I actually started doing henna over 5 years ago as a hobby with no idea it would become a business! I thought the artform was beautiful and loved how I felt when I wore it. As my knowledge and skill with henna improved, I began getting requests from others and eventually started charging for it to cover my materials. My first official ‘gig’ as a henna artist was the local Farmers Market less than a year later.
I used the cash made over the summer to attend an international conference for henna artists, and my passion for henna spiraled from there.
I would say the main motivation behind my business is the experience of creating unique henna adornment for my clients, and the connections I develop with them in the process. I love how the medium of henna allows me to share my art with so many people. It’s my favourite part of the job, and I’m excited to see how my business continues to expand.
Q. What are your products/services?
My main service is just henna at the moment, but I’ve done it for everything from music festivals, medieval events, baby showers, weddings, parties, promotional events, and personal adornment. It’s a beautifully versatile artform.
My two favourite things about henna, and the first things I tell new clients, are that it is completely natural and it can be uniquely tailored to you. I often get asked if I use stencils, and I don’t. Everything you see is drawn freehand.
Q. Where can we buy your products/services?
Where is your business located? : I’m available at various fests and events in the Kootenays over the summers, as well as for private parties or appointments. Event updates are always listed on my Facebook and Instagram, and bookings can be made via a Facebook message or email.
I’m based out of Cranbrook until May as I’m attending COTR for my Business Administration diploma.
Q. Tell us about your business now compared to when you started.
Well, it’s definitely not just a hobby anymore! I still have a lot of work left to put into it, but I’m happy with how it’s developed over the years.
Q. What are your business stats?
Sadly, I’ve had to reduce the time I’ve been putting into henna this year since I’m currently in college.
I did manage to keep most of my regular events over the summer, such as Kaslo Jazz, and they were amazing. The main thing that has taken off is workshops. I’ve done five this year, and am hoping to continue the trend.
Q. Why did you join LEAP!?
I joined LEAP! because I’d had multiple people recommend it as something I could use and I needed a challenge.
Q. What was the benefit of attending LEAP?
I would say the main benefit for me was the opportunity to meet up with other entrepreneurs and develop a clearer vision of my business and where I wanted to go with it.
Q. What awards and/or grants did you receive at the Barnraiser? And how did you spend your earnings?
I received credit for Community Futures, and the opportunity for a Membership to the Creston Chamber of Commerce. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the time to actually use them.
Q. How did working with other LEAP! participants affect you as an entrepreneur and impact your business start-up?
I think it was really beneficial for me to receive outside input and constructive criticism. I tend to get trapped in my own head, so being able to brainstorm and share ideas with other entrepreneurs helps get the ideas out and reassure me they are worthwhile.
Q. Do you have any advice for someone starting out?
Caution: Do all the research. Then do more. It will really help you to get a good base for your ideas and let you know if they can work on paper.
Encouragement: The opportunity to share your passion is worth the hard work.
Q. What can the community do to support your business now?
I am definitely still seeking more events and locations that could use a henna artist. The more the better!
Beyond that, I would love to collaborate with more artists and photographers on creative projects that are just for fun.