Manjula Atapattu and Her Whimsical Floral Touch
There’s a proverb that says, “Like mother, like daughter” – That’s where we would like to start this delightful story. Manjula’s mother, Ranjini Atapattu, had a knack for putting together extraordinary floral arrangements. She is best described as a highly efficacious and driven lady who had unwavering dedication and workmanship towards her passion of being a floral artist. Witnessing her mother’s love for flowers, Manjula, too, was drawn towards its enchantment. In no time, she was entrapped within the folds of petals and foliage and began her career as a florist in the year 1995. By collaborating with her mother, she was able to explore her inborn creative talents and up her flower decorating game. The inventive floral artist takes pride in saying that her eye for playing around with flowers and colours very much align to her mother’s. After over two decades into her profession, Manjula shares her approach to work, love for bridals and spills the beans about why there’s a need for improvement in Sri Lanka’s floral industry!
Working in Harmony
The artistic mind behind Country Bunches strongly stands by working in harmony and peace instead of tearing one another through ferocious competitions and challenges. This is exactly why she says her business has never faced any severe obstacles. Her positive attitude towards entrepreneurship has opened doors of success for Country Bunches and is now a resilient establishment in the wedding industry. Duplicating another’s work is far away from Manjula’s work ethics and she refuses to follow another’s footpath to gain recognition. With originality as her key ingredient, she withstands the growing business world as a confident and determined creative expert to offer unique, novel and exclusive work of floral art for her clients.
Blessed with the Best
The boss lady of Country Bunches claims that her biggest awards and achievements are her personal satisfaction every time she creates something unique as well as her supportive and loving family members who always have her back. What more does one need when the heart is full of love and peace?
Unspoken Truth of the Floral Industry
The floral expert spilled the tea about a handful of underrated issues prevailing in the local floral industry. Sri Lanka is home to an enormous botanical diversity and has a wide range of floricultural species. However, the tropical heaven, although blessed with vibrant blooms and distinct foliage, is still running short on a wide range of natural flowers and leaves compared to other countries. The scarcity of the materials used for innovative bouquet arrangements decelerates the advancement of Sri Lanka’s floral industry and limits the options offered to the locals. Manjula pointed out that the unavailability of proper market, not receiving fixed prices from suppliers, seasonal demands, lack of water supply and access to new technologies, high input costs as well as competition from the artificial flowers in the market are some of the biggest challenges faced by the florists in Sri Lanka. She recommends florists to grow their own natural flowers with the aid of global leaders in the industry which, she says, will definitely improve the standards and quality of every floral artist’s work.
The Expert’s Approach to Floral Designing
Drawing inspiration from just about anything pretty and colourful, Manjula is also blessed with her innate creative intuition that aids her crafting and curating skills. Thanks to her rare talent to offer exclusivity, the tenacious lady behind Country Bunches is amongst the most sought-after florists at present. We tried to understand her approach to meeting deadlines and customer requirements and she only had to say one word – planning!
Leaving aside the downsides of the industry, Manjula prefers to look at all the positives of being a florist. She claims that this career gives her immense self-satisfaction and her indescribable love towards flowers has her heart blooming every time she sets down to work. Her admirers highly commend her remarkable entrepreneurship. Many have complimented her business achievements and have assumed entrepreneurship wins at the end of the day. Nonetheless, she says there’s more below the surface of running one’s own floral business and denies to be labelled business-savvy, as it doesn’t count a plethora of other skills that include her artistic dedication. She simply loves her life with flowers and refuses to be known solely for her business competency.
Weddings with Country Bunches
Manjula extends her floral services to the exuberant and dreamy brides to ensure their flower fantasies come true on their big day. She takes a massive interest in turning a bride’s wedding into an enchanting, whimsical affair. And, by pouring her heart and soul, she ensures to add that much needed elegant touch of blooms and colours. Despite the lack of natural flowers blocking her path to provide better designs to her brides, she manages to pull off her work in style by meeting all customer needs!
Her advice for brides is simple – Be natural and simple. And, if possible, go green!
Future Plan of the Aspiring Florist
Manjula simply wants to share her knowledge and experiences in floral designing – either via her own academy or by collaborating with a like-minded close friend. Country Bunches has a lot in store for its future and is considering establishing their presence in more regions.