My elder sister Alpa Shah has been interested in art and craft since childhood, however I was not skilled at it, my sister would enjoy making it and she found the experience quite rewarding.
Every time I needed help designing a project or any craft activity in school, my sister was in house artist.
Imagine I won the first prize in painting competition, organized by my school; though my teacher was very well aware of who made it!
I am Gayatri Parekh and my sister Alpa Shah; we grew up in a gujju family, yes, around thepla, khakra, fafda – jalebi.
The business risk taking ability is in our blood, my father being a self-made man; I learnt a lot from my dad, business tactics, saving money, so naturally one would be glued to business channels, I am lucky my mother is practical too.
The journey of life took di to marriage and kids, and same followed with me too, however this journey is not at all easy, its full of ups and downs, it’s almost like a roller coaster.
After 16 years of di’s marriage and 9 years of mine, we decided to work, followed by brainstorming many ideas which would feed our passion.
One fine day there was a marriage ceremony next door, and our neighbor asked for help, we sisters helped them out with complete marriage décor and we were clear with the business idea, Di being upright with her designing and crafting skills and me being jugaadu and decent in marketing;
We wanted to start with something unique, as it’s good to pick up a unique niche.
With less than a month to go!! Mumbaikar’s favorite festival, Ganesh Chaturthi was going to be celebrated and we thought why not to commence with upcoming festival.
We started planning and exploring for resources, hunting best markets for raw materials, floral markets and fabrics for traditional décor.
Our search ended with lalit bhai; who understood our concept and tailored the material.
We wanted a gujju name for our company; we settled with “K-JO Kreations” K-jo in gujrati means “if u need something tell me and we would do it.”
And we were ready to start our journey in 2016; but as fate would have it; I got pregnant with my second child before starting my work.
“Launching a new work is never easy, now imagine doing it when you happen to be growing a human life inside you; not only u are dead tired but potentially nauseous.”
I felt down and out, but my sister Alpa provided me moral strength and support.
We started working in full swing and got more clients by word of mouth; sometimes I would feel sick, while at work, I used to throw up everything eaten; but I kept working until my last trimester before my daughter Emrald was born.
Alpa di was with me, by my side and in fact it was my husband Mayank who pushed me to start something on my own.
“I was terrified of starting new work, because of maternity issues but it ended up being the best thing for me.”
Who doesn’t love themes after all; so we décor a place in your house, where you want Bappa to sit and spread his blessings and positive vibes all around.
We meet clients, understand their requirements, draw an estimated budget, and give the clients breakdown of how much it will cost from start to finish.
You must have a proper idea of space and budget for the decoration; it transforms the environment of your home.
We share both fancy and simple ideas with the clients, suited for every budget, a simple age old way of beautifying the house is with flowers, flowers create a positive vibe in the house, weather they are fake or real they enhance the beauty of space.
We also give personal touch to the décor place by designing or modifying lights.
From making colored drapes, attractive backdrops, entry décor, torans, floral hangings; these decorations are made in a way to be reused multiple times and are economical as compared to other similar decorations.
Co-coordinating with the clients, vendors, and suppliers who are coming together for the event can be pretty daunting, you have to make sure everyone is on the same page and have a clear understanding of the schedule.
Not to forget Pappu bhai, our decorator, who have been with us since the beginning. We have one of the finest teams together at work, we value people with work life
My mom is biggest pillar of strength; when we both sisters are at work during festivals or events, she looks after our kids and family; Picturize four notorious kids with their 70 year old nani ma!
As siblings and business partners we freely provide feedback and quickly move on from arguments; we are each other’s biggest cheerleaders, for better or worse, since the beginning of our lives.
People started liking our ideas and different concepts for festival décor, what makes us stand out is probably the fact that we overlook details at every phase of planning and ensure there is mark of reliability in all of it.
Both my daughters Pearl and Emrald, look up to me as a role model, that gives me more strength to go for it.
Till date we have decorated more than 85 homes in 4 years,for Ganesh Chaturthi and by Bappas grace and blessings, the number increases every year; we have grown from festival decors to various other events like marriages, baby showers, Diwali etc
August- September is busy month of the year so we couldn’t be sure, if you wish to get your home adorned and embellished for events and festivals, you can contact Gayatri Parekh (9820950055) and Alpa Shah (8879315817), follow K-jo Kreation on facebook @ K jo Kreation.
(Written by Raavya Sarda)