drawing the distinctions between Reiki and other forms of energy work. We teach the systems and procedures as founded by Mikao Usui. Reiki is an energy modality, but not all energy modalities are Reiki.


  • Procedures for treating yourself, offered in context to ensure understanding of the holistic approach to healing that Reiki offers.


  • Procedures for treating others, again offered in context.


  • Practise sessions, on yourself and others, to gain experience and confidence.


  • 4 energy transfers (also known as attunements), at different stages of the seminar – you will go home on the first night already accessing the energy and will have learnt enough to trial a partial self-treatment session.


  • The application of Reiki in relation to body systems (whole body health), and how Reiki can affect your emotional, mental, and spiritual health.


  • First aid and emergency applications – sudden bleeding, burns, wounds, infection etc.


  • Reiki for chronic and acute conditions – arthritis, ME/CFS, back pain, migraine etc.


  • Using Reiki with plants and animals.


  • The link between mind/body/emotions and physical health from a Reiki perspective.


  • Reiki history – how it came to the west and its Japanese roots.


  • Individual question and answer/feedback sessions with the teacher.


When: October 23rd– 25th 2015

Where: Marjorie Milner College (401 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, 3127)

Contact: Alianna on or 0411153887


Learn Reiki 1 in Melbourne at Marjorie Milner College:

Sue Lake-Harris (Dip. Teach., B. Ed.), is a teacher of Reiki who delivers Reiki I and II with the Usui Reiki Network. Sue completed a 5 year traditional teacher training apprenticeship with Barbara McGregor, has been a professional treatment practitioner since 1998, and has been teaching in her own right since 2008. Sue is a keynote speaker at the Australian Reiki Connection’s international conference in October and is passionate about Reiki’s capacity to help with healing on all levels. If you want Reiki without western add-ons, and a full and complete class without short-cuts, then this 20+ hour traditional training delivery is for you.
We encourage all hairdressing Apprentices, Beauty Trainees and any students interested in this course to give Alianna a ring. Marjorie Milner College specialises in Hairdressing, Floristry and Beauty Therapy Training.

Posted by & filed under Hairdressing.

hairdressing sustainability

Hairdressing Environmental Study


Going green and being conscious about environmental issues doesn’t have to mean pedalling for power or cutting hair in the dark. Non-renewable fossil fuels (crude oil, natural gas, coal, oil shales) currently supply Australia with more than 95 percent of our energy needs. Potentially, all the equipment that you run in a hairdressing salon, beauty clinic or florist shop is powered by non-renewable fossil fuels.  Non-renewable energy is energy produced by burning fossil fuels, such as coal. They are non-renewable because there are finite resources, meaning that if they are continually used, one day they will run out. Whether you are an employer or apprentice sustainability is becoming more of an issue in hairdressing, beauty and floristry workplaces.

Burning fossil fuels contributes to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and to global climate change.

Today’s hairdressing salons, beauty clinic or florist shop often have a range of services that can affect the environment in many ways. Some hairdressing salons or beauty clinics you may work in during your career offer beauty services. These may include nail and skin treatments, such as tanning, facials, body wraps, manicures, and make-up applications, as well as many retailing many products.  In providing these services, however, many wastes can be generated.  The most notable environmental issues for salons are:

  • The use  of  chemical  products  (dyes,  bleaches, solvents)
  • Air pollution (odours)
  • Water use and wastewater disposal
  • Energy use
  • Solid Waste  (Paper  towels,  product  containers, other packaging)


Australia has hundreds of thousands of hairdressing salons and beauty clinics, some located in private homes. Although individual businesses may not discharge substantial amounts of wastes, the main problem is the combined impact of chemical and waste discharges from many small businesses.  A hairdresser’s day-to-day decisions regarding wastes can make a large impact on environmental issues. By implementing some basic environmental practices, salons can increase their facilities’ environmental responsibility, and often lower many costs.

There are a wide range of chemicals used in the hair and beauty industry.  Many of these chemicals are hazardous to the environment, but are also of concern to human health.


Chemicals in hair salons

hair dyes straighteners bleaches
shampoos peroxides brow and lash tints
hair styling agents permanent wave solutions disinfectants and cleaning products


Did you know?

One study in the United States of America has shown that up to 20% of hairdressers leave the business because of allergies or dermatitis.

Did you know?

If a tap drips once every second, 10,000 litres of water are wasted in one year!!


What Can I do as a hairdressing apprentice, beauty trainee or floristry apprentice (Hairdressing Sustainability)?

