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Sonal Shah is the Urban Flower Lady, and one of India’s best-known, and most-respected florists. She, and her top-notch team turn out unbelievably gorgeous fresh flower arrangements from her Nepean Sea Road flower shop, Bageecha– one of India’s oldest premier floral boutiques.
The store is a wonderland of tantalizing flowers and plants, and has become a Mecca for those who love high quality flowers and artistic arrangements for corporate events, weddings, funerals, and daily floral delivery. Sonal, and a friend started Bageecha as a hobby for growing and selling indoor plants 35 years ago, in 1980; now it has blossomed into a one-stop destination for customised floral solutions for all kinds of events, home, offices, public spaces as well as for bonsai and ornamental plants. Sonal has a PhD in Political Science, and was the Associate Editor of Elle Décor for 14 years, where she did a variety of things in her life. At Bageecha, she does what she loves, gazes at nature! She says, “Working at Bageecha is satisfying, because we love what we create. What I enjoy doing is seeing the natural formation of the flowers and leaves, and then deciding how to use them. So, to get the best out of your stems you need more mindfulness… in a way, it’s as if the flowers are talking to you.”
This Mumbai based flower boutique has constantly set new standards of floristry in India. Using flowers and accessories sourced from across the globe, Bageecha delivers contemporary elegance in innovative combinations of shapes, textures, and colours. Bageecha specializes in planning and execution of events, and is one of the impaneled florists for Tote on the Turf in South Mumbai. Recollecting the good ol’ days, she wonders “how in those days simple red roses, gladioli tuberoses, asters with golden rods, and lady lace were the only flowers available, but now the varieties of flowers we now get in India has grown exponentially. The flower business is both challenging and satisfying. Challenging because what we work with is highly perishable – more than fruits and vegetables.” What was her inspiration behind Bageecha, we ask, to which she answers, “My mother (Late Mrs. Mangala Parikh, Freedom Fighter) who always worked close to nature – planting things in our farm and created some amazing flower arrangements, plant landscapes, and bonsai,exposing me to a lot of flowers and plants as a child. And over time my interest grew; I am passionate about flowers! I love going to my shop at 8.00 am, and work with different seasonal flowers, and creating different styles. I do things I love, everyday!”
Sonal tells us- how the personal touches we add to our homes, make them uniquely ours. Whatever our style, flowers and plants are the perfect way to add beauty and warmth, and create a space that reflects our personalities. Here are the tips-