Founder – Darcy
Hello! I’m Darcy! Many people ask how I got started in henna. I have been a painter since I was a child, but I first noticed henna in a 1995 issue of National Geographic (the article was about Oman’s oil wealth), and was disappointed there was not more information on it.
This was in the days before Google. However, my prayers were answered when a close friend put me in touch with her Moroccan friend who shared some henna secrets with me. Henna and painting nonetheless remained on the back burner as I struggled to get a “real job” in San Francisco.
There were several years of unhappiness spent trying to fit into various corporate and retail molds, and finally I quit my “day job” after one too many episodes of the HR lady turning the Air Conditioning to “subzero”. The official reason for quitting was “I’m going to pursue my artistic career”. I had my first art opening in Fall 2004 and I thought it would be fun to offer henna (which was still just a hobby at the time) at the reception. In a curious twist of fate, no one was interested in my paintings, but I did a lot of henna designs that night. I decided that it was a sign, and Henna Lounge was born a few months later!
This year, after 7 years of running Henna Lounge, I decided to combine henna with my other true love, traveling. Hmm, maybe I can thank National Geographic for that too! Both henna and traveling have helped me overcome my shyness and opened my eyes to the beauty of the world.
During my travels I was shocked to see quite a lot of black henna (a toxic substance) even in traditional henna-using cultures such as India. It became my goal to bring the natural art-form to as many places as possible. This year I made it official, and started offering henna services internationally, and created my wedding/henna/Bohemian-style blog, Mehndi Paradise.
In previous years, I have brought my henna art to India, France, Holland, Spain, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Hawai’i. And 2012 included Baja Mexico, Tulum on the Mayan Riviera, Santorini Greece, Turkey and Holland. I can’t help but wonder what 2013 has in store!
When I am not traveling and drawing on people, I reside in the vibrant Mission District of San Francisco, with my boyfriend and two adorable kitties. I still paint on occasion (even incorporating henna into the paintings!) and other activities include salsa dancing, drinking awesome coffee, sewing costumes for Burning Man, and running errands on my groovy yellow Mission Bike.
I feel so incredibly blessed to finally be living this Bohemian lifestyle, meeting the most wonderful clients (many of whom have become friends) and I can hardly wait to share my art with you, whether it’s in the Mission, or amongst Mayan ruins! Your dream destination is also my dream!
Thanks for reading. Salud!