  • Don’t leave lights on when there is no one in the salon.
  • Make sure you are using energy-efficient bulbs and not old-fashioned low-efficiency fluorescent tubes. Energy efficient bulbs might seem more expensive to buy, but they last longer and waste less energy.
  • There is no need to leave any equipment on standby. It’s far more economical to turn appliances off at the power point. If you have a photocopier, computers or televisions that aren’t being constantly used, turn them off each time you have finished using them.
  • Don’t forget – screen savers do not save electricity they simply protect the screen. Leaving a photocopier on overnight uses enough energy to print more than 5,000 A4 copies.
  • If you lower the temperature in your hairdressing salon building by 1°C you can cut your heating bills by almost 10%. It’s best to set your thermostats to between 16°C and 19°C.
  • Check your water heater thermostat and make sure it’s at the right temperature. You shouldn’t have to add cold water to hot water to make it the right temperature. Instead, turn your thermostat down.
  • Lighting will account for a large proportion of your electricity bills, so make sure your windows are kept clean to ensure your salon gets as much natural light as possible.
  • If there are areas of the salon that aren’t in constant use, you could fit a sensor light that will only operate when someone enters the area and switch off when there is no further movement.
  • It is also worth regularly servicing your heating system. Costs can increase by about 30% if the system is poorly maintained. Close windows when the heating is on and don’t heat unused rooms.
  • How you launder your towels will have a major impact on the environment. You may be able to switch to cold water with newer washing machines.
  • If you need to update your hot water service then consider buying an efficient system. Up to 90% of the energy used for providing hot water can be wasted because of heat loss and system inefficiencies.



Posted by & filed under Hairdressing.

How to promote a hair salon

12 Ways to improve relationships with prospective clients.

Melbourne School Based Apprentice Quattro_Hairdressing_2015HairShow MMCollege 2014


Some simple and interesting ways of building relationships with new and prospective clients

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone who got their hair cut had a tag attached to their locks that said something like, “Haircut by Vicky”? I mean, if people walk around wearing brand names on their t-shirts, why shouldn’t you get free advertising for a job well done as well?

Unfortunately, even giving an amazing haircut to Taylor Swift before she graces the red carpet won’t send you any new customers. Haircuts just don’t have any branding opportunities. However, there are plenty of other ways to get people into your salon, and here are a few you can start using today.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 1: Partner with local photographers

Photographers are always in need of makeup artists and stylists for their shoots. In addition to often being paid for their on-site services, stylists get credit along with the photographer for any published photographs.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 2: Take client photos consistently

Keep a digital camera handy and take photos of your cuts and styles regularly. Since most people have a boost of self confidence after a haircut or style, many will be happy to pose for a few shots.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 3: Post photos online frequently

Choose your best and most diverse photos and make sure to post them on your website. Even more importantly, post them on your Twitter and Facebook Wall. People may not visit your website frequently, but they monitor their Twitter and Facebook feeds on a daily and hourly basis.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 4: Be your own model

Nobody wants to get a haircut from someone with a bad one. When you’re working, take the appropriate time in the morning to get your hair looking its best and when you’re out at an event where you’ll be seen, act as your own billboard. If you have a hairdressing school-based apprentice, or a full time apprentice make sure they are looking the part.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 5: Keep business cards with you

As mentioned in the previous tip, you should act as your own billboard. Do fun and interesting things with your hair that make people want to tell you that they “like your hair”. When they do, hand them your business card!

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 6: Start a blog

Nothing works better in online marketing than becoming a resource of targeted information. As a hair stylist, you can probably easily think of products you can review, or tough braids that you can write tutorials on. They don’t need to be “The Age” length feature articles – 500 words will do just fine. These articles can boost your visibility in search engines and give you a whole lot more to share and talk about on social media. Promote your staff and apprenticeship in these blogs.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 7: Throw contests

A good haircut only costs your time and can bring in new customers. Throwing contests that ask people to follow you on social media, or even better, submit public testimonials as a way of entering, can be invaluable to your business.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 8: Keep up with the hottest trends

For example, right now feather hair extensions and tinsel extensions are all the rage. Any hair salon that starts offering feather hair extensions today, is going to have a tough time competing with other hair salons who have been offering them for over a month now and already have customer pictures to post on Facebook and Twitter.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 9: Host a promotion at a public place

Some hair salons have had success setting up at art festivals, or simply setting up shop at a local park (with permission) and offering free cuts or bang trims. These events not only give you exposure but also allow you to hand out your business cards or discount coupons for their next cuts.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 10: Try SMS marketing

Sending the occasional text message to your clients can have a big boost in bookings. Reminders for their 6-week follow up or for special promotions is only recommended for regular customer though, as very old clients may have already found a new hairdresser and may feel uncomfortable asking you to stop messaging them.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 11: Try email marketing and newsletters

If you’ve already started your blog, you won’t have trouble filling up a monthly email newsletter to your clients. The newsletter may feature promotions, news and all the informative posts you’ve been adding to your website.

