“What is your 'real' job?”
“I am a henna artist.”
“Wow that’s so cool! But what is your ‘job’ job? Like what do you do for a living.”
“I am a henna artist… I do henna bodyart on people.”
“Oh, I see.”
I often get this question, followed by that pause, that confused look, and ultimately, that ‘oh’.
For those who don't know, I used to be a CPA by profession. I worked in Accounting at a reputable company in Halifax before I quit my job & went into my business full time.
Some family members think I am not qualified enough to have a ‘real’ job. That I can do henna because my husband has a good job. Clients tell me that I can still go back to doing accounting if I ever want to ‘work’.
Owning a business is as time consuming as having a full time job, and sometimes even more. I work from 9am to 5pm to develop my skills, market my business, answer inquiries about bookings, and finding more business development opportunities like events & parties. In a full time job, people get weekends or certain days off. As a henna artist, weekends are when I am the busiest. Full time jobs employees get stat holidays off. I work every stat holiday as that is when most of the events and parties take place. Being an entrepreneur is exhausting but more rewarding. I am the owner, artist, marketer, social media manager, sales associate, accountant & customer representative of my business – ALL IN ONE.
Do people think it is easy to find new business? Clients don't just come to you; you have to work hard to make them come to you. You have to deal with competition and prove your skills & abilities every single day. On top of that, you have to do such an amazing job that you stand out in the crowd.
As entrepreneurs, we need to have management skills, leadership skills and sales skills to be able to survive. It is one thing to be skilled at making art, but a completely different skill to run a business and be successful at it.
Temporary body art is a growing industry, and there is a big need for skilled as well as professional artists. You can ask a friend or family member to offer face painting or henna at your next event, same as you can paint your own nails or take your own wedding photos. BUT those will always be different from a "real" & "professional" artist's work.
Henna Artist in Halifax