I have been working with henna since 1997, after seeing it on one of my 3rd grade students. Because she was young, all she could tell me was that her aunt had put "this stuff" on her hand, and "now it looks like this". Without Google or even knowing what it was called, I was at a loss. Thankfully, I was visiting New York City a few weeks later when I spotted a stranger with some on her hand. I asked her about it and she sent me to a nearby shop where they were applying henna for customers. At that time, I received my first henna and immediately fell in love with the process, the plant, the color(s), the designs, the rituals and the history. When I returned to Miami, (where I lived at the time), I began my henna journey by spending what felt like hundreds of hours in libraries, researching anything I could find related to henna. I spent the next few months learning how to mix henna paste, and I spent all my free time practicing on paper, myself and my friends. That summer, (1997), I resigned from teaching Art in public schools and started offering my henna services out of my home, as well as in different shops in Miami and Miami Beach. I also did henna at weekend festivals and craft shows, at corporate parties and other events. I consider myself to be "self-taught", as there was no one around to teach me how to mix it or apply it. Even so, I am still learning new facts about the history, new recipes and new techniques, and I am constantly inspired by artists around the world, through the magic of social media. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love for a living. It never feels like "work", it's very meditative for me, and I enjoy meeting people from around the world, all because of our shared love of the henna plant.
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