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Posted by Anne Beltestad on October 2, 2002 at 13:50:20:

In reply to: Re: hiring other henna artists posted by jessica on October 2, 2002 at 03:44:38:

Hi Jessica, and everyone else,

thanks for your input. Luckily, with 4 years henna under my belt as it were, I have a good starting point. One of the best things is as Jessica mentioned, you need to all get along. I think I'm NOT going to work with the ex-PPD artist because there seems to be a serious communication gap, though she's nice enough. She also expects far more hustling and henna-as-a-fake-tattoo-business type work than I can ever feel comfortable doing. Energy saving, as Jessica says.

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.

hmm, this is an interesting approach and one I never considered. I've just looked at their work, whether on themselves or in a portfolio, and checked out whether or not they're at a similar level, or able to be. It's purely subjective, of course, and more a matter of "vibe" than anything else, but after tens of thousands of henna designs (as well as looking with suspicion on any other artist at a fair ; ) you can kinda get a feel for quality. I think the most important issue at a big event is speed. Can someone do a $10 design in less than 15 minutes?

. One of our girls is great with names and fonts,
: one is great with custom patterns.

we sort of had that with Gilded Lilies. I did celtic and Chang With Flames, but hated chinese and japanese lettering for example.
In NYC we just don't have the space or the work to do this, though Kenzi and I will negotiate with each other.

: 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.

This is what I'm used to, too. Except when there is no "schmoozer" - and that was when Kree had problems. Me, if it's my gig, I'll hold the money and folks pretty much know it ain't going NOWHERE, not with my attitude and martial arts skills. ;)

: As for customer interactions - Over the years, we have developed a
: booth language. Sentences that people understand, that are clear and
: consistent.

Oh yeah, I have my patter DOWN! I can do it in my sleep, and often repeat it thoughtlessly in one breath for ANYONE who asks, whether work colleague family member, or curious type on the subway!

: 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!

no, not tedious and mean at all - just good business! I'm not into marketing or hustling or being a saleswoman, but have learned a LOT from my years of henna, and one thing is that it's gotta work well. I feel most comfortable working with people whose henna work I respect AND with whom I get along. I've been lucky with all the gals from Gilded Lilies as well as Kenzi, who I would never have met but for this forum! Good rule of thumb is that if you like them AND their work makes you go "oooh!" then you just might be able to work together...
ok, enough prcrastinating, more WORK! Work, grad student, work! sigh...




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