By Ana Castillo
We cannot ever know the future, but when we look back into our lives, we can see how all the pieces connect perfectly. This story is about time. How in retrospect we can see everything happening in the perfect timing.
July 1st, 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Kreative Hands and we will take a look back at how it all came to be.
After working in the banking industry for 17 years, Srini, the founder of Kreative Hands, decided to become a full-time mom.
“It felt like the right thing to do for our twin children,” said Srini. “I am so grateful to my husband who supported the family all those years.”
However, as the twins began to grow older, suddenly Srini had more free time. So, she began to reconnect with one of her biggest passions.
“I loved gardening, flowers, and nature,” Srini said. “I loved gathering flowers and making gifts for my family, friends and coworkers.”
It did not take long for Srini to pursue this passion professionally.
“There was a floral design class held at a local florist, so I decided to take it,” said Srini.
Soon enough she was driving 120 miles just to take classes at Phil Rulloda Floral Design School.
“At the time I had no idea that Phil was a floral legend, and to this day, I am marveled by his creations and the beautiful person he is,” Srini said.
Little by little, things began to come together and Srini registered her business.
“I wanted a unique name, so I named it Kreative Hands,” Srini exclaimed.
After reaching out to the people she knew, clients began to knock at the door.
“The first year I got a couple who were native from my homeland Sri Lanka, and I did their wedding,” Srini said.
After that first event, Srini had to learn to do accounting,
marketing and customer relations in order for the business to run as smoothly as possible and to keep the clients satisfied.
“I was a one-woman show,” Srini said.
Srini had to make the decision to keep Kreative Hands as a part-time business and only focus on smaller events, but in 2014 things changed.
“2014 was a tough year because my husband’s business closed after 25 years,” Srini exclaimed.
However, where others see problems, Srini sees opportunities.
“I stepped up and rebranded Kreative Hands as a full-time business,” said Srini.
It was not an easy decision to make, but the whole family came together and helped every way they could.
“Our daughter Jeneeka rebranded my business, did my website and her friend Laura created a logo for the company,” Srini shared.
It became the perfect time for something wonderful to begin.
Clients began to write full-page reviews on websites saying how happy they were with Srini’s work.
As more events and weddings came in, the Kreative Hands team began to grow as well. Now, Srini’s schedule is fully booked for the entire calendar year for the first time ever while being in business!
“I never thought back in 2001 that this could ever happen,” Srini said. “From one wedding in 2001 and 20 years later a fully booked year!”
20 years of ups and downs, uncertainty, learning, growing, and coming together as a family. 20 years of things happening in the perfect time.
“Today I look back and thank God,” Srini said. “Yes, it all happened at the right time."
by Ana Castillo
About seven years ago, Srini, the founder of Kreative Hands, decided to attend a class about local flowers conducted by Debra Prinzing.
“It had been a tough day for me from what I recall, so my daughter suggested I take a break and attend this class in Pasadena,” said Srini. “We sat in a small group and Debra talked about local grown flowers and did a few demonstrations on how to arrange them naturally.”
The class inspired Srini, so she decided to purchase Debra's book called Slow Flowers and become a member of Debra’s Slow Flower Movement.
“A few months after the talk I received an email about the Slow Flower Movement,” Said Srini. “It gave me the opportunity to connect with local flower growers!”
Just like any growing business, the beginning wasn’t easy but Srini’s unique creative vision and patent kindness, allowed her to have a studio built on trust and excellence, while continuing to build on those connections with flower growers and other floral studios.
And then, the pandemic hit, but even a global virus couldn’t stop Srini from creating.
“2020 was a tough year,” Srini said. “But I continued my passion for flowers and utilized my day productively.”
Srini spent her quarantined days responding to emails, taking online classes, sourcing local vases, making unique arrangements, doing at-home photoshoots, mini weddings, cooking and spending time with her family.
In September 2020, Srini submitted the lovely story about how her Kreative hands studio came to be for a new book that Debra was writing.
“I sent Debra the info and a few images that our very own photographer Alex Austin Photo had taken,” said Srini. “And now my studio will be featured in her book Where We Bloom!"
Life has a magical way of surprising us in the most unexpected ways. We never know when new friendships may bloom and where those connections may take us.
This book is special because it features Srini’s story alongside other 36 studios who share the same passion.
“What a gift to know that though most books are written about the person who is writing them, Debra focused on others and bringing their spaces to light,” Srini said. “It truly touched my heart.”
Srini Perera opens the package to receive her copy of Where We Bloom book in which Kreative Hands was featured.
Photo credit: nfpaphotography
By Ana Castillo
In October 2020, the owner of Kreative Hands Srini Perera arranged flowers for a small, intimate wedding. Though it was a last-minute event, Srini made sure the bride-to-be would love every detail and every flower. However, she did not imagine that this story would have a plot-twist.
“All the bride wanted was a bridal bouquet, grooms boutonniere, four decorated lanterns, an arch and cake flowers,” said Srini. “I loved mixing fresh florals with dry botanicals!”
The wedding turned out beautifully and the photographs captured just that.
“When I got the pictures, I was in awe,” said Srini. “The photographer took some breath-taking pictures.”
The photos showed the magical, colorful details of the hand-picked flowers of every arrangement. Thus, when December came, Srini decided to submit her work to the Florists’ Review Picture Perfect Weddings’ competition, which is very well known within the industry.
“Last year they had an intimate wedding category and I submitted Lively and Michael's wedding pictures and then I forgot about it!” Srini said.
But life tends to love surprising us and Srini received a call that turned her whole day around.
“I got a call saying that I had been featured as a winner and right away I went online to the florists review digital version,” Srini said. “Then, I saw that the boutonniere had been selected as the winner for the best wearables."
Though we might think that small things will not be noticed, details are what make a big difference.
“The boutonniere stood out with the groom’s blue blazer,” Srini said. “And her bouquet matched the boutonniere so well!”
Getting recognition for a job well done is always uplifting.
“I was overjoyed and could not believe my eyes!” Srini said. “I always thought in my heart that someday I would make it into the magazine!
The Kreative Hands team knows that their work, mixed with good wedding vibes and amazing photography skills were the ingredients that made being featured in such an important magazine possible.
“I am so humbled by this win,” Srini said.
To read about the "Best Wearable Flowers" win in the Florists’ Review Picture Perfect Weddings’ competition, click here.
Photo Credit: Kreativehands
Arielle did not only focus on the brand while creating the design. She also considered Srini’s welcoming and kindhearted soul.
“I've always remembered and known Srini to be warm and inviting to everyone she comes in contact with,” Arielle mentioned. “Srini and her team put so much handmade care into what they do and whom they serve, I think this design really speaks to that,” she added.
When Srini saw the design, she was blown away by how perfect it was.
“It was a dream come true,” Srini said. “I have not seen art like hers anywhere.”
Photo credit: Alex Austin Photo