Bridal henna is no easy feat.
It requires a great deal of patience and stamina. Not to mention that you literally have NO ROOM TO MESS UP.
It's a bride we're talking about and I'm sure you don't want to put a damper on someone's most special day.
Bridal mehndi is a whole other ball park from the regular henna we do. It needs hours of work, very clean and intricate work and a clear cut bridal on boarding process.
Which is why I brought in Saira from Breath of Henna - a bridal henna expert who's been in the industry for 10 years. Did I also mention that she's the amazing Creative Director behind The Sai Lens, who's led shoots that got published in Must Be Kismet, South Asian Bride Magazine, Lavish Dulhan and many more.
So let's dive in...
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Here are some of Saira's Top Recommendations:
1) EDUCATE YOURSELF
Saira admits she was clueless when she first picked up the hobby of henna, and a little secret here - so is every single henna artist out there. Henna is simply not an intuitive art. So the first thing here is you have to hold yourself accountable as an artist. For example, you undeniably need to know the difference between black henna and natural henna and the threats that are posed by black henna. Bottom line is, you have to break that barrier first before considering anything else.
2) RESEARCH + TAKE PART IN WEDDING SHOWS
Wedding shows can be detrimental in acquiring bridal clients. I mean, you're already in a pool of brides who are already actively searching for wedding vendors. But they're flooded with vendors and business cards that you have to make yourself memorable somehow to stand out. Another thing is that you should invest in an elegant portfolio book, banners, the works because that's how you set the first impression. And lastly, don't be too fixated on "winning your money back" right away. You need to treat wedding shows and exhibitions as a long term investment.
3) QUALITY OVER SPEED
Don't be so fixated on how fast you are when it comes to bridal henna. The most important thing here is the quality of your work so take your time with it and be sure to communicate that clearly with your bride. This needs to be treated like a meditative experience (both for you, and the bride), so rushing it will disrupt that flow.
4) HAVE A CLEAR CONSULTATION PROCESS
It's really important to have a clear bridal consultation process because that's the deciding factor of whether or not the bride will book you. Whatever communicative method you choose, either in person or through a virtual video call, it's crucial to get a good understanding of what the bride is looking for in terms of design or motifs in addition to setting realistic expectations to make sure all goes smoothly on her big day.
5) PARTICIPATE IN COLLABORATIVE PHOTOSHOOTS
This comes as no surprise coming from a Creative Director, but leading 10 - 15 photoshoots a year, Saira vouches that photoshoots has given a boost to all her bridal inquiries. When you lead and direct a shoot with a specific theme, concept and vision, you allow potential clients to envision your work in their own wedding. You should also seek out vendors who produce high quality work to make sure it compliments your own.
6) NETWORK WITH VENDORS
Do not limit yourself to henna artists. You should really put in effort to network with vendors in the same industry, whether it be: make up artists, hairstylists, photographers, etc. Actively participating in shoots makes this a whole lot easier. The point is the more you network and create genuine connections, the more you'll be able to grow as a bridal henna artist.
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