Hair Salon Marketing Idea 12: Offer your own “daily deal”

On your website, Facebook and other social media accounts, offer one deal a day for one of your services. Local customers may very well subscribe to your feeds just to stay informed of when you have a deal that meets their need. This way, you get the customers and you don’t have to give up all your profits to one of those other daily deal sites.


This information comes from SIHHIND304A Develop and expand a client base. This is given to all Marjorie Milner College hairdressing apprentices during their training.

Posted by & filed under Floristry.

New Top Floristry App Download Free Now!!!

Australian Flower Industry is taking floristry into the digital world with its new app. Watch the “Awesome Aussie Flowers” Youtube clip for more details.


It’s hard to believe that not so long ago, there was no Internet to turn to at a moment’s notice. No social media to connect us, or online news to instantly inform us.

Today, we have a world of information at our fingertips, all accessible through a range of handy digital devices. We are living in the New Digital Age.

The team who brings you the Australian Flower Industry magazine has kept a keen eye on the evolution of information delivery. For more than twelve years, they have brought together key information and delivered it across the country in a printed format, which has been so well received that the magazine is the leading voice of the national commercial cut flower and foliage industry.

Now, technology in the form of tablets, smart phones and interactive applications offer new ways to inform readers, provide content on-demand, and encourage participation and interaction throughout the flower industry community.

Introducing “Flower Mag”

Study Floristry Melbourne

Flower Mag is an electronic magazine which can now be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store. This new online tool gives us another avenue to communicate and share information with the wider cut flower and foliage community, in addition to the printed Australian Flower Industry magazine.

Flower Mag was created to take advantage of new online opportunities, instantly bringing the world of flowers to consumers and linking them with all members of the supply chain. As we progress into the future with more issues of Flower Mag, this Australian publication will grow and develop to suit the needs of its worldwide audience.

Flower also represents an exciting new world of advertising opportunities for our advertisers, which are not possible in a printed format. This equates to more conversions, more brand awareness, more social media exposure, and more revenue. New media benefits include the addition of links, audio options, embedded videos, shopping cart functionality and promotional competitions.

Celebrating the wonderful world of fresh flowers Flower Mag preserves the Australian Flower Industry magazine’s hard-won reputation as a great source of news, views, upcoming industry events, exclusive stories and practical information. Across the whole supply chain – from in-depth technical articles for growers and breeders, to marketing and sales secrets from the experts, to photo features on retail trends and exhibitions – users will continue to find something to help their business grow in every issue. Subscribers and advertisers offering innovative products and services, together with the extensive expertise of our contributing authors who write exclusively for the publication, all make Flower Mag the only trade flower magazine of its kind.

We employ all students to download this app and have a play. There are articles written by the Principal of Marjorie Milner College, Greg Milner. This could be a great tool for students at its free in the apps store.

Flower Mag is your mobile app, to celebrate your industry. Download it today, and stay tuned for exciting new developments…

Download Flower Mag by searching for ‘Flower mag’ at the App and Google play stores.

Apps Store Google App google-play-logo


Go to AFI Facebook Page for more details about publications.


Posted by & filed under Floristry, Hairdressing.

Do you know what is the most liveable city in the world Melbourne!!! Again.


MARVELLOUS Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city for the fifth year in a row. Melbourne has been the most liveable city in the world since 2011. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking rated 140 cities out of 100 in the areas of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Marjorie Milner College believes that the fantastic Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing and Floristry Industry in Melbourne and Victoria contributed to this. With amazing events, for example the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Salon Melbourne just to name a few. You can see why our industries have helped reclaim the crown for the fifth year. The training in Melbourne is fantastic, especially in the VET sector. The Floristry apprenticeship was first conceived in Melbourne back in 1977. Marjorie Milner College is the longest operating floristry school in Australia with its first class back in 1946. Many of the top salons and hairdressers live in Melbourne.

