On one of my walks this week, I met Carlos, a flower seller who peddles flowers from his Piaggio truck. I love to meet flower shop owners around the world and it was such a pleasure to meet Carlos who focuses on selling seasonal, locally grown flowers. Below is an edited, translated interview with him.
What is the name of your business (there’s no sign):
I prefer not to use my last name. I go by Carlos, The Florist. (Carlos, Fleurista!).
Did you train as a florist?
I started out selling fish, then working as a car mechanic, and finally found my calling in flowers. I’ve been doing this for 30 years!
Is it difficult to sell flowers?
The key is to do things others are not doing and to have a display with impact. A few weeks ago, the display was all sunflowers, and I had groups from Japan here snapping lots of photos!
Do you have a website?
I don’t do anything with the Internet. I park outside of this grocery store everyday from 9-5 and people buy when they buy their groceries. I have to keep my flower display certain measurements requested by the city council and it costs 5 Euros a day to park here.
Where do you find your flowers?
Everything is grown here in Portugal. I buy from growers on the other side of the river.
You can find Carlos on Rua da Roma at the Pingo Doce near the Roma subway stop in Lisbon.
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Photos and edited text by Chelsea Fuss. Original interview and translation by Claudio Silva.