“Love planted a rose, and the world turned sweet," quipped Katharine Lee Bates, U.S. scholar, writer and author of "America the Beautiful."
Roses typically are considered the masterpiece of all flowers because they prompt associations with beauty, positivity and love. Roses mesmerize people with their appearance, reminding recipients of such precious petals that someone genuinely cares for them.
What if roses as gifts could keep giving for more than 365 days? That's the promise and magic of a Nashville specialty company called M Fleurs. The company creates preserved roses arrangements for indoor uses -- luxury flowers that require no refrigeration or water. Another bonus comes from specially designed vessels to encase or display these novel roses.
A Rose-Colored Glasses Story
"Fleuris" is a girl's name of French origin that means "flower," and mille-fleurs literally means "a thousand flowers." How nice it'd be to have a field of a thousand roses for forever. The next best thing would be to surround oneself with roses that somehow extend the happiness and optimism they provide in those initial seconds of receiving them. Enter a flower gift concept conceived in Canada about five years ago.
Abby Franklin, M Fleurs Nashville owner, says the company's La Solitaire rose can even last up to three years.
"We offer roses in 30-plus colors. I love it when people trust me to create a wonderful arrangement uniquely for them. For those looking for a certain color combination, I can take photos of that combo and email or text it to them before they commit to it," explains Abby, who weaves her previous style and fashion background into this rose endeavor.
A Louisiana native turned Nashville resident, Abby was a dressing room coordinator and stylist who worked with music icons, including Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson and Lenny Kravitz. She toured the world with Bon Jovi and Katy Perry. She also has retail experience from being owner/buyer for The Trunk, Nashville’s first mobile fashion boutique, and its sister store in East Nashville.
Abby says she met the founder of M Fleurs about 13 years ago, and they became friends through their mutual interest in the clothing and fashion industry. They decided Nashville would be a great place to open M Fleurs' first U.S. location, following Montreal and Toronto. After having a M Fleurs retail location on Fatherland Street between January 2019 to 2020, Abby says she decided to work online from home when this year's pandemic hit.
She even has a RoseSheShed from which to create. "I'm considering opening another retail spot during 2021; it'll be in Brentwood, as that's where a large portion of my clients are located," she adds.
How These Roses Work
The roses Abby uses are flown in from Ecuador and then shipped from Miami to Nashville for a total of 2,681 miles. Why use roses from Ecuador? The country's climate and elevation create the perfect environment for roses to thrive. It also helps that the country's located on the equator, which means there are 12 hours of daylight and consistent temperatures everyday of the year. Around the globe, Ecuadorian roses are known for having larger buds and blooms. These rose plants are all-around hardy, and can grow more than 5 feet tall.
"We checked to make sure the rose farm paid a fair wage. We found they mostly employed women who were paid more there than they'd be paid in traditional job settings," Abby says.
When plucked, the roses are immediately preserved in a glycerin solution, which slowly replaces the moisture in the flower's veins. They are dyed at the same time. "The solution also makes the roses supple to work with, and adds to their longevity," adds Abby.
Once Abby has secured the roses inside their box or container, the flowers should not be removed. She says doing so can destroy the arrangement and compromise the roses’ integrity.
"The roses are great for those with sensory concerns, allergies or pets, because the flowers are non-toxic and hypoallergenic," confirms Abby.
Great Gifts For People Who 'Already Have Everything'
M Fleurs roses come in customized containers, such as ring boxes, vanity dresser acrylic, vases or select colored hat boxes. Custom die-cut decals can be added to containers, too.
The signature boxes come in different colors and fabrics. The cases also are available in a range of sizes and styles. Each color and container is hand-selected for occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers, parties and special events. The roses also are sent on behalf of funerals or the passing of pets.
Abby says the roses are, of course, a megahit for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
She says she was over-the-moon happy to collaborate with local artists to create a series of one-of-a-kind containers, which customers then keep beyond the roses as a collectors' work of art. Those artists include multidisciplinary creators, such as Tyler Minor, Alic Daniel, Chrissy Crater, Beck, Hanna Bee Tucker, Katie Hestla and Rachel Deeb.
"During the upcoming holidays, I'll be doing some popup sales, partnering with other business professionals, like fashion store owners," says Abby.
M Fleurs rose packages range in price from $39 to $799. Abby also offers gift cards.
"Between all of our possible combinations, we have something for everyone -- especially when you want to give a gift that says you're thinking about that special person every time they look at your roses," Abby assures.
M Fleurs was founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 2015 as a woman owned and operated business. With stores in Toronto and Nashville, they create luxury rose boxes using premier roses harvested in Ecuador. The roses are preserved with a glycerin solution, allowing them to last for a year-plus without water.