When I lived in Japan in the early 70’s I decided to learn the art of flower arrangement called Ikebana in exchange of giving English speaking lessons to my Japanese friends.
I gradually developed deep interest and after moving to India got teacher certification from Ohara school of Ikebana, awarded only to selected few.
For many years in Delhi I associated with Kitchen garden association won many competitions, honed in my style of arrangements, eventually becoming a full time member of the Ikebana chapter in Delhi. Every step of the way, the art I practiced was a hobby, to escape from sometime routine work as a house wife and raising 3 children.
I come from Rajasthan and we have tradition of celebrating weddings extravagantly. Flower arrangements are a big part of decoration. I soon realized I could bring my training in Ikebana to these decorations, and began doing mega arrangements for weddings. I gained lot of good will, satisfaction and appreciation for my talent.
It was time to take the next step. I decided to launch my own flower business. Suddenly I realized, I had to handle finances, training of the staff, logistics of delivery of material, competition, pricing. I had to manage and learn a lot, sometimes very frustrating, when clients didn’t pay their bills or my staff put in the wrong flowers. To overcome these challenges I standardized original designs, adapting to Indian clientele. As my business grew I hired staff to manage daily operations, so I could focus on keeping my styles fresh and new.
To increase the outreach to a national level, I decided to publish an e-commerce site. I taught myself photo editing software, google search engine optimization techniques.
Fast forwarding to 2016 today my business is one of the leading flower businesses in India catering to all occasions, events and corporate offices.
I will not say it was easy. When I look back - I can safely paraphrase this quote “Work creates work”. I had my team but without my family‘s support this feat was not possible. After all, I have no degree in business. But by staying focused, passionate, I overcame every hurdle.
Today, I want to impart my learnings to others. I want to revive taking lessons to enthusiasts, and keep the art of perfecting, the art of Ikebana, the ability to persevere to young minds, and to those who want to pursue artistic and creative vocations.
This is my 18 year journey. A simple story which I feel compelled to share.