Just some additions to Mark's excellent advice
Posted by Kenzi on May 22, 2001 at 04:37:22:
his numbered format and add my own thoughts, not to contradict him.
My comments are below preceded by "------"
: Okay here we go!!!!
: 1. Selection of designs is a must....Say for instance have three
: books on a table all the same and a book for you to work from. Also
: try to get a large laminate or two/three of the designs. mount them
: and place them onto easels so that they are at eye height. This
: get their attention and you have a book with you to copy from at
------I have a couple of books on the table plus a flyer with info
about what's in my paste and the dangers of black henna. I also put
out laminated sheets with examples of the size of design that they
can get for $10, $20 etc. just to give them an idea.
: 2. If you think cone wise then make up 30g cones....think about
: it ....look at how much henna you get for 100g....then think about
: how much henna you would use for your largest design. Id suggest
: making 3 cones depending on the amount of people...perhaps more.
: Waste is unavoidable and i would recommend wasting henna than
----More henna is best. I use jacquard bottles and always have AT
LEAST three bottles on hand, plus the makings of more paste, if the
need arises. I also like to have more than one tip of each size just
-----I just disovered another necessity...a finger bowl of sorts to
rinse off fingers that are sticky with lemon-sugar. Stick fingers
are not the best tools for wrapping up henna after it dries.
: Know thy henna powder - can you mix it and use it? does it need to
: sit for a few hours before hand....not all henna does! if it doesnt
: then take a bag, bottle of solution and if you run out do the
: get a large cup of tea or boiling water...place into your solution
: and heat for 3-5 mins....mix up your henna and there you go...your
: back in business. This ONLY works with henna that is fast staining.
: 3. Smudges....You must display an aftercare sheet...get them to
: it BEFORE they leave you....place it to one side and ask them to
: before leaving. I state that if they smudge the whole design,
: dependant on circumstances, then i will charge you again.
----I give out aftercare sheets to each person who is hennaed and
explain the basics to them while hennaing or wrapping. My assistant
also does the same while lemon-sugaring and wrapping our victims.
: do happen but its time/money. If its a little accident then you can
: repair...if not....
-----Smudges are a real pain. I usually touch up their design within
reason. Sometimes I may have to redo the design wholly or partially
but I don't usually charge them for it. If I do decide to charge
them I feel that I should warn them about that beforehand...this may
give them added incentive to guard their henna more carefully.
: 4. MOst henna will last the event just being kept out of direct
-----I just keep mine in my kit and don't worry about it. Unless
your henna is on the brink of going bad it should last the day in
: 5. Have faith in your work always.....you stand by your work at all
: costs. It is very rare that a person will complain and its almost
: impossilbe that you would make such a mess that they would complain
-----If you feel nervous about your ability just put designs in your
book that you are sure you can do. Most people will be amazed at
your ability to do the work freehand and will be pleased with the
results. When you state your prices be convinced of your artistic
ability and the value of your work. Some people may turn up their
noses at your prices but they usually don't understand henna and the
traditions and skills involved. I used to tell people that my prices
start at $5 but I find that this attracts kids who think they are
getting a temporary tattoo. Now when I say that prices start at $10
those kids go away and quickly (they are the worst about smudging
their designs anyway) and the ones who stick around really want henna
and usually spend much more than that.
----Sometimes I will get someone who has only $15 to spend (for
example) but wants a more expensive design, so I will just do the
design for them more simply. When I started I priced my designs at
roughly $1/minute (for drawing time) but I am much faster than I used
to be so a $15 design takes me about 5-7 minutes.
: However some people are quite picky....i wanted it a bit higher
: that....is that the right size....oh i dont like it now. Is
: somethings that you may get. Do the design that they
: the price in advance so they know what they are spending (you dont
: have to take the money straight away) Keep some tape handy to stick
: shirt sleeves up in place out the way. Hair bands for the girls are
: also useful.
: Have a few pics....its important to state that its brown not black
: (nt just for ppd reasons) people sometimes assume that it will be
: black.....the most irate customes you will get is people that feel
: they have been duped...which leads to the pics....have two-three
: pics...showing henna development. Paste on, paste of look its
: henna after 24 hours...looks its brown.
-----I try to henna one week and one day in advance of the event so
that there are examples on my skin of henna in its various
incarnations. I can show them how the stain fades after a week and
how it looks right after. Also, it helps to have henna on your palm
and maybe on your arm to show them the difference in color depending
on the place it is done.
: Sorry people have to be TOLD....dont assume...yes they are
: intelligent but they need telling.
: Finally....if someone compains like i thought it would be bigger or
: something like that....remember you are a business. You dont walk
: into a restaurant order something to eat, eat it and then say hmm
: well i thought it would be bigger than that.....nor do you say can
: get two for the price of one! Stand by your work people listen to
: it...if your confident then the people waiting will get one done.
: you fluff it and try to cover up or give it to them for half the
: price or something like that then they will loose faith in you and
: probably leave.
: Very important thing for shows is to have a helper.....someone that
: can speak to people waiting...english people dont like to wait
: without some kind of contact. Get the helper to speak to em...sell
: it....take the cash and line em up...if they have paid they will
-----I have to agree with this wholeheartedly. I would be lost
without my assitant. I go into my henna trance while working and
can't put a coherent sentence together let alone explain aftercare or
handle money. My assistant knows the whole drill, warns people about
black henna, helps people pick out designs, doses people with lemon-
sugar, wraps them up, hold their dogs, etc. She also helps me set up
and break down. She used to do it in return for free henna but now I
pay her because she has made herself so invaluable. See if you can
get a friend to help you out and if you feel like you are taking
advantage of them, offer to buy them dinner afterwards or split your
tips with them.
-----That brings me to another point: a tip jar. I thought that this
was a little money grubbing but people (at least here in the US and
NYC in particular) are used to giving tips (to manicurist,
hairdressers, cab drivers, waiters etc.) so you are just playing part
in that same game. I have a jar on the table and maybe 20% of my
clients tip me. Sometimes I feel that the people who do tip me, do
it because when i am finished they are surprised that it looks so
nice given the price they paid and want to express that. The little
extra cash is nice but I wouldn't count on it...this last weekend I
made $6 in tips!
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