Melbourne Flower Show 2015 Salon Melbourne 2016  Hairdressing Beauty Salon Melbourne WorldSkills 2015 Floristry, Hairdressing

Marjorie Milner College is helping with the Victorian Training Awards again, another major event with over 850 people often in attendance at Crown Casino, Palladium. Look out for a twitter feed in the next week that demonstrates skills of the students.

How the rating works?

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability survey

The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations. Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgement of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points. The scores are then compiled and weighted to provide a score of 1–100, where 1 is considered intolerable and 100 is considered ideal. The liveability rating is provided both as an overall score and as a score for each category. To provide points of reference, the score is also given for each category relative to New York and an overall position in the ranking of 140 cities is provided. The suggested liveability scale Companies pay a premium (usually a percentage of a salary) to employees who move to cities where living conditions are particularly difficult and there is excessive physical hardship or a notably unhealthy environment. The Economist Intelligence Unit has given a suggested allowance to correspond with the rating. However, the actual level of the allowance is often a matter of company policy. It is not uncommon, for example, for companies to pay higher allowances—perhaps up to double The Economist Intelligence Unit’s suggested level. Description 80–100 There are few, if any, challenges to living standards 0 70–80 Day–to–day living is fine, in general, but some aspects of life may entail problems 5 60–70 Negative factors have an impact on day-to-day living 10 50–60 Liveability is substantially constrained 15 50 or less Most aspects of living are severely restricted 7 Suggested allowance (%) Rating

© The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2015

Marjorie Milner College is proud to be part of Melbourne’s success. We are grateful to our wonderful passionate students and to be part of MARVELLOUS Melbourne. 


Posted by & filed under Beauty Therapy, Floristry, Hairdressing.


WorldSkills 2015 Floristry Hairdressing Beauty Results


The International Worldskills 2015 was held in Anhembi Park, São Paulo, Brazil. The Worldskills 2015 Skillaroos comprises of Australia’s most dedicated and passionate young trades and skills professionals who will be competing in 26 specialised skill categories at the International Competition. Individually, every Skillaroo brings with them a specialised knowledge and distinguished skill-set to the International Competition. Two students from Marjorie Milner College received Silver and Bronze in the National WorldSkills final last year. The Winner went on to San Paulo. Australia has the following trades being represented in the International WorldSkills:


Skills with Competitors

  • Sheet Metal Technology
  • Industrial Control
  • Automobile Technology
  • Pâtisserie and Confectionery
  • Plumbing and Heating
  • Graphic Design Technology
  • Jewellery
  • Cabinetmaking
  • Fashion Technology
  • Construction Metal Work
  • Restaurant Service
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • Manufacturing Team Challenge
  • Welding
  • Hairdressing
  • Industrial Mechanics Millwright
  • Floristry
  • Wall and Floor Tiling
  • Bakery
  • Joinery
  • Bricklaying
  • Car Painting
  • Web Design

Why is Floristry in WorldSkills?

It takes skill to master the art of arranging flowers, and that is why Floristry is one of the WorldSkills competitions. Florists are able to plan, design, and prepare floral works appropriate to the occasion style, scale, budget, and theme. They arrange the types and colours of flowers that not only look nice, but reflect the mood of the occasion. Whether the arrangements are for funerals, weddings, or just to say “I’m sorry”, “congratulations” or “thank you”, Florists use their expertise to provide products that communicate those feelings the client is looking for.

The planning and preparation work of a Florist is very important. They must understand the impact of heat, ventilation and lighting on the floral display. They must also apply appropriate health and safety practices when working with plants and botanical displays, as some exotic plants look beautiful, but require precaution when handling. Skilled and talented Florists are familiar with all types of Floristry styles. There are many styles; the one you see most used usually depends on what country you live in and what types of flowers and plants are available.


WorldSkills 2015  São Paulo, Brazil  FLORISTRY Winners.


Stefanie Peskoller
South Tyrol, Italy


Hyun Jung Ga



Tobias Niefenecker


WorldSkills 2015  São Paulo, Brazil HAIRDRESSING Winners


Feng Nie




Su Gyeong Kim

Airul Firham Che Amran

Chinese Taipei

WorldSkills 2015 San Paulo, Brazil Beauty Therapy Winners


Rianne Chester
United Kingdom


Rena Mitani

Un Sung Kim


Emmastina Dannered




Worldskills Hairdressing MelbourneWorldskills Floristry

Worldskills Hairdressing Melbourne Aus