Women at Work Roses | Christina Motley LLC

The Rose – More than Meets the Eye and Nose; Honoring Women in Business

It was my greatest pleasure to give a rose to 50 Triangle women in business during the the Carolina Parents 2013 Women@Work Breakfast Event 

Most everyone knows a rose symbolizes love and beauty. Throughout history the flower has been immortalized by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Van Gogh to name a few.  Even the Bard took artistic license by using roses to symbolize the Houses of Lancaster and York in reference to the War of the Roses. In Henry VI, Part One Shakespeare depicts the minor lords as choosing their factions symbolically by plucking either white or red roses from a garden.

Known as the “Rose Capital of America,” the small town East Texas town of Tyler invented the rose growing and selling industry due to their sandy soil, year round rain fall and normal weather patterns.

Roses come in various sizes and in a full-spectrum of colors many never see and are brought to life by specialty growers, who ship orders to wholesalers.  In business, the floral industry accounts for $7 billion in the United States, while nursery, greenhouse and floriculture crop production generates another $16 billion.

While the rose is the most requested and most common flower used in weddings, it is also a flower I became especially enamored with while helping an extraordinary floral and event designer prepare over 1,000 roses for brides.

Unarguably, the flower alone is beautiful, sophisticated, smells delightful and comes in a full spectrum of colors. However, the care and maintenance roses require, may be surprising.

Roses arrive carefully packaged, covered in plastic with wet paper spread between each individual rose for extra protection. The first step for floral designers is to remove the packaging, cut the stems, place them in fresh water and transfer them to a 40° Fahrenheit cooler where their petals begin opening.

The following day, the designer strips the roses of all thorns and leaves, allowing the water to provide all its energy so petals can open to perfection. The roses receive another fresh cutting and returned to fresh water. When the roses are handled again, it is to remove any less-than-perfect petals, receive a fresh cutting and again, place in fresh water. Only now are they ready for the designer to work with and create stunning bouquets, center pieces and other arrangements.

I will never look at a rose the same way again.

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