When I was little, I was always fascinated with what the contents were in a doctor’s bag. My sister and I really loved Little House on the Prairie, and as I recall, Dr. Baker was always prepared with his kit. My grandfather was a doctor, and in his days in the military he was a field doctor in France. I always thought about how he had to be prepared for some really gruesome situations, and how his doctor bag was essentially a magic toolbox. Sort of.
At the flower shop I work at, we sometimes take on several weddings per weekend. With a staff of five and a proportionally large-sized pool of freelancers to hire, we’re able to do that and still devote the appropriate care to each event. If there are multiple events in one weekend, it is a coordination game of timing and transportation, with dropping things off, setting them up, all over town and throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. Each team that goes out to flower also goes out with what we lovingly refer to as a “kit.”
“Do you have a kit?”
“Is there extra ribbon in your kit? Just in case.”
“Where’s the kit?!” (Furtive glancing around the shop, only to find the kit is right in front of us on the work table.)
“Do you think I need extra zip ties in our kit?”
It’s just a tool kit that is full of production supplies. In the event that something were to become undone, or break, or deconstruct, the hope is that with a fully stocked kit and some fast fingers, we can fix the problem wherever it happens. Sometimes the problem is that an extra boutonniere or corsage needs to be whipped up using stems stolen from a centerpiece, or sometimes the ribbon on a bouquet gets soaking wet and needs to be re-wrapped. Or, maybe the wire wasn’t doing the job and zip ties need to force a garland to stay put.
Your preferred tool kit might not need as many items in it, or you might want to just make sure you have everything you could possibly need available to you.
If you’re freelancing at a certain location, you can’t necessarily bank on having supplies available to you, so I tend to err on the side of caution and just bring as much as possible. I've found that in situations where I'm hired to freelance, I use more items in the kit than while working weddings at the shop.
Tape: waterproof tape (wide and narrow), stretchy tape (half-inch and one inch), duct tape, scotch tape
Adhesive: Oasis floral glue
Fasteners: bind wire, zip ties, rubber bands, twine, tiny wire cuttings, boutonniere/corsage pins
Hand tools: clippers, snips, ribbon scissors, knife
Miscellaneous: permanent marker, pens, towels, binder clips
What essential items are in your kit? Has anything unconventional come in handy for you, like my binder clip?