“I was so grateful that I could get everything delivered to my doorstep while helping a local farmer!” Srini added.
The connection was reciprocal.
Erika Feser from Feser Cold Springs was equally as excited to meet Srini virtually.
“The stars really aligned when we got in contact with each other through Instagram,” said Erika.
The appreciation and admiration was very mutual as well.
“We really love Srini," Erika said. "Not only is she a great floral artist, but she’s a very nice person. Srini is a regular customer who really appreciates incorporating our local flowers and fruit into her wedding creations. And we appreciate that."
Srini connects with many people, however, Feser Cold Springs is very unique. This made Srini’s decision to stay with them easy.
Blooming Virtual Moments
By Ana Castillo
Technology has provided mankind with amazing moments such as landing on the moon, finding the cure for many diseases and even creating computers as tiny as to fit in our pockets.
Our phones have become an essential device for our everyday life and have given us the opportunity to expand the world that surrounds us to a limitless list of possible new connections.
For Srini, the founder of Kreative Hands, Instagram has become an indispensable tool in order to connect with clients and vendors.
“I have been following the Instagram of different Farmer's Markets to see whether there are flower vendors on weekdays close to where we live,” said Srini.
When Srini found out there was a farmer's market in Sherman Oaks on Thursdays through an Instagram post, she asked if there were any flower vendors.
“Immediately, Feser Cold Springs popped up and said they would love to be a vendor,” explained Srini.
Feser Cold Springs is a no spray farm located in the Los Padres national forest in Ojai, California, that grows flowers and fruit all year round. They stood out from the rest as they did not only have fresh and organic fruits and flowers, but they also did deliveries.
“I love the unique way they grow their flowers and greenery.” Srini shared. “I love the natural curves that the stems have, as it gives a natural look to our arrangements and our bridal bouquets!” Srini exclaimed.
It is amazing to see two local businesses connect and flourish, as achieving goals and helping each other sure goes a long way.
“Each day I am so grateful to have found a couple who is so
passionate about what they do,” Srini said.
This professional relationship has grown into a beautiful
friendship that will keep blooming.
“Growing crops is a dream job for my husband Danny and I," Erika said. "And having supportive customers, who feel more like a friend, like Srini, make the job even more of a dream."
By Ana Castillo
In order to tell this story we have to go back to the 70s. Srini, the creator of Kreative Hands, her siblings and parents were living in Sri Lanka in a rental home.
“Things were tough as my father was the only breadwinner,” Srini shared. “Years after living in this home, the landlord asked us for the home as they needed it for their daughter,” Srini added.
The news hit hard. “My parents were devastated as we had no place to call home!” Srini exclaimed.
However, there was no time to be sad, as actions needed to be taken.
Srini’s dad contacted his brother who lived in the city. “They were a family of six. They lived in a rented home with two bedrooms and one bathroom for the six of them,” said Srini.
Srini’s uncle invited them to stay in their home until they could find a house of their own, adding five more people to an already crowded house.
“You can imagine 11 of us in their tiny home” Srini exclaimed.
“They gave us a home with love for 6 months till we found a home to move into,” Srini added. “I was only 12 years old at that time and I will never forget their kindness.”
A few months ago, Srini’s cousin Malini reached out to her to tell her the news that her only daughter Otara was getting married.
Srini immediately thought this was the perfect occasion to retrieve all the kindness they had given to her in the past: She could do the wedding flowers! Even though the time was too short to go all the way to Sri Lanka to get the floral work ready for the wedding, Srini had an amazing idea.
“I researched the best wedding florist Shirohana in Colombo, the capital, and requested Malini, my cousin, to meet with them.” Srini explained.
Srini’s cousin was very grateful but explained to her that the arrangements were too expensive for her to afford.
“I don't think you remember Malini,” Srini said to her, “Your loving parents gave us a roof over our head when we did not have a home, and you, your sister and your Mom Mavis did my hair and make up for our wedding!"
Srini hired the wedding florist in Colombo and got her cousin the flowers she always dreamt of.
“She wanted flowers on their staircase, some for the cake and a few for the reception,” Srini shared.
“I insisted that I also wanted to add her bouquet and his boutonniere,” Srini added.
