He was resting at his house, in Villa El Salvador. It was 3 in the morning. Until she received a phone call telling her that the market was on fire. He arrived and the fire had reached his post. He could not rescue anything, he lost everything.
In the flower market that is on the Evitamiento road, near the Santa Rosa bridge, in the Rimac district, there was his establishment in the field of floral arrangements and accessories for arrangements, in addition to selling flowers. A business that she has known since she was a child, an area to which her parents dedicated themselves for almost 50 years. They migrated from Huarochirí to Matucana, Chosica and then to the National Stadium, to finally settle in Rímac. This 2023, Luisa Macavilca celebrates 20 years as a florist and microentrepreneur, leading Art and Distinction with Flowers.
Four days have passed fire and you still can’t open your booth. The heat has bent the irons, has sealed them, they are a jumble of metals. “The president of the market tells me: ‘You are so strong that not even your position wants to collapse’, he tells me. We are sitting on two plastic chairs, in front of the market that looks burnt out, its walls melting like gray scabs.
-Luisa, despite everything, in her eyes there is faith, there is hope.
Thank God I have the support of my children, my brothers, my family and a portfolio of clients that supports me to continue working. I work for the brotherhoods, both in Lima and Barranco, Surco, Jesús María. That maintains the strength that I am going to continue, out of nowhere I am going to resurface.
-This 2023 turns 20 years old.
When my parents arrived at the National Stadium, I was about 13 years old. I started working with them when I was about 23 years old. I am the eldest daughter, we were six siblings. At first I helped sell and studied. I was 23 years old, I made my family and I only came to help my parents on weekends. And already in 2003 I decided to have my own position. I started with my husband, with my children and later I increased with the help of financial companies, of the banks and my capital was strong, I was one of the people who had the most capital.
-How will it go forward?
Our challenge is to make the market of noble material. We want this to be the beginning of a megaproject. For now, the Friendship Day campaign is coming, on February 14. It is one of the strongest campaigns, along with Mother’s Day. That they visit us in this campaign, that will be a way of collaborating with us and giving us the strength to continue.
-Why did you continue the work of your parents with flowers?
I am a nurse by profession and I have also been a secretary. When my oldest son was 13 and my daughter was 9, I realized that I was dedicated to my work in hospitals or clinics but had no time to dedicate to my children. And this type of work with flowers is freer and I gave myself the hours to control my children at such a difficult age in which they were, I needed to be at their feet so that they would not go astray. I resigned and dedicated myself to the business, and to have my free hours. Both of my children are now professionals: my son followed International Business and my daughter is a psychologist. And now a fire is not going to bring me down, I am going to continue with my flower business and I am going to leave something for my children.
-What is special about selling flowers?
We have the art of making flower arrangements. My brother was one of the best flower arrangers, but he passed away at the age of 37.
-Why can some flowers improve our day?
Flowers are like an awakening to life. From the moment you wake up, that plant transmits energy to you. If someone gives you a flower, he is saying ‘I love you’, he is transmitting his wish that you improve yourself and be well. Even when a relative dies, you wear a crown and you are saying that you esteem him, that you recognize him and that you are accompanying the pain.
-Or when love arrives.
(laughs). I always said: “If they give me a carnation, I love it.” In my house there is always a place for my flowers. Each flower has a message. If you are sad and they give you a red flower, it lifts your spirits. I went through many depressions because I lost relatives and I came here and my spirits lifted. And now it will be the same.
-What is your favorite flower?
I always liked roses. Red roses are love, pink ones are youth, yellow ones are happiness and white ones are peace.
-When the people we love leave, what flowers should we take?
It is customary to bear white flowers. But I always say: bring her her favorite flower.
-What flowers does he bring to his brother?
I always bring him light blue flowers because he was made of Crystal. My father also went to heaven, but my mother is with me, he is 82 years old and he worked with flowers. My mother has cried a lot because of the fire, but I tell her that this is a test and that tests only give to the brave, and we are brave.
-And what flowers does he bring to his father?
He liked the daisy and its light blue flowers. I also have a 19-year-old sister who passed away, she liked pink roses. I am always visiting them. If we stop visiting them, we will forget them.
-What flower would I put in the middle of this charred field?
A yellow flower to wish us happiness. I want to hear my classmates laugh. We’ll see tomorrow how we get out. We have life and we will achieve anything…
– “My name is Luisa Soledad Macavilca Zavaleta. I am 60 years old and I will be turning 61 on the 31st of this month. I was born in Lima, my parents are from Huarochirí, from a small town called Santa Ana. I always return to Huarochirí to remember my father’s town and the traditional festivals”.
– “I finished school and first I studied to be a secretary, and working as a secretary I began to study to be a nurse. I worked for about 15 years as a nurse, and then I went out and dedicated myself to flowers. My husband works at the Ministry of Health.”
– “I am working online or you can call me at 993898777. I can send the flowers by delivery. I want to see my market built as a mega market with good infrastructure. I have also been president of the market. I am on Facebook as Art and Distinction with Flowers”.