Since 2009, Ann Warren, Kansas State alum and owner of Veronica’s Veil, has been using her creative side to paint, draw and illustrate, but it was not until 2011 that she became interested in henna, a temporary body art used to express life through patterns or figures.
“I became interested in henna after I bought my first kit while going to Kansas State University,” Warren said. “Art has been my passion since a very young age, and I am able to use henna as a way to celebrate life through the designs I create.”
After moving back to the Manhattan area, Warren began to gain more clients who shared her same passion for henna. For the past several years, she has been at events such as the Wamego Tulip Festival, Kicker Country Stampede, proms and more where she continues to help others express themselves.
“Henna has given me many opportunities to get my name out there and connect with people over this unique form of art,” Warren said. “I do several private appointments with people at my office but [I} also try to get out and learn more about the history of henna and what makes it so special to international countries.”
Henna is a form of body art that Egyptians and Indians use for temporary tattoos for religious ceremonies, wedding festivals and simple body art. Its dye is made from plants grown in the arid climates of North Africa, the Middle East, India and Pakistan.
Warren travels to several events, such as henna conferences, and works with henna full time to help her stay up-to-date on the latest designs. At the conferences, Warren networks with hundreds of other artists in attendance as they learn about the history of henna, proper mixing techniques and different ways to work with henna to get more inspirational effects.
These experiences provide a learning of fresh ideas that will ultimately help her grow Veronica’s Veil, Warren said.
“I am actually able to learn from artists in the culture at these conferences,” Warren said. “Not only am I learning henna techniques at the conferences, I also focus on learning the business, marketing, clientele aspect.”
The temporary art stays on the skin for about two weeks. Warren can create any design and continues to try new ideas for clients.
“I hope I can continue to grow my clientele basis as well as start to do more work on the Kansas State campus,” Warren said. “I would like to do some special parties for either sororities or clubs within the university, to be able to show them the unique aspects of henna.”
She currently makes her own henna paste from natural products that are all edible. Small designs take around five to 15 minutes to create. Larger designs can take up to a few hours. Warren also sells henna kits on her website as well as at On the Wildside.
To give back to the community, Warren does free henna crowns for patients currently dealing with cancer. She also designs henna crowns for the patients’ caregivers and their support group.
Take a Walk 'On the Wildside' in Aggieville
“I think of henna as a celebration of life, and I provide give-backs to the community through special occasions like these,” Warren said.
Warren said she has many friends who also do henna, which in the end is an asset to her business. During larger events such as Kicker Country Stampede, she sometimes has another artist come and help.
Veronica’s Veil is always open and looks to serve clients with any unique designs of henna art. For more details about Veronica’s Veil, visit the website at veronicas-veil.com.