@HennabyDivya, was started three years ago with the hopes of connecting with a younger generation of girls who grew up idolizing henna and its cultural, aesthetic beauty on the human canvas.
“I started posting photos at a time when henna was becoming increasingly popular with the youth,” Patel said, “and because of that I was able to connect with them and create designs that catered to the majority of the Instagram audience.”
The young artist has nearly 270,000 followers that interact with her posts.
Divya’s work ranges from traditional to modern Indo-Pak styles, as well as Arabic, Moroccan and even Western tattoo-inspired body art. She had painted on the human body everywhere from the feet, to the shoulders, lower back, stomach, but most notably the hands and palms of a bride.
“Nothing makes me happier than when brides ask me to personalize their designs.”
“My favorite part of doing henna is being apart of a bride’s big day like that, it is something so meaningful,” she said, “Nothing makes me happier than when brides ask me to personalize their designs.”
The design above includes customizations including the Toronto skyline, a Ganesha, a quote and the logo from the bride and groom’s wedding invitation.
“My ultimate goal with creating bridal henna designs is to make it as unique and close to the bride’s heart as possible.”
Divya has a busy work load this summer, creating over 80 henna designs for brides, each taking an estimated 4-5 hours to complete. Though Divya is more than just a business woman, she got into this line of work for an entirely different reason.
“There is a moment of friendship between two complete strangers when you’re doing a bride’s henna, a relationship is formed. Those are the times I forget I am there for work and feel more like the bride’s friend.”
Divya was introduced to the art of henna at a young age. She grew up in India, watching her mother’s friends create unique and extravagant henna designs. After moving to Toronto at the age of ten, Divya’s mother noticed her artistic flare and encouraged her to begin experimenting with henna.
“And I’ve been doing it ever since,” she said in a heartfelt tone. With over 12-years of henna experience under her belt, this artist keeps her designs fresh and innovative by using the everyday as inspiration for her craft.
“From tattoo artists that inspire me, to other designers,” she said, “Anything and everything, even my grandmother’s temple, has been a source of inspiration for my henna designs.”
Most of Patel’s client-base is through the large amount of customer referrals she receives. Many brides come asking for stories or patterns that reflect their personal love stories with the groom. In a recent interview she admitted that becoming a henna artist has changed her life for the better.
“What I want to be known for, is more than someone who just operates a business, but an artist that absolutely loves what she does,” she said, “Someone who finds their escape doing henna and bridal mehndi. It is how I get away from the rest of the world.”