Meet Sharmeen Moinuddin of Sharmeen Does Henna
I was born into a culture that valued traditions like henna and I was blessed with an unconditional love for art, and that’s how my henna story begins. The first time I picked up a henna cone I was 13 years old, driven, but not very good. Still, I made an Instagram and started to post. Pretty soon, people wanted me to do their henna and were willing to pay for it. I became involved in the henna community on Instagram, learning from them but also comparing myself to them. I looked at the work of other henna artists with years of experience and wondered why they were so much better. Only years of practice and several sacrificed hands later, did I realize practice was the secret. If I learned anything since the start it’s, always make time for your art. It’s important.
The road has been bumpy, but a smooth road doesn’t make a good driver. I’ve been doing henna professionally for three years now, so I’ve dealt with many clients. Some nice, and some not so nice. Starting off, I was always being taken advantage of. I didn’t know all the rules and I didn’t realize my worth. As a beginner, I had a client who refused to pay the full amount, criticized my speed, and told me to my face that if she had known I was this young, she wouldn’t have hired me. Experiences like this were hard but they pointed out flaws in my business that needed fixing. I created a henna contract establishing my guidelines, pricing, timings, and requirements so there would be no surprises on either end. Ever since, the road has been a lot smoother. Something I’ve learned along the way is it’s very important to communicate with your clients. Make sure they understand your expectations and you understand theirs. They will be happy, you will be happy, and the world will be in perfect harmony.
I consider myself a doodler, but instead of doodling on paper with a pen, I doodle on people with a cone. I mainly do henna on brides and guests, but I also take home studio appointments. I’ve had the opportunity to teach a henna workshop at a public library. As for what I’m known for, I like to think that I am known for my intricate, structured, and neat bridal designs. I strongly value quality over quantity and I take my time with each design that I create. I also take great pride in the fact that I am self taught and I mix my own natural henna paste that is free from the dangerous chemicals that are contained in the more readily accessible commercially manufactured chemical cones.
I believe success is not the key to happiness, but happiness is the key to success. There are so many little things that have made me feel successful. For one, I feel successful being able to turn my passion into a profit and I’m grateful that I can make money doing something I love. I feel successful when my clients smile because of the design I’ve created for them. I feel successful when I see how much my henna skills have improved over the years. I feel successful knowing that I have followers who love my work and appreciate my art. That’s my success.