Floral Beauty
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Yessar Rosendar Read : 2437 Date : Monday, April 15, 2013 - 21:23:15

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    With the growing wealth of the country, tycoons are in a competition to stage ever-more extravagant weddings, parties and other events. Harijanto Setiawan, 41, the founder of Singapore-based Boenga Flower Design, has become one of the most accomplished florists in Asia because of his ability to enable such happenings. For example, a tycoon who wanted to celebrate the birth of his child held a party in Singapore that included a custom-made full-size carousel. The cost of the floral decorations and interior design only was $180,000. “We are unique and flamboyant, and a bit over the top—but never boring,” Harijanto says of his flower designs.

    That's just one example. The most expensive work he has ever done was for a wedding in India three years ago costing more than $200,000. For that happy occasion, he created 40 floral flying carpets made of 8,000 stalks of hydrangea, cloud decorations made from 10,000 hydrangea, and 3,000 meters of strings with flowers and pearls, along with other decorations. The entire display needed three days of work and involved around 200 florists.

    Harijanto, who is based in Singapore, didn't set out to become a celebrity florist. He first had a career as an architect. After graduating from Bandung's Parahyangan Catholic University with an architecture degree, he worked for a design company in Jakarta for one year, then he went to Australia to take a master's degree in real estate at the University of New South Wales. After that, he worked as an architect specializing in airport design for the Singapore government for almost a decade. Yet even during this period, he would moonlight on weekends as a florist. Finally, he took the life-changing decision to become a full-time florist. He set up Boenga, which is an Indonesian word for flowers, in Singapore in 2002.