What would Valentine’s Day be without the rose, the quintessential queen of the flower world? Lovers and poets have praised their beauty for centuries. Who would ever think of improving on such a grand flower whose most famous cultivar is named “American Beauty?” That would be Hans Chang, founder and CEO of Empress Floral.
Chang, a former engineer who worked in the petroleum industry, often found himself in Colombia, where the world’s best roses are grown. Chang also found himself falling more in love with roses and less in love with engineering until he finally decided to pursue his true passion. He gave up engineering and focused all his energies on delivering the world’s best roses with his new company.
“I couldn’t believe the difference between the roses in Colombia and those you see at the flower markets,” says Chang. “I wanted to find a way to bring these big, beautiful flowers to the world in a different way.”
The roses are grown and preserved in Bogatá, Colombia, but Empress Floral operates out of Las Vegas, Nevada, where they serve luxury hotels, such as Caesars Palace, Bellagio, MGM Studios, and Aria.
Chang’s team of chemists and chemical engineers invented a proprietary process to develop roses that keep their petals at least a year, don’t fade, and even continue to exude their delicate fragrance. The roses come in remarkable colors from royal blue to violet to orange. They are arranged in a number of different ways — bunched together in a traditional bouquet, free standing in a vase, or carefully presented in a lucite box designed to preserve the flowers and their perfume.
Even better, and just in time for Valentine’s Day, the roses can also be included in a beautiful gift box that allows for a video or voice recording from the giver to the beloved. In the time of Covid when so many people have been communicating online with someone they have never met, this is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift — romantic and reminiscent of first “meetings.”
Chang is pursuing the creation of other preserved flowers and has a line of hydrangeas that come in a wide variety of vibrant colors. He also has created a rose wall that can be easily assembled and disassembled for weddings or other events. “Flowers are something that are never going to go out of style,” he says, “but I want to be more creative with them. People haven’t thought about that before because they are so traditional, and people have just sold them the same way forever.”
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And that name is Empress Floral.