Selling flowers out of her VW Beetle helps Rio woman survive COVID-19

RIO DE JANEIRO — You can’t miss the green 1969 Volkswagen Beetle parked at the corner, orchids and ferns crowding its open bonnet, sunflowers sticking out of windows, potted plants on the roof.

Turning her car into a flower shop was Valcineia Machado’s survival plan after her business collapsed in the COVID-19 pandemic, and she is has become a hit in Rio’s Copacabana beach district.

At 51, she has reinvented herself, moving from real estate to selling roses and other flower on a busy corner.

“I had no money at all to pay the rent, so I began to think what I could do to survive,” she said, placing a sunflower pot on the sidewalk.

And it’s going well. In the first three days she made enough to cover one-third of the cost of buying the Beetle, and she says she has become the talk of the neighborhood.

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