By Ana Castillo
Srini created Kreative Hands 21 years ago. She has done many events throughout those years, and it is incredible how some clients can still surprise her in new, heart-warming ways.
Sara and Henry Beecher hired Srini to do their wedding. They really wanted organic flowers and Srini decided to include succulents in the flower arrangements including the bouquet. So far, so good.
However, Sara and Henry had another request: nine business cards. Intrigued, Srini inquired what they were for and the answer surprised her. The Beecher’s were going to give out bags filled with the products and the information of the vendors that helped out with the wedding, so that the guests would have the chance of getting to know the amazing hands that made it all possible.
“I feel that small businesses provide greater access to product diversity, create a sense of community and have more personalized customer service.” Sara said. “So much creativity and time goes on behind closed doors which I value and want everyone to know how amazing my vendors are!”
This took Srini by surprise and it made her feel humbled and grateful.
“Being in the business for almost 20 years this is the first time a client has done this. How thoughtful is that?” Srini said. “What a heartwarming gift to her vendors who work behind the scenes.”
In that same spirit, Srini knows that receiving is just a calling to give a little more.
“My day is not complete without getting an opportunity to give!” Srini exclaimed.
So, Srini did not just send them her business cards, but she also added soaps from Pacha Soap Company, another small business she admires.
“Why not grab the opportunity to promote another wonderful company I truly love and value," Srini said.
Being grateful brings many blessings to one’s life and it definitely pulls one closer to like-minded people. Srini, Sara and Henry connected by sharing the same beliefs and values of gratitude and giving back, which has made them now friends for lifetime.
"Gratitude is the fairest bloom which springs from the soul," said Henry.
By Ana Castillo
2021 was a year filled with surprises, challenges and many blooming moments.
The year started off a bit slow for the Kreative Hands team, but Srini has always found a way to keep herself busy growing the business.
“In March, I did not have any weddings; however, I was working on being featured in the book Where we Bloom by Debra Prinzing,” Srini said.
And after a few months of patience, April brought along the first wedding of the year and also Srini's goal of being featured in Debra’s book came true.
“My favorite moment this year was getting published in the book,” said Srini. “When the author reached out to me last year during the pandemic, I got really excited.”
After this moment, things started to get into flow.
“From then on, it was a glorious wedding flower journey,” Srini said.
However, 2021 also had big challenges that Srini had to overcome.
By Ana Castillo
When you love what you do, it becomes a necessity. When you visualize your future, you see yourself continuing to pursue your passion, and going to work becomes the highlight of your day. The founder of Kreative Hands, Srini, feels this way.
When the pandemic hit and our lives became even more uncertain than usual, Srini wanted to help any way she could while still staying safe at home. The first people she thought of were her neighbors.
“I decided to provide dinners for my next-door neighbors,” said Srini.
However, a creative mind always finds a way to add a loving gesture.
“I prepared dinner for them a few times a week,” said Srini. “I laid it out beautifully and included small flower arrangements just to let them know I love them!”
Knowing that isolation can lower people’s spirits made Srini want to make sure her neighbors wouldn’t lose hope.
“I figured flowers combined with food can bring great joy,” Srini explained.
But the kindness did not stop there. Srini sent me wearables all the way to Colombia -yes, me, the person writing this story. I must say that it brightened my day.
She also included flowers in every gift wrap and every card and if she heard someone had passed away in the neighborhood, she’d send flowers. She shared that her biggest motivation was knowing that she could impact someone’s day in a positive way.
“The smiles, the facial expressions, the hugs, the thank you notes, emails and Instagram messages all bundled up together, make me feel that my gifts can impact someone's day!” Srini said.
They say that everything you give, comes back to you multiplied.
This happened when Srini decided to gift her client a bouquet and boutonniere for their mini wedding with a card that had a little flower accent on it.
“She was in tears as she picked up the flowers!” Srini said.
However, the bride also had a surprise. She had a card and a bottle of wine,” Said Srini. “I was moved. I did not expect that at all!
Srini has a big heart and she loves giving people a reason to smile. Even a global pandemic could not change that.
By Ana Castillo
They say that the key to a long-lasting love lays within the details; and the key to a successful wedding is no different. However, the bride and groom should not have to worry about the small things on their special day.
Ksenia and Tom got married in an intimate setting in Topanga, California. Though the location was already gorgeous on its own, Ksenia knew that floral decorations would make a big difference.
