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I Initially met my soon-to-be best friend, Mayu Valladolid, at Margret T Hance Park while hosting an event budding my career as a florist. I remember that at this elegant Farmer’s Market event Mayu purchased her first flower from me. She fell in love with this rare bi-color rose named Nicole, which has the purest white petals on the inside and red outer petal.

In the next few months I opened a company called Rose Petaler in Scottsdale’s Hilton Village shopping center. We specialized in Ecuadorian Roses as they were beginning to make their premier in the States. I fell in love with these roses in the early 90’s at my first position working for an Ecuadorian family on Newbury Street in Boston. With this job, I had the opportunity to travel back to their home country for 3 weeks to tour magnificent farms and curate the most exquisite collections of flowers for our shop. I first set my eyes on these Ecuadorian delicacies and fell deeply in love.

When Mayu showed up once a month in our store, despite the 45-minute drive, just to purchase one of our special roses I knew a long friendship was blossoming. After a few years of this special connection, Mayu began spending holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with me and my family. This sweet woman even visited me at the hospital when I bore my first child, Arianna. As the years went by our companionship flourished.

This past September my friend was married to the love of her life in Chula Vista, California and I was able to attend alongside my husband and son. I chose to celebrate this new adventure in her life by surprising her with a lovely bouquet of White Snowberries, Israeli Ruscus and Juliette Peach Garden Roses. Through this extraordinary friendship with Mayu, I learned that a friend was worth more than a million roses…