We had the good fortune of connecting with Mamta Rana and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mamta, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I saw women who fought with the world and its rules on a daily basis. Women who were tired but didn’t have the time to be, Women who needed some “me” time but were bound by responsibility. Women who were considered less than a woman because they couldn’t have children. Women who were working towards their dreams, but with naysayers screaming at them- saying that they couldn’t do it for whatever reason. They never seemed to back down, and I saw (I still do) them as warriors fighting for themselves so they could do their part to make the world a better place, and I wanted (want) to serve them. Powerful goddess warriors, with dreams, pains, intuition, willpower, perseverance, and love. Henna brought me feelings of zen and peace and I wanted to create a safe space where I could share that and they could put down that mountain of doubt, and fear though communication and art. Where they could nourish themselves before they went back building their best life and fighting battles.. So, I decided to create my henna business to serve goddess warriors- hence the name Matrika Henna.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Oh, my Shiva Shankar on a bicycle, this journey is not easy! My parents are both immigrants who migrated to the us so, pursing a henna career was off the chart by light years. My dad came to the country with $8 in his pocket and worked so hard to give us a comfortable life, my mom worked equally if not harder to make sure they were there for us, so the fact that I didn’t want to be work in the medical field or technical field was an issue ( ehhh, if you’re an Indian American reading this or come from an immigrant family reading this– it never really changes, but that’s no reason to quit.) I used to just watch time-lapse videos of people doing or making henna on YouTube because I thought I could never do it. When I was learning to use henna I never thought I could be good, and when I was good I never thought that would have a henna mentor let alone a business! One thing I do want to share is, this is not easy – it can be simple, but it’s not easy. Matrika is still in its beginning stages, and this year has been rough for small businesses, and its really easy to lose hope, in times like this the best thing we can do is remember why we started in the first place. There was a time in my henna career where I had to stop henna for that time- there was too much going on and I was physically and mentally tired to do henna, and I felt horrible because I didn’t have the time to practice because I had other obligations and to make things worse I contemplated not doing henna for good. During this time, I came across a quote, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving foreward,” (Martian Luther King Jr.) and I understood that quote on a different level, and I’m so happy I did because I’m here today, and yes there will come a time where history will repeat itself and thats okay, this is a journey after all.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Omg, I’m such a hermit. But my best friend and I would, probably go to get pho at our favorite pho place in Richardson, watch a movie or go window shopping, get our nails done or get facials, go to an overpriced art supply store where I’d buy one of everything I don’t need, stay home have a bunch of chai, and watch Bollywood RomComs, go hiking, or swimming (by swimming I mean stand in the shallow end of the pool and make motions with my hand like I know how to swim), have pizza and wine, talk about the future and stuff.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Christine Narka with Mind Body Henna Jay Shetty, Radhi D Shetty Chelsea Stevenson with Cardamom Clove Henna
Tara Malia Photography (artist pic, and henna with flowers)