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Speaking Roses

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I recently celebrated a birthday, and one of the gifts I received was a dozen red roses. They weren¹t typical roses, though. These were ³speaking roses.² On a petal of each bud was written in gold ³Happy Birthday, Fred.² And a few of the roses showed the sender¹s name.

I had never seen anything like it. The embossed greeting, in a classy way, answered the questions ³Who are the roses from and why?² Friends and visitors that day admired the clever bouquet, and I found myself a bit intrigued. So, I contacted the company that sent them. It is appropriately called Speaking Roses, and come to find out, this Utah company is the only one in the world that does such a thing.

Owner Rene Rodriguez told me it was his entrepreneurial drive that led him to the unique idea. Born in Chile, Rene started an early search for the ideal business opportunity. At 14, he sold tires and batteries. He rented tandem bikes to tourists at 16, had his own LDS bookstore at 24 and by 26, he was running a promotional products business.

But Rene longed to do something never done before. He wanted to emboss rose petals with messages, pictures and names. And why not? The unique touch would certainly add to a bouquet¹s appeal.

The process, which now has patents pending, took years of research. But having discovered a way, Rene relocated to Utah for its ideal small business environment and soon had business underway.

Though not even a year old, Speaking Roses is ³blooming.² Thousands of embossed bouquets have been shipped locally and nationwide to people in Miami, New York and Chicago. With a small staff of just 10 employees, the company receives orders, prepares and embosses the roses and ships them on a daily basis‹all from its headquarters in Salt Lake. Judging by demand, Rene expects his service to be in every flower shop worldwide within the near future. And I think this young entrepreneur is well on his way. For more information on Speaking Roses, log on to

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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