BongRong was a proud partner of this year’s International Music Day celebration. The alternative beauty of the paper-flower arrangements that were given to the celebrity performers on that evening caught the eye of every member on our team and we started inquiring about it. Tapasi Bhattacharya, one among the organizers of that music festival introduced us to the woman behind the project Art Flora. And we found a story that can inspire every young soul in our city to quit their boring 9 to 5 job and start something of their own.
>>> From the album of Art Flora <<<
Here we have Ms. Radhika Chaudhary, the brain and soul behind Art Flora in a conversation telling us her story.
BongRong: Were you always passionate about making paper flowers?
Radhika: Yeah. I started making flowers when I was in School. Then with college and everything, I had to give up on it. Recently, I was working in a prominent furniture brand and life was really monotonous. So, I started making flowers again. And I got more interested in flowers than furnishing. So, I decided to keep on making flowers and honestly, I needed a reason to quit my job (giggles).
BongRong: The decision to quit your job and venture into unknown avenues of business, is it paying off? How are your parents reacting to it?
Radhika: They get to see more of me and they are very happy. I was in a job, so I used to wake up, go to work, come back all tired and eventually sleep off. That was my daily routine. I never got the time to have some quality moments with my family. Now I have the time. I am still working hard but I am in more control of my life. I am working late at night and waking up early and getting at it again when there is work pressure. When it’s a bit quite, I relax and experiment with my products. I am enjoying life like never before.
BongRong: It’s been 7 months since you started with your company, tell our readers a bit about the journey so far.
Radhika: Well, I was really bored with my job and I decided to quit. I was serving my notice period when I got to know about this exhibition, Mayfair Seventeen. It was happening on Mayfair Road last December and the stalls were dirt-cheap. And I thought, why not start with this? Otherwise I will be planning for a few months on how to start, deciding on what to do and what not to do, work on my stocks and what not. With that exhibition I had only 25 days to prepare and that gave me all the push I needed. I just went for it.
BongRong: So, what kind of response did you get?
Radhika: The response was way better than expected and the next few months went really well. Then, on Emami Market Rooftop, another fair called Gypsyville happened in May. I took part in that as well. It was open air and my products were made of paper. I saw that there were chances of rain and luckily I packed up before it started raining. But T2 had covered the event and through that Art Flora got a small coverage on T2. Now I have regular orders from Floralis in Mani Square. I am also developing products in flowers. Just today I created a Tiara and Broach with my flowers. I plan on starting with Tray decorations, Gift wrapping. I do all my work with my own hand and it’s really fun!
BongRong: We heard that you can customize paper flower arrangements on request. How does that work?
Radhika: I can make different flowers like roses, carnations, lilies, hibiscus, wild tulips, poppies, sunflowers, hyacinths and hydrangea. You can visit my website and see what all can be made. I have a colour wheel and you can choose any flower that you like and get it in a colour that you prefer. There are a lot of flowers, lot of colours and lots of arrangements. I can create something totally unique for you.
BongRong: Among the customization orders you have made, which one would you say is your favourite?
Radhika: The first anniversary to your relationship is called Paper anniversary. Did you know that?
BongRong: Wow! Really? Had no idea.
Radhika: I had a customer ordering for his/her Paper anniversary. Before that, even I didn’t know. So, that order…well, I made an arrangement with a lot of pink roses. From every rose a letter was hanging to make a song – “Tumse hi din hota hai, Surmayi sham aati hai, tumse hi tumse hi”. I felt so good working on that. You should totally see the picture.
BongRong: Among the arrangements that you make, what is your personal favourite?
Radhika: Flowers in a Wine Bottle. I just love to work on it.
BongRong: Guys always have problems choosing gifts for their girl. What item would you suggest they get on a very special occasion?
Radhika: If you’d like a bouquet, I would suggest taking a bunch of big red roses. And if you want a single stick, I have a 10 inch giant rose. It looks magnificent and I fell in love with it after I made it. After all, it’s not every day you see a 10 inch red rose?
BongRong: Young people with not too much in their pocket – What do you have for them?
Radhika: Take a hand bunch of small roses and tie a ribbon at the end. That’s nice, simple and cute and totally easy on the pocket. If you have little more in your budget, you can add a lot of extravagance to it.
BongRong: To our young readers with dreams of their own, would you like to give any suggestions?
Radhika: Stop thinking and just go for it!
BongRong: Thank you very much for your time Radhika and BongRong team wishes you and Art Flora a lot of success in the future.