“I definitely wanted my flower crown, bride's bouquet, and boutonniere made by a professional. Oh, and the arch for the ceremony, too!” Ksenia said.
After careful research, Ksenia chose Kreative Hands to take care of all the floral arrangements for her intimate wedding ceremony.
“My husband Tom and I met Srini and her husband a few weeks before the wedding, and right away I knew I could rest assured that florals will be all taken care of. They are a great team and understood right away what we wanted,” Ksenia explained.
“I have never seen a bride who worked so hard the day of the wedding like Ksenia! Everything was just so beautiful and intimate,” Srini added. “I knew she had the talent to organize everything to perfection! We added the extra floral spark to complete her dream!”
Ksenia and Tom got married in Topanga, California.
“Our wedding day was perfect and Srini with her team played a vital role in this,” Ksenia said. They were the first ones to arrive at the venue on the day of the wedding. They were so organized and gave out such a calm and positive vibe that, despite of a few other things not going perfectly, I felt very relaxed and didn't even get any jitters -even though I am usually the panicky type!”
Srini was so delighted to be able to work for such a wonderful client, that she brought surprises to the matrimony.
“We could take our time to make sure every little area was adorned with the beauty of our floral accents,” Srini said. “It was such a joy to be in that a beautiful environment that we were happy to gift a bouquet for her sister, the maid of honor.”
Srini´s kindness did not go unnoticed.
“Srini also brought a bunch of extra flowers,” Ksenia added. She definitely knew the amount I needed better than I did.”
A grateful heart never forgets what made it feel warm. The memories of this intimate wedding will remain vivid, even years later.
“Our wedding turned out even better than I was hoping for - it looked very charming and matched the style that my husband and I both like,” Ksenia said. “I cannot recommend Kreative Hands enough - they are true professionals, reliable and knowledgeable, but also amazing people to work with!”
By Essi Auguste Virtanen
It takes a village to plan a wedding. It also takes trust for the wedding couple to believe in their vendors to bring their vision for their big day to life.
The founder of Kreative Hands Srini Perera said trust is not only key in wedding planning, but also in life.
“It is the most precious day of their lives!” she said. “Trust is important not only between us vendors and our couples; it is also important for a life-long marriage! It was also trust that made it possible for us to work with so many couples out of state and out of the country. Working remotely from any part of the world trust is the key in our world today.”
Trust plays an even bigger role, if you are planning your wedding remotely and never meeting a vendor face to face, which happened with bride Kelly and her now-husband Jason .
“Not meeting somebody, you do have to trust, but it’s all about communication,” Kelly said.
Based in Chicago, Kelly organized about 90 percent of her big day set to take place in Malibu, California, on May 25, 2019. During the process, Kelly met most of her vendors like the venue hosts, photographer, caterer and DJ, but she never got to meet her florist Srini.
This was the second time for Srini to not have met the bride at all during the kreation process or even wedding day.
“For our dismay she was not getting ready at the venue,” Srini said. “We thought after we had finished decorating the arch and the rest of the set up that Kelly would have arrived at the venue. However, up to the time we had completed our task she had not arrived. With heavy hearts we left a sweet card and a little gift of handmade soap. We were really sad we did not meet her in person.”
Srini said that she wanted to go “beyond her kreativity for the bride” as she had placed so much trust in them.
Kreative Hands team created a display of flowers for the bride and her bridal party with everyone’s names on them, complimenting Kelly’s elegant, beachy wedding theme. She also made an eco-friendly flower girl basket and the arch for the ceremony.
Kelly said: “I was in awe when I showed up at the venue and saw the heard of display of flowers and everything she did, which was just so amazing. I was so sad I didn’t even get to meet her, but our paths just didn’t cross.”
The flowers were the hardest part of planning for Kelly, but even though they did not meet, she wasn’t worried about them at any point because of the communication they had.
“She was always so quick about getting back to me and showed me a preview of what she was going to put together and it was just displayed so nicely,” she said.
Kelly said she would recommend Srini to “anybody and everybody” and she hopes to meet her one day.
“For what she creates and puts together, it’s also reasonably priced,” she said. “You do get top-notch beauty and she’s super sweet and easy to work with. She will create what you’ll want her to create.”
