Kalpana Rajesh is a mompreneur and founder of her ventures Pelli Poola Jada – Online florist specialised in Bridal hairdo accessories and Decor by Krishna – an eco friendly event decor service. She is a chemical engineer by profession who turned o be an entrepreneur managing two ventures empowering about 400 women and 45+ branches across India, Singapore & US. It all started with her as an one woman army and a facebook page. Kalpana shares with WomenpreneursOfIndia – WOI about her entrepreneurial journey.
If you have the risk taking attitude, creative talent and definite goal in life, then start now, creative businesses are flourishing in India and ours is the best example.
I’m kalpana Rajesh, and I am a chemical engineer by Education. I worked in various petrochemical firms before taking up this entrepreneur journey. In 2012, I started a company named Pellipoolajada – floral hair accessories for brides and it was an instant hit with brides. Today, we have 45 branches of Pellipoolajada in India and USA, and we are empowering about 400 women.
My other venture – DecorbyKrishna’s idea and inception emerged when I started looking for decorations for my daughter’s voni function. I found a huge gap in market, where, traditional decorations are either too costly, or not eco-friendly. This made me decorate the venue with my own Pellipoolajada team for my daughter saree ceremony at same time starting up our eco-friendly decor company named DecorbyKrishna.
With Lots of confidence, I built my ventures! Being in pellipoolajada, Decorbykrishna would have been the perfect backward integration. But, yes, once I did first decor myself, the roadblock was cleared. And, my first was for my Daughter’s langa-voni function, it’s forever memorable.
And, my daughter has been my biggest support. She is 11 years old and keeps telling, not to stop the business for household works and asks me to take care of so many women dependent on the business. She in turn helps in taking care of her own work and her brother’s home work as well.
At DecorbyKrishna, We don’t use any floralfoam, FRP panels, No thermacoal and no plastic in our décor. Before using any material in our décor, we ask ourselves, is this natural? Is this biodegradable? Currently, We are taking small scale home based events like birthdays, Pellikooturu, Pooja, vratam, Housewarming ceremony – simple, eco-friendly and low budget events.
GoLocal- Go Natural, Empower local Artisans is the strategy we follow. We believe disadvantages of plastic packaging and transport is ruled out when local flowers are used. Forgotten techniques of leaf art, floral art are revived in our designs. Natural and biodegradable cotton, jute fabrics and Handlooms are used as drapes and flooring in our decor. We go with traditional and evergreen designs with fresh fragrant local flowers, coconut leaves, banana leaves. These designs are time tested and give a huge positive response from clients.
We encourage the creative women and homemakers to take up franchise explaining our eco-friendly concepts. They are trained for a month and various floral leaf and flower techniques are taught. They in-turn have to train 10-20 workers who will help them in day to day operation.
Every day we get more than 10 franchise requests, but very few really turn up. Without hard work and investment, no business can move forward. Convincing people to take franchise is the difficult task I feel. When I know this business model works, so many examples I see every day, who transformed their lives by taking entrepreneurship, still women don’t readily come up to take franchise. I would like to add that, Decor by Krishna is looking for Franchises all over India and USA to propagate culture of eco-friendly decorations. If someone is interested, they can reach us.
Finally, sharing about my most memorable moment in my entrepreneurial journey was, when I received a standing ovation from biggies of wedding industry for my presentation on Eco-friendly decor, delivered during South Indian wedding planner congress!
Thankyou Kalpana. You are an amazing mompreneur, proving women can achieve anything from comfort of their home, with true dedication. WOI wishes you – all the best for your future endeavours. Keep Inspiring!
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