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The Women Behind The Bouqs: Interviews with Farmers Maria Elvira and Ximena

The floral industry is largely powered by women; as an example, about 60% of jobs in the floral industry in Colombia are held by women. Here at The Bouqs Co., we’re proud to champion the hard work of the women who influence every aspect of the business. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we spoke with two of the (many) incredible women behind The Bouqs about the work they do and the importance of supporting each other.

Maria Elvira, CEO and founder at Magic Flowers

How did you get into floriculture?

In 1991, my husband and I embarked on our journey on a cacao farm in the heart of the Amazon. While he focused on agriculture and cultivating tropical flowers, my field was marketing and my hobby was painting.

Observing my husband’s dedicated work, I felt compelled to join him. I wanted to showcase the beauty of the Amazon’s colors through the flowers he grew. So, I immersed myself in floral design, learning about nature species and their uniqueness while raising our three children as our business flourished.

How does owning a farm affect your life and your family?

Owning a farm has profoundly shaped both my life and my family’s. Days overflow with diverse tasks, from managing a floral design team to navigating international export regulations. Amidst the whirlwind, I’ve learned invaluable lessons from nature’s beauty, appreciating its intricate processes and ever-changing hues.

Observing the growth cycle, from seed to fruition, mirrors the creative journey I once explored in painting. Each element, from palm stems to blooming flowers, reveals nature’s boundless creativity. This shared passion for the natural world unites my family, bringing us closer as we navigate the joys and challenges of farm life together.

How do you support women who work on your farm?

In extending employment opportunities to women, we embrace the responsibility of not only providing meaningful work but also empowering them to contribute actively to the economic wellbeing of their communities. Through our commitment to fair wages, safe working conditions, and opportunities for personal and professional growth, we create an environment where women feel valued, respected, and supported in balancing their work and family responsibilities.

What impact has The Bouqs had on you & your business?

The impact of The Bouqs on our business has been profound. It provided us with the dream opportunity to directly connect with consumers in the United States through their platform. This partnership allowed us to showcase our meticulously crafted hand-tied floral arrangements, cultivated with care from our own land and delivered straight to customers’ homes.

Partnering with the Bouqs has helped us streamline our process, ensuring that our flowers reach customers in their freshest state, preserving their natural beauty and charm. Since joining forces with The Bouqs and becoming part of their daily offerings, the growth has been remarkable. We’ve expanded our team significantly, particularly empowering women with many new employment opportunities at our farm. This growth not only reflects the success of our collaboration but also underscores our shared commitment to empowerment and excellence.

Maria Elvira poses with her family

Maria Elvira poses with her family

Ximena, Agronomist Engineer at Agricola Cunday

What was your path to your current role?

22 years ago, I finished my bachelor’s degree and got involved in the flower sector. I started working as an MIPE (Integrated Management of Pests and Diseases) and MIRFE (Integrated Management of Irrigation and Fertilization) engineer at a rose production company for two years, then took the same position at the Riofrio Company, whose speciality is diversified chrysanthemum crops.

I spent nine incredible years at Riofrio, as I had the opportunity to learn everything related to pompom blooms and chrysanthemum production. Later on, I worked at chrysanthemum hybridizing company Progeny Breeding, where I learned in detail all the processes for creating new varieties. In 2012 I joined the Agricola Cunday Company at Bacatá headquarters, where I am currently the Production Director of the chrysanthemum crop.

Who has inspired you in your career?

Many people have inspired and supported me during all these years of my professional career: bosses, colleagues, co-workers and collaborators, who through their positions and skills always work their hardest to grow flowers that make people feel good.

How do you support other women in floriculture?

Women are very important in the floriculture process, especially taking into account that more than 70% of this company’s workers are women. My professional work, apart from producing flowers, is to contribute to social development by supporting women through training, generating safe and equal work environments and providing job stability to improve quality of life for them and their families.

From us here at The Bouqs Co., we want to thank Maria Elvira and Ximena for joining us for these interviews. We also want to extend our gratitude to all the women throughout our company, our partners, and beyond; we wouldn’t be where we are today without the hard work and determination of countless women who have helped us in our own journey. Happy International Women’s Day!

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