Name: Zainab Shahid
Company: Al Yaqoot Arts
Tell us something interesting about you:
Hmmm... I'm trying to balance two degrees lol! BA Creative Writing and English Literature and BA Islamic Studies
What is Al-Yaqoot Arts?
That's a hard question... it's a business, I think the answers following this question will explain more properly. =)
Where are you based?
I'm based in Surrey, but seeing as I travel to North London for university there's no reason why I can't travel to London for sisters who want Henna done!
How and why did you set up Al-Yaqoot Arts?
I love art, I end up doodling all over my notebooks when I'm supposed to be taking notes in class or notes for assignments. I didn't actually have a proper business name until quite recently, I used to do henna for people and after receiving positive feedback I thought I would make it more professional and even add in canvases and hand-embroidered scarves. They're all things I love to do! Also, I've seen similar services or products being sold for quite a lot of money, and I believe that you should charge the amount you'd be willing to pay and that's exactly what I've done. =)
Who/What inspires you?
Islamic architecture has always struck me as something beautiful; it has amazing calligraphy and patterns. I started drawing and doodling quite young, so I'm not sure if any person inspired me.
What has been your biggest success?
My biggest success has to be when I did henna for many people at a charity event quite a few years ago; it was the first ever time I had been asked to do it for an event.
What has been your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle was promoting, and it still is at times. I started off by giving ads in the newspapers and online for quite some time as I couldn't afford to have a website built then. But with Allah's help I have been able to set up a website, and I'm certain that Allah will also bless my business with a lot of success in the future.
What advice would you give to aspiring henna artists?
Just keep practicing! Don't give up easily; I began learning the art of henna when I was 11 years old and I did ruin my hands many times with the most outrageous designs, but eventually you learn to control the flow. Just stick to it, unfortunately nobody can become successful overnight - you need to have faith in yourself and in Allah.
How can people get in contact with you?
They can go on my page on Facebook: Al Yaqoot Arts or through my website which has a contact form: www.alyaqootarts.com