Japanese flower designers find niche in Nairobi

Long before twin sisters Ikuyo and Michiyo Suzuki decided to leave Japan and settle in Kenya, they had been annual tourists. What caught their attention was the numerous flower farms. Floral designers by profession, Ikuyo and Michiyo made noticed that there were a lot of flowers with heavenly scents, but the variety of floral designs was limited. Noting a gap in the floral design market, they founded Bahati Flower Studio.

Located in Lavington, Nairobi, the Suzuki sisters have been delivering the beauty of flowers, using an artistic modern Japanese flower arrangement signature style.

“We introduced the Japanese floral arrangement styles because Kenya is endowed with lovely English garden-scented roses popular in this design,” Ms. Ikuyo says.

According to her, local floral designs borrow heavily from the Western style. An arrangement, for instance, is huge, consists of flowers with long stems only, and the florists use bold colors — reds, oranges, and yellows — arranged in a flowing manner. This contrasts with the Japanese style, where factors such as the colors, style, balance, texture, size, shape, volume, and the container used are considered.

“In addition to the freshly cut flowers, we incorporate leaves, grass, seeds, berries, and herbs like lavender, mint, or rosemary,” she says. “We prefer pale colors such as pink, yellow, and white. To tie the flowers together or shape them, we use a mizuhiki — a decorative, Japanese traditional ornamental cord made from twisted paper. The end result is a small but extremely beautiful arrangement, which can also be enlarged according to a person’s preference.”

Read the complete article at www.businessdailyafrica.com.

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