During the 2020 lockdown I started a podcast – in 2021 we are revisiting those chats.
Lena Malouf grew up in Canowindra in regional NSW and learned retail from her shopkeeper parents.
Engaged at 18, married at 19, then starting a business with three young children Lena had to be resourceful.
We follow her career from opening a floristry business in Wollongong in 1957 to teaching at Ultimo TAFE, then back into a floristry business that thrived in Sydney with contracts for the major hotels along with weddings – including that of Elton John to Renate Blauel in 1984.
During this time Lena also turned to writing books on floristry.
While in the US at a conference Lena met Angelo Bonito who convinced her to start a chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES) in Australia. Lena reached out to others who were producing or providing services for events (including myself) and within a couple of years we had a fully operational chapter that lasted for 25 years.
Lena opens up about the time in 2002 when she found herself on the front page of the SMH – for all the wrong reasons!
These days Lena still keeps in touch with the industry and the people in it.
Lena is a regular golfer and was chuffed to tell me in the interview that she won the competition the previous week and the prize was a parrot driver cover, it will be called Alan (listen to the podcast).