Today we’d like to introduce you to Mamta Rana.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a child, I was always fascinated by art, music, culture – basically Bollywood. I loved watching movies, mystery movies, action, and rom-com to be specific. After being bullied at school or critiqued by family, I’d watch a Bollywood movie to escape my sadness, doubt, and fear, about my future. I remember sitting at my dad’s convenient store, trying to remember how to spell words and when I couldn’t do it I would think, “If I didn’t know how to write my ABCs, then how would I ever learn to write, if I didn’t know how to write, then how could I pass school, it couldn’t pass school, then how would I go to college, if I didn’t go to college, then how would I find a job?!” That was a lot for a 6-7ish-year-old to think about, and I didn’t feel like I could talk about it to anyone. My parents were hustling hard, and my grandparents couldn’t understand my broken Gujarati-English language.
The only time I felt connected to my family was during festivals, or when my mother or grandmother would oil my hair to tame my curly hair. I enjoyed them doing my hair and would proudly wear it to school, but would always come home upset, because girls in my class didn’t like the smell, eventually, I became so self-conscious that I stopped putting oil in my hair and bought the first hair straightener insight and just went to town (no heat protectant). In college, I got highlights back to back several times which lead to further hair damage, because I thought that would help me fit in better with peers.
The one thing that intrigued me the most was, henna. During these festivals and fasts that the elders would make us keep, my mom would do henna for me, and I. Was. Floored. Every single time. I loved it, even though I couldn’t leave the paste on for more than an hour before I washed it off. After the discovery of YouTube, I found myself binge-watching henna time-lapse videos. Watching these videos helped me forget my issues about my worth in the world, and then finally on a trip to India in 2011, I picked up tried henna for the very first time in my life. I’d like to say however, my first design was HORRIBLE! But with practice, I got better and better.
As I grew, I started taking my henna abilities for granted. I stopped practicing and started chasing and material things. And when I was slapped back into reality and saw how far I was from my path, I was humbled. And I was embarrassed, so embarrassed that I couldn’t pick up the henna cone for about six months. I reached out to my mentor Chelsea Stevenson, and she told me that healing takes time, and it’s okay to take that time. “… it’s important to allow our cup to overflow before we can give…” During my time of reflection, I found I had to really evaluate what happened and how and what to do going forward. I realized that I had stopped being Mamta and I was trying to become some Instagram version of myself. Everything from my hair, to the way that I would do business, to the way that I would communicate with others- there was some element of distrust, negativity present.
And then, one day, I stopped trying to fit in and started just being myself. I stopped punishing myself for not being what society wanted me to be and started nourishing myself with what I needed. I started re-oiling my scalp not to tame my curls but to nourish them back from the heat and color damage. You guys, I’m lowkey shook by my natural hair. No joke. (Also, if you don’t oil your hair, Sis what are you doing!) I stopped taking a billion pics to find the most slimming angles (… okay I lied; I don’t do it as often anymore, that is a work in progress). Doing this has not only instilled confidence in me,but it has also taught much such a big lesson, but the gods and goddesses also make no mistakes.
I eventually founded CreativeStudio in 2016 which also showcased paintings and fabrics along with henna services, but in 2018, I decided to solely focus on Henna.
I have had experience with henna since my childhood, and I’ve always felt some strange connection with it. We often hear about ancient gods and goddesses, priests and priestesses, kings and queens; their stories have been told from generation to generation and doing henna connects me to that rich time. The thing that the people of those time have in common is that they’re all warriors. They fought for what was of value to them- love, protection, faith, evolution. I believe that each of us holds warrior energy inside, even today. We are all warrior *somethings*-and we know it. And life – the greatest mentor that has ever existed – will make sure that we live up to that warrior energy. We all have a part to play in this Uni-verse (Uni-one; verse-song) and I wanted to have a name that was both quiet and strong.
In ancient Hindu scriptures, Matrika Goddesses are mentioned several times. Sometimes, they are a group of goddesses who make up and help the Mother Goddess Shakti fight battles, other times they are the Mother Goddess themselves, they are energy, and have been mentioned as a goddess of the alphabet. There is a subtle power with Matrika, strangely peaceful, but strong.
