CHENNAI: A string of yellow chrysanthemum envelopes a bride’s hair bun. Green parrots crafted using coconut leaves interspersed with rows of jasmine garland adorn the backdrop of the stage. Baskets and trays made of bamboo leaves filled with fruits and flowers are kept for the ceremonies. These give you an image of an eco-friendly wedding. Tuticorin-based entrepreneur Kalpana Rajesh wanted an eco-friendly decoration for a ceremony at her home, seven years back. She mulled over options and scouted for alternatives but couldn’t find any in the market.
One day in 2012, while flipping through the designs of bridal hair accessories in a fashion magazine, Rajesh felt that her mother could craft better ones. Soon, she developed an idea to set up her venture to use natural flowers instead of the commonly used artificial flowers in traditional hair accessories. She started a full-fledged business Pelli Poola Jada (floral hair accessories in Telugu) from home in 2012. They have an active presence on social media platforms.
“It’s an all-women business who are first-time entrepreneurs. We started with hair accessories and then eventually expanded to floral jewellery and garlands based on requirements from our clients,” said Kalpana, who started her first branch in Hyderabad.
Pelli Poola Jada has 45 franchises in India and abroad. This covers major cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and every district in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. They also have a presence in Texas and Boston. Around three to 10 female employees work out of each office. The team is headed by a manager who caters to the demands of the clients. The whole team meets once or twice a year.
“We deal mainly with flowers. While most of the varieties are sourced locally, Bombay jasmine is grown in our farms in Vellore, Telangana and Bhimavaram. They are slightly expensive, but more people are opting for these options over plastic accessories,” said Kalpana, who maintains a catalogue of 250 hair accessory designs, 100 flower jewellery designs and 50 garland designs. They offer ten services that also include decor materials, baskets, handloom cloth and leaf trays. “We don’t use thermocol, plastic, polyester clothing, fibre and floral foam. Instead, we use banana leaves, bamboo, palm leaves, coconut leaves, maize leaves, paddy and all biodegradable materials,” she said.
Their latest initiative is Decor By Krishna that takes care of all the requirements for a function at home. “We started this in March 2019 and have 55 franchises already. We’re also present in Melbourne, the US, and the UK. Many people living there are switching over to eco-friendly and traditional options. Our next year’s plan is to make zero-waste weddings,” said Kalpana.
The team visits the house, suggests decoration ideas depending on the function, and then takes the project forward. It takes a week for them to prepare.
Accessories start from `2,200 onwards. For details, check: pellipoolajada.com and Decorbykrishna.com