Ruth M. Owades

RUTH M. OWADES launched Calyx & Corolla, a mail-order flower service, in 1989. What makes this $20 million business so special is that Owades, 49, has radically changed the way flowers are distributed, shipping directly from growers to customers. That cuts out costly middlemen and provides fresher flowers. C&C, now going global, is one of Harvard B-school's study cases.

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