Natural décor in a new era

Hyderabad’s DecorbyKrishna founded by Kalpana Rajesh has been impressing people with their attempts to reduce carbon footprint when it comes to décor during special occasions and ceremonies

By   |  Published: 23rd Feb 2020  12:50 amUpdated: 22nd Feb 2020  8:14 pm

In our day-to-day life, we come across many people who are changing their lifestyle –whether it is a shift in their eating habits or moving towards embracing handlooms and eco-friendly fabrics for their outfits, or using ‘natural’ personal care products and cosmetics which are made of chemical-free ingredients – from soap to lipstick, everything in a woman’s vanity bag is certainly undergoing transformation.

Everything has changed but, still, when it comes to our special occasions, why prefer plastic for decorations or use a synthetic sari as a curtain in the backdrop? Isn’t it time we move over the use of non-natural things and start using eco-friendly stuff for decoration purposes? Whether it is a wedding in the family, a house-warming event, baby shower, naming ceremony or first birthday party of your child, there are umpteen options for decorations that can light up a place with locally-sourced ‘natural’ products. And yes, the eco-friendly decorations are much more pocket-friendly than the regular fancy décor items used by decorators and event managers.

Apart from this, it adds a lot of positivity and feel-good factor than the present-day fancy decorations. The shift in decorations has to come, and Hyderabad-based DecorbyKrishna has brought about that shift.

Inception of DecorbyKrishna

Kalpana Rajesh, founder of DecorbyKrishna, is a chemical engineer by education and worked in various pharma and petrochemical firms for 10 years before turning an entrepreneur in 2012 by pioneering a unique concept with ‘Pelli Poola Jada’ which was an instant hit with brides and enabled her to open branches in India and the USA. It was in 2019 “when I was looking for decorations for a function at home, what I could find were creepy decorations with a lot of foam and fibre used. Being in floral work, I decided to try and decorate the venue myself. Though it was stressful, floral decorations got huge applause from friends and relatives who attended the event. That’s when I realised that there is need of someone who can fill the gap in present-day market, a trusted brand that can work on only eco-friendly decorations. This made me start DecorbyKrishna in March 2019 with 15 franchises,” says Kalpana.

Kalpana believes that making flower garlands is one of the 64 kalas (art forms) that Lord Krishna possessed and she is glad that he lent his name for her eco-friendly venture. The speciality of DecorbyKrishna is that they don’t use any floral foam (green synthetic and non-biodegradable, carcinogenic material used generally in floral decorations), thermocol, FRP panels, plastic, or polyester drapes. They use only handlooms, eco-friendly and biodegradable materials for all special occasions and events.

Nature itself has beautiful colours… and if we observe around us, the colour of all the trees and plants is so mesmerisingly green. The multiple beautiful shades of green match so well with all the different colourful flowers. One cannot imagine the combination of green with multiple hues – be it red, yellow, violet or pink. But when it comes to blooming, the colours match beautifully and complement each other, shares Kalpana.

“We always use fresh flowers that are available in local market – like marigold, jasmine, roses, chrysanthemum, and we try using fewer imported flowers like orchids that come in plastic packaging. For drapes, we use handlooms and natural fibres like cotton, linen and jute. And for backdrops – kora mats, coconut leaf mats, banana leaves, vistarakulu, betel leaves, reusable palm leaves, turmeric sticks, sugarcane, mango leaves, paddy bunches, vettiver garlands, any colourful fruit or flower with good texture – we try using these in our décor,” says Kalpana who takes orders for wedding-related events, important life events and other special occasion photo shoots.

She further adds, “This doesn’t mean our events are bland! With the availability of hundreds of natural materials, we make the décor look much more beautiful than the fancy decorations. Go through our website, and you will understand what I’m talking about and the beauty of our designs,” says Kalpana whose pricing for the decorations starts from Rs 20,000 in India and $500 in the USA.

DecorbyKrishna is a franchise-based business with nearly 60 franchises in India (45), USA (11) and Australia (1 in Melbourne), and every month two to three franchises join at different locations. “Every day, we get a minimum of five franchise requests. Investment for floral decoration business starts from Rs 2 lakh. It is needed in this business to reinvest for the initial 1 or 2 years to buy the properties required for decorations and sustain in the long run. So, financial stability is also something we are looking for. We are one of the businesses working on lean model, and our franchise costs are lesser than opening a tea shop or ice-cream cart franchise. That’s the reason our franchises are sold as hot cakes. In Hyderabad, almost all the locations are filled for franchise,” says Kalpana who prefers giving her franchise to students/youngsters who are creative, talented and ready to take risks.

Till date, Kalpana and her team have done closer to 200 events and five completely eco-friendly weddings. And the compliments they receive – either directly or on social media – are unimaginable. “A hug from a mother-to-be who opted for eco-friendly decorations for her ‘seemantham’ (baby shower), to the attendees of a wedding messaging us personally on social media and patting us for good work… there are a lot of reasons to be motived every day,” says a beaming Kalpana who prefers orders at least four weeks in advance for weddings and one week advance notice for home-based events.

“When the ‘DecorbyKrishna – eco-friendly décor’ perspective was presented in South Indian Wedding Planner Congress, attended by a huge number of events fraternity, we received a standing ovation for the presentation and the eco-friendly work that we are doing. Event managers accepting eco-friendly culture meant that the world is changing for good,” explained Kalpana, who, to add the requisite ethnic touch to an event, uses traditional brass metal antiques as props.

“Spreading eco-friendly culture by DecorbyKrishna all over India is my dream. To establish zero-waste eco-friendly wedding venues in every city is another dream. A marriage party that enters the venue must leave without generating any waste in the wedding – be it food or the décor, and we are looking for partners to collaborate on this idea,” concludes Kalpana.

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