Re: hiring other henna artists

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Posted by jessica on October 2, 2002 at 03:44:38:

In reply to: hiring other henna artists posted by Anne Beltestad on October 1, 2002 at 15:32:51:

Well Anne, here is my 2 cents and experience. I don't know if it will
actually prove helpfull but you are definately not alone on this one.

This is how I manage needing extra/more henna artists. I do have
quite a list of personal requirements before I even consider their
skill level. I only hire and work with people I know. Furthermore, you
must share our collective sense of humor, get along well with our
group, be highly focused, able to work long hours, not take offense or
be personally offended when I yell at you because I will. Not be upset
when requests don't begin with would you mind please... and end with I
really appreciate it thanks...
In other words, when we are out working 10 hours in the sun you need
to be easy to be around and not expect to be babied. If we need
something done someone will just ask/tell you. It's important that
everyone understand this type of interaction as energy saving and not
a personal issue.
Now, once I find someone who can hang out with us all day we get to
skills. I use notebooks at events and need each design to be
reproduced exactly as it's seen in the book every time. (not that we
don't add and change stuff but I need an assurance that there is a
level of consistency) I have just trained people to this end and once
they can successfully repeat the small designs the large ones are
added on. At a certain point their skills develop to the point where
you notice one person is good at one thing or another and that becomes
their booth specialty. One of our girls is great with names and fonts,
one is great with custom patterns.
Each time we added a girl, we had a few lessons with them and asked
them to come to a day at a slow event and do simple patterns. On
slower days it allows you to oversee and give advice and guidance.
Lets them become familiar with our system of money, line, designs, and
interactions with customers while simultaneously jumping into the deep
Basically, I really ask that they be consistent to my expectations and
only let them do patterns they are competent at.

As for money.... Our booth supervisor/boss/bitch/fluffer/water-er
collects the money from each customer. At the end of the day the
tallies are counted for each artist and they are paid a percentage of
their total work for the day.
By only working with people who we are all comfortable, trust and have
fun with money has not been a problem at all. We are there to work and
have a good time -(people watch). Everyone knows they are paid well
and if it's a slow day that's reflected in everyones pay, if it's busy
same thing. Also, the better, faster artists make more money and this
encourages the drive to be a better henna girl for everyone.

As for customer interactions - Over the years, we have developed a
booth language. Sentences that people understand, that are clear and
consistent. This is part of my training scenario. I ask that you
answer the barage of questions in a specific way with exact responses.
This insures that no matter who the client asks they always get the
same reply. ie, henna lasts 7-10 days, best on hands and feet. Or I
can take your money now. ... on and on.
Overall, I wouldn't work with someone I didn't know well. I have to be
able to comfortably boss/instruct and trust you and that doesn't work
for me with strangers..
Though this sounds tedious and mean it's worked. We've never had a
problem once we brought someone on. It has been tricking finding
enough people to work though!
Long winded but I hope it helps ya!

Hey all,
: well, I must be a real pro, because I'm getting to where I have to
look for other artists - also Kenzi is going to Morocco so I need more
hands, especially for all the gigs I seem to be getting lately.
: I didn't know it was such a complicated thing! Kree and others who
have a whole group of artists, my hat is off to you! Being in grad
school and having another job as well as trying to do this and
maintain the nice henna geisha mentality is challenging.
: I'm trying to weigh different peoples' strengths and weaknesses;
some may not be experienced professionally but are very good artists,
while others who are experienced professionally are less innovative
with designs. Another is used to working with a local PPD slinger who
charges her clients $200/hour (?!?) and has experienced henna as a
constant hustle. I'm trying to find the happy medium while keeping my
standards high - choosing people whose work is consistently good
enough for Kenzi and I to feel comfortable being associated with them.
Whew! Anyone have stories about this kind of balancing act? Also,
what about cash with people you don't know? I've seen kree get ripped
off and don't want this to happen to me, which should be safe with
by-the-hour gigs.
: Thoughts?
: Ok, back to the rea


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  • thanks.... Anne Beltestad 13:50:20 10/2/2002 (0)

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