The Henna Project is a small business operated by Nadine Dafrawy along with sister Nora Dafrawy, Yomna Hamdy and Rania El Embaby that aims to provide henna services and develop personalized merchandise with henna-like pattern designs. Its mission is to ‘spread customized love through the art of henna’. We had the chance to sit with one of the partners in the project, Yomna Hamdy, and asked her a few questions about this intriguing business.
First of all, could you tell us where The Henna Project operates? I mean, it is really interesting so I’m thinking it would be a hit in places that aren’t really familiar with henna.
The Henna Project operates in both Cairo and Boston and offers temporary tattoo services (i.e. henna body art) as well as personalized merchandise such as; cups, mugs, frames, notebooks, etc. On the side, The Henna Project also provides oriental accessories and belly-dancing costumes available for purchase in Boston.
How did you come up with the idea?
The business idea emerged from two sisters; Nadine and Nora. One of the sisters (Nadine) was discovering her artistic side being stuck and bored at home, illustrating on Nora’s flask henna-inspired patterns with nothing but a black sharpie. That summer, Nadine paid a visit to Morocco and was truly inspired by the oriental encompassing. On the daily, women on the street would walk up to her offering henna which triggered the idea of incorporating henna with gift-making. As such, upon her return, they both decided to open up their own business and partner with Rania and I to enable the business operations in two locations; Boston and Cairo.
Do you have a big client base?
The Henna Project is approached by individuals in the Boston and Cairo area. While the client-base is not huge, that is the whole aim of the business to maintain a sentimental and personalized feel.
What makes ‘The Henna Project’ so different?
Unlike other henna services, ‘The Henna Project’ is not solely focused on providing henna body art. It incorporates it in almost every other aspect; in cutleries, notebooks, etc. However, what really makes it stand out is that The Henna Project can take in personal requests by writing requested names on the merchandise, in any given language. Languages which have already been produced are; Arabic, English, Armenian and Chinese.
What are your future plans?
Currently, The Henna Project only focuses on three aspects; actual henna, custom-made gifts, and oriental merchandise (only in Boston).
In Cairo, The Henna Project looks to expand its merchandise and retail offerings whilst in Boston when the business really hits big, offer bridal henna services to a bigger clientele.
The Henna Project also plans to attend ‘The Henna Gathering’ conference which is held annually in different parts of the States each year in the month of March or April.