Kelly and Jason got married under the embellished floral arch the kreativehands team created keeping in mind Kelly's simple vision and not obstructing the beautiful backdrop of the ocean!
The groom Jason and his bride Kelly with their wedding party in Malibu, California, on May 25, 2019.
Srini kreated a basket for the flower girl that was made with chicken wire, fresh leaves for the base and covered with baby's breath all around with a satin handle and bow on either side. Inside, it was embellished with rose petals.
By Essi Auguste Virtanen
Many girls dream about the moment when they will walk down the aisle, and Casey was one of them. However, when she broke her ankle a month before her wedding and knew walking would not be possible, she had to find another way.
“I wanted it to be beautiful and sort of elegant thing,” Casey said. “I didn’t want to be limping, crutching my way down the aisle. I wanted it to be about us and our love and not about me and my broken ankle. So, I was pretty devastated, then just started thinking how can I turn lemons into lemonade and came up with an idea for the float.”
Kreative Hands team stepped in to help them with the engineering details of the float as well as decoration to match Casey’s romantic and elegant floral vision for the wedding.
“They were just super helpful through the whole process and then also helping us trying to figure out how to make it feel lush but also not spend a ton of money on it,” Casey said.
For any florist, adding such a big creation so close to the wedding definitely put on pressure, but Srini and her team conquered the challenge.
“I had very little time to design it and order the appropriate flowers and other mechanics,” Srini said. “Our Kreative Hands family worked till the wee hours of the morning of the wedding to make her dream come true with the float. It turned out to be what her heart desired!”
Casey said she was “overjoyed” when she saw the finished float, which she hoped would have an enchanted secret garden feel to it.
“I was just so happy that I was going to get to enter on something that looked so gorgeous,” she said.
After Casey floated elegantly down the aisle to marry her fiancé John, the float was used to display the wedding cake, which Casey said was a another nice way to utilize it.
Additionally, for Casey to be able to move around her wedding party, her bridesmaids helped her to decorate her scooter with lace and stream lights to match her bridal look.
Even though Casey would have hoped to be able to walk during her big day, she said Kreative Hands did everything they could do make the day special.
“We had such a great experience working with them,” Casey said. “We love them as people, not just as our florists. They were just so lovely, and I needed a lot of love and support from anywhere I could get it. So it was great to have Srini there. It was a really hard time for me, obviously, so it was just nice to be able to work with such nice people.”
By Essi Auguste Virtanen
When it comes to one’s big day, nobody wants anything to cloud it.
However, for Laurissa, her wedding day, June 11, 2016, was clouded by the absence of her big sister Nina, who passed away in a car accident in late 2014.
“I was the maid of honor in her wedding and she was supposed to be mine,” Laurissa said.
When planning the wedding in 2015, Nina’s passing was still fresh. Therefore, Laurissa wanted to have a memorial table for Nina at her wedding so she could have her there in spirit.
“I wanted her table to be like one of the first things that I saw, right before I walked down the aisle,” she said.
Srini Perera from Kreative Hands was hired as the florist for the wedding after she insisted to meet them in person to hear their story. When they met at the venue in Westlake Village, Laurissa’s mother Elissa opened up to Srini about Nina, and the connection was instant.
“They were very warm and caring and I felt we bonded right away,” Srini said. “I felt they really felt comfortable talking to me and our daughter Jeneeka and felt that they needed to share their pain to bring that comfort.”
Srini said she really wanted to make something special for Nina. She created two light-pink-and-white rose bouquets for the memorial table, which also had Nina’s wedding photo and a burning candle displayed.
Both Laurissa and Elissa said they could feel Nina’s presence when they saw the table.
Elissa said: “This sudden rush of emotion came upon me. I composed myself because the day was about my other daughter, but for that brief moment as I passed her table, I was with Nina. It felt as if she was standing there for her sister’s wedding.”
Even though the sudden loss of Nina weighs heavy in Laurissa and her family’s hearts, Laurissa said losing Nina brought her back home from Maryland to California, which changed her life. Because only a month within she had come back, she met her now-husband, Mike.
Mike said “Nina’s hand was on the entire meeting” and Laurissa agreed.
“I feel like I gained a new life from the ashes of Nina’s life, and I really have”, she said. “My life is so rich and fully blessed now.”