Matrika henna serves women with purpose as a safe space to unwind and let their hair down during henna sessions. Matrika Henna offers them much need space and time to nourish themselves and take care of their emotional needs. Growing up, I often felt like I had to figure a lot of things out for myself, my parent had to hustle to take care of my grandparents and I. We made it work but in the stress of it all it was often very difficult to find someone to talk to. Over my years, I’ve learned that there is great healing power in conversation, and I feel like more and more people need this in life. So, I took the leap and rebranded CreativeStudio Henna to Matrika Henna.
Today, Matrika Henna holds the growing space along with the holistic place for her clients. We all have baggage that we need to work through, we all have a perspective that we need to gain, we all have towering issues and demons in our minds. I’ve seen the biggest demons crumble to the ground through simply speaking about it, and I’ve seen the best solutions emerge from a vent. Not all battles have to be fought alone.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Who doesn’t have challenges and obstacles that they have to face when they choose to go down an unconventional path? I’ve dealt with depression and body image issues. It took a lot of soul searching, evaluation, and courage to be patient enough with myself. During this time, I’ve had many people try to “talk sense” into me and by instilling doubt in me. I’ve had people tell me that I should just get married and start having babies because I failed at my career. People laughed at my parents for being so open-minded with my choices. And I know I’m not the only one.
A lot of the time, the people tell us these negative things because they also have dreams that they didn’t pursue because there were people in their lives who were able to convince them not to and it’s a never-ending chain. To everyone reading this, if there is something that speaks to your heart and soul- I’m using this opportunity to give you permission. Just do it. Try, and if you fail in the end- it’s okay, but don’t not try because of others. If you put in the work by putting authentic content out in the world, you will receive the rewards, but you have to put in the work and you have to do you. You were put here on the planet for a reason, you have a purpose and if you’ve found it you’ve only done half of the work. As Pablo Picasso said, “The purpose of life is to find your gift. The meaning of life is to share it.”
We’d love to hear more about Matrika Henna.
I see women constantly giving up time that they should have for themselves for their loved ones, which is fine but “why” do women always have to give so much at such a great price? For example, my mother pulls a 16 hour weekend at work and then takes care of my grandparents during the week with my dad. If not at a hospital then in care for my grandparents, if not doing that then cooking a nutritious meal for the family, very seldom have I ever seen that woman relax with face mask, or have the time for a proper rest, or take the time to go shopping by herself and buy herself something nice. Not just hard work; I believe that men and women forget how sensitive women are.Sometimes, people unknowingly say the most horrible things and use the most horrible tactics that don’t necessarily hurt their body but damage the mind, these things can stick with us for the rest of our lives. And I want to be there to support other women who have dreams, and ambitions, and rituals, and who also want to make the male figures in their lives proud, but in their own way, by making them proud of themself, perhaps. I would have loved if someone did all of that for me. I would have loved if someone saw me the way that I see women- the way that I see my mother and other women in my life. You know when we die, we don’t really die alone. we die with all the experiences and thoughts and ideas that we have in your mind- some might even refer to the graveyard as the richest place on earth. I want to die with memories of knowing that those same ideas were brought to life by some incredible women. I would have loved if someone provided me with that same kind of nourishment, and that same kind of friendship, and companionship.
I just want to have a be that tiny part in someone else’s life that remembers me later on in life and thinks: “yeah, she listened, and I was heard. She saw me, and embraced me for who I was, and encouraged me to continue on my path.” Matrika Henna offers more than just a henna design. There is great power in listening and there is great comfort in being heard and that is what sets us apart from other artists. Aside from mental nourishment we also care deeply about the safety each of our clients, we make small fresh batches of henna and use 100% organic henna powder, sugar, and 100% essential oils, and water to mix our paste. (Matrika Henna will not and does support or use black henna.) We focus mostly on individual private appointments, but also provide bridal and party/event services.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
Aside from my mom, my Mentor, Chelsea Stevenson with Cardamom Clove Henna has been one of the most inspirational women in my personal life. I’ve seen that woman go to the depth of hell and back with a smile. I’ve seen her spread her wings to show her scars and soar high, and to smile in the aftermath of it all like nothing ever happened; and last but not the least, Lilly Singh ( aka superwoman), just seeing her growth and how she’s dealt with depression has inspired me to continue on my path during difficult times.
- Individual Services- most popular session 45 min for $75
- Parties and Events- 3 hours for $375
- Bridal- Packages Coming Soon!
- Website: www.matrikahenna.com
- Phone: 972.302.3008
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @matrikahenna.official
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matrikahenna/