Green Thumb

Sonali Srikanth talks with You & I
You’ve been in the floral business for nearly 18 years. What changes have you noticed?
Quite a lot of things have changed in these past 18 years. Back when we had just started, our major clientele consisted of corporate firms and companies. We had very few residential customers. Over the years, we have seen a sharp rise in people wanting to spend on interior decoration and on beautifying their homes. That is because people nowadays are more aware of these things, and are willing and able to pay more attention to beautifying their homes.
What has the journey been like?
Thankfully, it’s been fantastic! Through the years I’ve been working, there’s so much that we have learnt, and we have evolved to come up with new designs and concepts. The journey has been quite challenging but, at the same time, very rewarding.
What are your specialties at Forget Me Not Florist?
We retail artificial flowers and plants, natural flowers and plants, and pottery. Add to that list is our newest product – vertical gardens, which are doing extremely well. We also sell artificial turf/grass.
Vertical gardens?
Vertical gardens are a very new concept in India, but they allow you to have around 100 plants in the house or your office without taking away any floor space. They are an ideal solution for apartments and small offices, and enable you to have your own green space, even in small areas without room for huge gardens. We have also designed vegetable walls for kitchens, where you can grow your own organic vegetables and leafy plants.
Why did you move into this line of work?
There are some things that will always be close to one’s heart. For me, that would be flowers, which have always been very special. I’m told that as a kid, I spent lots of time with my mother in our garden, tending to our plants and trees. I also attended Ikebana classes to learn floral arrangement. I guess I was always interested in these things, and when the opportunity came along to make it a profession, I guess I just decided to act on it.
You’re also into event management and work with interior designers.
Yes, we do all sorts of events – from baby showers and weddings, to sangeets and pujas, as well as just about any sort of decoration for interior spaces. We also do a lot of work in conjunction with interior designers, who sometimes come to us with special requirements. That’s more about meeting clients’ needs.
Is there anything you’d like to change about your life?
Nothing, really! By the grace of the almighty, I have two great kids and a wonderful husband. I’ve been blessed with such a lovely family. I would probably like it if I didn’t have to cook. Having an amazing chef who could cater to my family’s whimsical tastes would be great, but apart from that, there isn’t anything else I’d like to alter.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A balance between family and work facilitates peace of mind.
What is your greatest fear?
Nothing that I can think of!
Three things about you that people don’t know...
First of all, I don’t like to cook! I also love my morning yoga, and then there’s the fact that I’m a dedicated workaholic. I love my job!                    

..... as told to Anahita