Houston, Texas, USA 10/7/2009 2:04:38 AM
News / Business

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Make Flowers

Katrina Survivor Weathers the Economic Storms

TransWorldNews - Lee Page of Le Jardiniere Florist (meaning “The Gardener” in French) was one of New Orleans’ premier florists before Hurricane Katrina. Four years later he is weathering another malaise affecting the nation as a whole – an economic tsunami. 


In New Orleans, his clients were the social elite – senators, mayors, city officials, university officials and more.  “They came to me for top society weddings, large corporate events, international conferences, visiting celebrities, and the always demanding Mardi Gras celebrations,” says Mr. Page. 


“I had to leave that market and pack up a small U-haul to move to Texas after the great flood. I stopped in a town outside Dallas and pulled into a parking lot to cry,” he said. 


“Soon a gentleman tapped on my window and asked if I was from New Orleans,” he recalls.  “The man was a pastor and had been praying with his church for someone to help. They bought me clothes, because all I had was what I was wearing, and they also fed me and let me stay a few days so that I could make calls and arrange my accomodations with friends in Houston.”


“Before I left, I heard them discuss purchasing a very old used van for the church and advised them that an old van would cost them more in maintenance than the cost of the van” he said.


The florist never forgot their generosity.  He recalled further, “When I got settled in Houston and received the first insurance check from my lost home and business, I called the pastor to tell him to come pick up their brand new van complete with a custom logo on the sides and their new sign for the front of the church,” he said.  “The pastor was so elated and grateful,” he remembered.  “I love my job of making memories and that means more than just flowers,” said Mr. Page who now goes by the title of “The Floral Maestro of New Orleans.”


“I grew up poor and know what it is like to be in need.  I have served the wealthy and elite and am working hard to understand the Houston market and I plan to stay,” says The Maestro.


“I did not let Hurricane Katrina wipe me out, and I will not let this storm destroy me either,” says “Le Jardiniere” Lee Page, The Maestro of New Orleans.


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