Purnima Joshi, who lives in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, has been in love with plants since childhood. Especially with Bonsai. Because his father is a Bonsai lover and often he used to make Bonsai. Inspired by him, Poornima also started making bonsai a few years back. Purnima is taking the hobby of making Bonsai inherited from her father a step further. Poornima is not only an expert in making beautiful bonsai, but now she is also doing good business by taking these bonsai to the customers.
Purnima, who started her startup named ‘Bonsai Haat’, gets orders from different corners of the country. There is such a demand for the Bonsai made by them that sometimes they are short of stock to fulfill the orders of the customers. One of the reasons for this is that Poornima believes in giving the perfect bonsai to the customers. So if ever Bonsai is not available with her as per the order, she politely declines or asks the customers for some time.
He says that the cost of bonsai is very high depending on the design, effort and age of the plant. That’s why he tries to give Bonsai according to the wishes of the people. So that bonsai runs in their customers’ homes for years and years. Talking to The Better India, he told about his journey.
teacher turned entrepreneur
Purnima, who has an MTech degree, says, “When I used to see my father making bonsai in my maternal house, I always thought that one day I would also make bonsai. However, at that time it used to be my retirement plan that I would do business by making bonsai. But it is said that life does not go on according to us. I got married after completing my degree. After marriage, I worked as a teacher in a school for about two and a half years. Also, private tuitions were also given to the students.
Along with work, Poornima also started setting up a small garden in her house. She says that in her spare time she would take care of the plants and gradually she started trying her hand at bonsai too. Making bonsai is not a one day job. He may have always seen his father making bonsai, but there is a difference between seeing someone and doing that work himself. Purnima says, “I have spent almost six-seven years learning the art of making bonsai. I started with small plants and today I am taking the best of Bonsai to the people.”
Purnima says that by the year 2018, around 400 bonsai were ready in her house. “People coming to the house were often surprised to see our bonsai. Once we were asked by a relative to make bonsai for his house. When I gave them Bonsai, they were very happy and everywhere they told about this art of mine. That’s where I felt the need to wait for retirement to pursue my hobby,” he said.
Purnima started her business in 2018 by taking feedback from people on her work. He first told people he knew. Posted pictures of his Bonsai on WhatsApp and on other social media platforms. Slowly they started getting orders.
Homemade ‘Bonsai Haat’
Purnima says that she learned to make bonsai with a lot of hard work and time. In the beginning, many plants were also damaged by them. But he didn’t give up. He took help from his father to learn and also learned from YouTube. “The first effort should be to buy a good plant. To make bonsai, you have to prepare a special kind of potting mix not only on its designing but also for it. What kind of tray you are putting it in should be taken care of,” he said.
He further said that it is very hot in Raipur. That’s why they had problems in making bonsai. But gradually he experimented and made a special kind of potting mix. In which you can plant Bonsai in any area and season. In six-seven years, Purnima had made about 400 bonsai. She said that after this there was no space in her house to make more bonsai. So he slowly started selling them. In this work, she got the full support of her husband, Aditya Joshi.
He started work from his home. At first she focused on how she would pack the bonsai so that it would not spoil during shipping. “Together, we designed the packaging in such a way that even if the bonsai is in shipping for four-five days, it does not spoil. I have sent hundreds of Bonsai to different states of the country till now but no problem has happened. I started the business with 20 thousand rupees and then whatever profit I made, started investing in the business itself,” he said.
So far she has reached out to around 280 Bonsai customers. In which there are more than 40 varieties of plants including Peepal, Banyan, Mango, Guava, Neem, Eucalyptus. Most bonsai have a lifespan of more than 10 years. Many are over 50 years old. Regarding their size, she says that now she has bonsai ranging from 3 inches to 70 inches. If we talk about the price, then it starts from 600 rupees. While the cost of many bonsai is also in thousands. The price of a bonsai depends on its age, size and design.
Work stopped in lockdown, but now demand is increasing continuously
Poornima says that due to the lockdown and corona epidemic in the year 2020, she could not take orders for bonsai for several months. Because there was a problem with their shipping. In such a situation, he insisted on making more bonsai. So that as soon as the situation becomes normal, he can fulfill the orders of the people. She says, “I plan to build a bonsai farm in the near future. But right now my son is small, due to which I am not able to give full time to my business. I do bonsai work from 5:30 in the morning till 8-9 in the morning. After that the family has to look after. Then when the son goes to sleep, I look after some work.”
Abhinesh, one of his customers, says, “I saw a jade plant bonsai on the online space, prepared by Poornima ji. Only then did I contact him. I live at a distance of 1500 km from Raipur. So I was hesitant whether it would be right to order this? Where did something go wrong? But Poornima ji gave full assurance that the packaging would be done well and the plant would reach and it happened.”
Poornima is also planning a special online course for those who wish to learn the art of making Bonsai. Actually many people want to learn this art. That’s why the purpose of Purnima is now also to teach people how to make bonsai.
If you want to contact Poornima Joshi or want to see her work click here.
Editing – G N Jha
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