Last night I attended a party for the grand opening of Sumita Batra's chain of beauty shops called Ziba Beauty (they do waxing, threading, makeup, and mehndi). Sumita herself was there and I got to meet her and talk with her. Even though she was very busy, she was incredibly gracious and made time to speak with me several times, and it was a thrill to meet the woman who really brought henna to the forefront of fashion in the West.
When I was just dabbling in henna, a friend brought me a magazine that had a multi-page spread of Sumita's work on the gorgeous Liv Tyler and I though "WOW, this is what I want to do someday!". Of course, I toiled away working for "the man" for a long time, but eventually, I was able to quit my day jobs and make a living at henna.
Sumita is also famous for her henna on many celebrities including Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Naomi Campbell, and I'm sure many many more. It's wonderful to see someone not just make a living with their passion, but expand their business to a much larger degree and bring the art of Eastern Beauty to the masses. It's quite an accomplishment, and her salons are gorgeous - simple and elegant.
Here is me, (looking all giddy and goofy on the right) with the master herself, and on the left is Lena Toney, who is one of the henna artists on my team (and an all around artist). It was such a fun night, and I'm feeling freshly inspired too!