Simmren Ravi, 17, a self-taught henna artist, has had a thriving mehndi business - Simmi Mehndi - for a few years, with it gaining a huge amount of popularity in the last couple of months. Mehndi is a form of body art originating from India where a paste is used to create beautiful designs.

Simmi’s passion for this art began when she was 12, where she was experimenting with designs with her cousin. Little did she know how impactful this evening would be as it inspired her immensely, causing her love for mehndi to grow in the coming years.

The business started by Simmi doing mehndi for family and friends. Later on through mutual links, she completed her first paid job, aged 15, doing henna designs at a salon during the Islamic festival, Eid. This expanded as she begun doing jobs at mehndi nights, salons and pamper parties for young children. Due to the success, Simmi realised her capability to grow this business and consequently created an Instagram page @simmi_mehndi. The creation of this Instagram page allowed clients to reach her easier and she could also showcase her elegant and unique designs on this platform.

Her purpose is to go beyond just being a business as she feels, ‘it is vital from a cultural perspective to continue and keep alive this traditional Indian art.’ As Simmi is in the midst of her A Levels, she finds doing mehndi is a, ‘creative outlet,’ allowing her to relieve stress and anxiety which is common amongst many teenagers. The biggest reward is the happiness and satisfaction from her customers which is her incentive to do more henna work.

Simmi’s tip for anyone looking to learn mehndi designs is to practice. She believes passion will allow anyone to learn new skills easily within this art. When she was a beginner, Simmi found looking at designs on the internet helpful, but she reiterated the significance of making your designs unique, in order to develop your own mehndi style.

In this day and age, the young generation tend to be engrossed in technology and social media however, Simmi is an example of how to combine traditions with the modern age. Using her talent and initiative, Simmi has created a wonderful business where she is able to create stunning designs to celebrate events with her clients. It is certain Simmi has a bright future ahead of her as she is thinking about incorporating make-up into her business. Hopefully, teenagers are inspired to start their own businesses in what they love, as Simmi shows how passion can go a long way.

You can contact Simmi via Instagram @simmi_mehndi