Susie Ameche, Founder & CEO of Make Be-Leaves
Having earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts from Loyola Marymount University, Susanne “Susie” Ameche founded Make Be-Leaves in March 1983 to blend her creativity with her entrepreneurial spirit. Her company has since become a national and international official minority supplier of custom artificial and preserved trees, plantscapes and florals for the commercial interior design industry. Susie is proud to be a GSA-approved contractor since 1988 as well as a WBENC-certified Woman Owned small business, and California Certified Flame Treatment Applicator.
Susie has traveled extensively and her international travel in particular has inspired special curated collections, including Bali, France and England. In fact, her English collection has a royal connection, as her trip coincided with the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, which continues to inspire as part of Make Be-Leaves wedding packages.
From interior designers to landscape architects, Susie happiest when she is able to collaborate to find creative, quality solutions for her clients — whatever the limitations may be. Some installations that showcase her ability to adapt under any circumstances include:
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- Casino de Deauville, France — MBL constructed 20, 20ft tall custom artificial Ficus Trees for this magnificent casino off the coast of Normandy, France. Make Be-Leaves worked with HBA/Hirsch Bedner & Associates in Santa Monica to design the trees, and ultimately saving the casino over $20,000, by compactly shipping the large trees, then assembling them on the ground for the casino owners, who remain thrilled with the stately trees.
- Grand Hyatt, Melbourne, Australia — Make Be-Leaves constructed a dozen custom 20 foot tall trees for this facility. Due to strict rules regarding importing natural wood because they can introduce different species of insects to the country, upon arrival to Australia, the tree trunks had to be “baked” at a high temperature to kill any potential bugs. To accommodate this requirement, Make Be-Leaves assembled the trees on the ground once the procedure was complete. The Grand Hyatt is a beautiful luxury hotel located near the Yarra River and operations were in full swing during the installation. To prevent disturbing hotel guests during the assembly process, the Make Be-Leaves crew worked during the day in their parking structure — drilling and gluing the leaf sprays onto the wood trunks. After 11:00pm, the crew then worked through several nights to complete the re-potting and put the finishing touches on the trees.
- Hotel Nikko, Guam — Susie and her team installed an expansive artificial plantscaping through the public spaces of this high-end luxury hotel. Immediately after the completion of the installation, the strongest typhoon in 15 years tore through the island, with 190 mph winds. Susie was 5 and a half months pregnant at the time, and all pregnant women in their 8th month or more were advised to report to the hospital, due to the drop in barometric pressure. The airport shut down, and all electricity was out for the next few days. Despite that, Susie lead the team to complete the installation up to her usual flawless standards.
- Aladdin Resort and Casino, Las Vegas — Bespoke 14 foot wide canopy Black Olive trees were constructed to the facility’s exacting specifications. Upon arrival on site with the trees, Susie and the Make Be-Leaves team discovered that the ceiling height of the outdoor porte-cochère area where the trees were to be installed had been reduced by several feet. To make the installation work under this new restriction, Susie lead the team day and night to re-construct more than a dozen trees, reducing tree heights while maintaining the desired shape, so that the hotel would be ready for its grand opening that week.
Susie Ameche on designs for “Grand Scale Wedding Event.”
Make Be-Leaves was contacted by Mindy Weiss Wedding Planner, and Kelly Revels of Vine Garden Market on St. Simons Island, GA, to provide huge, custom artificial Oak Trees for a grand scale wedding event over Labor Day weekend. The wedding festivities included a pre-wedding barbecue the evening prior to the wedding on the quiet, remote Rainbow Island, the wedding ceremony took place at The Lodge on St. Simons Island, and the wedding reception in the grand ballroom of The Cloister, on Sea Island. Quite a weekend extravaganza!