Meet the Ikebana artist whose floral corsage was worn by Alia Bhatt on her mehndi
Actor Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor’s hush-hush wedding took social media by storm. It was so confidential that even some of the vendors weren’t aware that they were contributing to the Bollywood couple’s nuptials. So, when Kavita Kapur saw the mehndi pictures on the actor’s Instagram a day after the wedding, she was thrilled to Alia wearing her floral corsage.
Kavita is a noted Ikebana artist and the founder of. Apart from Alia, her floral jewelry has been worn by many other high-profile brides, including Karishma Tanna, Katrina Kaif, Kajal Aggarwal, Sonam Kapoor, among others.
She also specialises in floral decor and one of her most significant works includes decorating Mukesh Ambani’s 50th birthday ceremony in Jamnagar over a decade ago.
Starting Floral Art
One of the most sought-after floral artists in India today, Kavita never imagined that she would see so much success when she first started Floral Art in 2002. Growing up in Kolkata, Kavita moved to Mumbai after her wedding, spending most of her life catering to household chores and domestic duties.
“I was always very creatively inclined. My mother was also excellent at crafting and I was very inspired by her but I never thought I’d start a business. So, when my husband’s business started to face financial difficulties, we decided that we needed to start something as a family. Since I loved creative art and gardening, I only saw myself doing this. We started with a plant nursery called Haryali Nursery,” recalls 57-year-old Kavita.
During the same time, in her late 30s, she started learning the art of Ikebana from Lalita Kalambi from the Ohara School of Ikebana.
Kavita recollects that 20 years ago, people didn’t spend much on bouquets, floral jewellery or décor but gradually things changed and the art has gained a lot of popularity among people beyond class distinction.
“In the last 8-10 years, people have really started to appreciate floral art,” she says, adding that she started seeing her business becoming successful around seven-eight years ago.
Word of mouth
The B-Town and corporate bigwigs, apart from the general public, are fairly well-versed with Kavita’s Floral Art considering so many of them are her ardent clients. Yet, she never had to spend any money in marketing for her work.
“People think it is a sudden success but it’s not. It has happened very slowly and steadily. People got to know about our work through word of mouth mostly. When my husband used to go out to deliver the products, he would tell everyone that my wife does this work and if they need anything, they can call on the number. In those days, it was a very personalised effort, and lo and behold, we got many customers through that,” says Kavita.
Her daughter Srishti Calcuttawala, who was in her third year of college when Kavita started Floral Art, has also been involved in the business. She handles the marketing, communications, branding, and social media for Floral Art.
Srishti says that social media also helped boost the business as they get a lot of people who come to them through Instagram.
“Since celebrities make trends and what they wear becomes influential, when they post pictures wearing our jewellery, people find out and approach us,” she adds.
Blooming and how
Today the mother-daughter duo caters in floral decor, jewelry, and other wedding accessories, packaging and festival floral decors across India. Floral Art also delivers dry flower jewellery and decor pieces internationally as well.
While the bridal jewellery starts from around Rs 7,000-8000 and can go up to Rs 25,000, the decor pieces start from Rs 25,000 and can go up to lakhs.
She recalls that for Sonam Kapoor, they did fresh flower kaleera for her mehndi function, Neha Dhupia’s tiara for her baby shower, fresh flower jewellery for Kajal Aggarwal’s wedding. For Karishma Tanna, they did her floral garland which cost Rs 14,000, floral jewellery worth Rs 15,000, and her wedding bun for Rs 3,500.
After catering to some of the most influential people in the country, the duo is working towards spreading the business far and wide and wants to focus on catering to more clients internationally.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta