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Conversations with Zohra Chunawala

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zohra Chunawala.

Zohra, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My name is Zohra and my business is ‘ Henna By Zoey ‘. I am a henna artist based in Ballwin. I started applying henna when I first moved to the USA as a hobby. What I realized after doing it for a while is that I really enjoyed it more than a hobby and would like to start a business. I had learned the art of applying henna in India (my homeland).

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The most important hurdle in establishing my business was the lack of knowledge and some misinformation regarding henna in people’s minds. Some are hesitant to try henna because it is a form of a tattoo. Henna is a temporary tattoo that could last on the skin for approximately 7-10 days depending on the aftercare.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a professional henna artist and have been in the business of applying henna for 5 years. Henna is a dye in the form of a paste that can be applied on the arms, legs, etc. which stains the skin in rich brown color.

The reason I started the business was to connect with people that enjoy being immersed in the Indian culture and also to bond with my fellow South Asians residing in the USA. I am proud of establishing my henna business from scratch and being able to forge relationships with so many of my clients.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Every job or business has a risk attached to it. Opening a business and ensuring my website has enough traffic was a constant effort and it still is. I started applying henna as a hobby, but it turned out to be quite a good business avenue as well. The most important part of my business is the henna, and I was afraid to use any store-bought products on my clients.

I was not sure about the ingredients used and their freshness. I decided to make my own henna paste to ensure the safety of my clients. Having a fresh homemade henna paste gives me peace of mind that my clients won’t have a negative reaction to their skin.

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