CARRIAGE TRADE: Flying Flora

Like many another businessman, 39-year-old Master Promoter Robert Lawver Smith scarcely knew a chrysanthemum from a moss rose. But he did know that flowers could be sold. With that information, plus $125,000 and the merchandising experience gained as general manager of the tabloid Los Angeles Daily News (a job he still holds), Smith charged last year into the flower business. It took him just seven months to become the No. 1 combination grower-wholesaler-retailer in the nation's $300,000,000 floral industry.

His flower-sniffing began last August, when Daily News Horticulturist-Publisher Manchester E. Boddy...

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