Tuesday, July 15, 2008


No, not that cheesy soap opera, but things that we're passionate about. The boy asked me today if I'm happy with my job, and I said yes, I am. And it is a good job with cool people dealing with interesting things. But then the boy hit the nail on the head by asking if I could do something I was passionate about, would this be it? I laughed and said, no, it would be something else entirely. Something creative. Business development v. creative stuff. Go figure.

I am working on getting a mehndi (henna) venture started, and I've got my first job coming up next month for a bride and her friends and family. I've done mehndi for friends and family before, including for a couple of my friends who were getting married. For those of you who don't know, mehndi on a bride is an elaborate affair where the designs usually go up to the elbows on the arms and adorn the feet as well. I will update with pictures when I'm back home tonight. Anyhow, my close friends have been telling me to charge people for years, and I know some ladies who make quite a bit of money doing mehndi for events and brides. So now, I'm finally making that move myself, and part of me wonders if I'm answering my calling.

The goal in launching this...business is to make it unlike any mehndi service currently being offered. I envision creating a brand and a professional version of what the "aunties" already do. Without going into lots of detail, there's a whole marketing plan in the works (with the help of my fabulous consultant friend, Nazneen, and the rest of my very supportive girl friends). The long term goal is to open some sort of loungey retreat for brides to relax in the midst of wedding planning and preparation or for a group of girl friends to have a fun day/night out. In my mind, it sounds like a good idea, but will it work out in practice? We shall see, I suppose...

The thing is that I have a vague feeling that life will take some funny turn or move forward in an unexpected way. I'm not opposed to that; it's the twists and turns that make life interesting and help us grow. I just wish I knew when that crazy loop in the life rollercoaster was coming.

As promised, here are pictures of some mehndi I've done. You'll see that there's a lot of detail involved, but that's one style. The design aesthetic and level of detail change depending on geographic area (South Asia, Middle East, North Africa). North African designs are geometric; Middle Eastern designs are more floral with more subtle variations in Persian designs, which include knotwork; and South Asian designs have floral, paisley, and intricate designs.

That's a recent bride's mehdni, which, as you can see goes up to the elbows. Front and back.

Same bride's feet.

Mehndi for my friend Nazneen's engagement party.

Bridal mehndi for my friend Seema.