Join us on our chat with Interflora's Chirag Dengra as he talks about his favourite on all things floral!
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY.
For as long as I can remember I always inclined to things that provoked or excited my creative nerve. An MBA in Marketing, I started my career as a Brand Manager but over the past years I’ve delved into social media marketing, PR, advertising, event management to now finally to floral designing for weddings and events. However, flowers happen to me by fluke. I became a part of Interflora team before its launched in India, when I was handling only Marketing. When the weddings vertical started it felt like a calling. I fell in love with the craftmanship and the power it possesses.
Interflora is the world’s biggest premier floral design, décor and delivery company. It's a UK based company, over 90 years old, which ventured into the Indian market in 2017. We presently have 5 regional distribution centers spread across India, with several more planned for opening very soon. Our wedding décor designing and floral arrangement offering has serviced some of the biggest weddings in the world. Apart from our highly experienced in-house designers, we’re proud to have worked with celebrated international designers like Preston Bailey, Jeff Letham, Tomas De Bruyne and Karen Tran. I believe our core belief of wanting to create unique visions that leave an everlasting memory drives our team in doing its best. Our expertise lies in adding innovative, truly global standards of floral sourcing, design and décor, creating iconic experiences for our clients.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED, AND WOULD PASS ALONG TO OTHERS JUST GETTING STARTED IN YOUR FIELD?
Fortunately for me I started with learning from the very best in the industry. I worked for and learned from some excellent floral designers. These are the things that helped me start and build this wonderful career of mine in the wedding industry. Dream big, work hard and work smart. It is very important to have a vision of where you want to be. Try new things, take risks. It’s okay to make mistakes but if you don't take the risk, you will never know what you could have done.
ARE THERE ANY TRENDS THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE OR WOULD LOVE TO SEE BRIDES LEAVE BEHIND?
I don’t know if it’s a trend but it would be refreshing to get away from hundreds of Pinterest and Instagram screenshots we receive as a brief from new age brides. Sure, we all refer to the online pool of images for mood boards and references but before jumping on Instagram or Pinterest, take a moment to pen down your thoughts. Things that you like and would want to include at your wedding. Talk to a few friends or relatives who recently got married. It’s always helpful to hear from people you trust about what they ended up enjoying the most about their own celebration.
When we start working on a project, we don’t dive into referencing right away, we spend time with the couple to hear and understand their story. Then comes the process of creating floral experiences that are unique, which will leave an everlasting memory. You need to be able to interpret desires and personalities, and make them come alive through flowers.
As for a trend I love - the use of exciting new colour palettes. Especially darker tones of purple or even black!
WAS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFIC THAT YOU CAN REMEMBER THAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A WEDDING FLORIST?
I really won’t call myself a wedding florist, I’m feel like I'm more of a curator. I've always appreciated flowers but I was introduced them in a professional capacity through a circumstance in my life. Interflora was my first insight into the world of floral artistry. I have learned to love them, to see their potential, in time. Being open minded towards the medium you work with gives you the power to create and design with emotion.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO?
Why I love what I do? ‘Cause DUH, it's flowers. Honestly, I think it’s the people I work with. It is truly a collaborative environment & it is always changing — always evolving — and I get front row access watching the process of a simple idea grow into a reality. Every day is a constant adventure.
WHAT EXCITING THINGS ARE YOU WORKING ON THIS YEAR?
The wedding season is almost here and we are all geared up to nosedive into it. Our aim is to revolutionize the floral landscape of gifting, luxury weddings and events in India. We work directly with some of the biggest farms across India, Europe, South America & Africa, to bring to you the freshest and the most exotic blooms. Over the last year we have been focusing on promoting and including lot of domestically grown flowers in our designs. We are consciously making efforts to use more and more eco-friendly material. We have expanded our online floral gifting service to 5 metros in India and plan to be in all the top 12 metros by the end of this year.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WEDDING FLORAL DESIGN STYLE, LOOK & FEEL AND WHY?
My personal favourite is wild texture-inspired florals. Full of lush green foliage, berries and succulents and all that can be described as all things yummy! There is so much variety in foliage now, that they have become the focus of many arrangements instead of the filler. From soft Silver Suedes to rough prickly Sea Holly, the combination can be quite divine. Of course, I like to mix it up with soft romantic blooms.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE YOUR MOST FAVOURITE BLOOM, FILLER, AND FOLIAGE?
Phalaenopsis orchids are my all-time favourites, they are delicate, exotic and graceful. They also represent love, luxury, beauty and strength. I also like ornamental grass and dried flowers. There is so much one can do with dried flowers, and what’s more, they stay on for weeks with minimal maintenance.
WHAT IS A WEDDING FLORAL TREND YOU LOVE AND THINK WILL STICK AROUND?
Some wedding floral trends that I know are here to stay would be the current focus on fragrance. The first thing that comes to most minds when we say flowers is fragrance. The natural scent of flowers is irreplaceable. And when you combine the right flowers together, it can create the kind of fragrances dreams are made of. And this is one of the things we try to achieve at Interflora, fragrances that carry memories.
Another trend I see gaining traction is the use of dark coloured flowers. Use of black colours is a concept that takes a lot of people by surprise, but the young like to surprise and this is exactly what dark florals do at weddings. Deep burgundies, maroons, purples and blacks – they’re sure here to stay!
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