For Mandy Roberge, Henna is Happiness
When I create the community calendar each week for the Sentinel & Enterprise, I am always so thrilled to see a very inspired lady by the name of Mandy Roberge spreading her talent and creativity to so many people in the community.
There is so much to say about Mandy, but here’s a start. She lives in Leominster. She is the mom of three beautiful daughters. She cares about people (especially remembering how she drove around town in her bright red mini-bus delivering cupcakes for Team Tommy). Her home is full of love and art. And she is a bit of a hippie (which frankly, I am jealous of.)
But today, I want to talk about Mandy as an artist, owner and creator of Wicked Good Henna, creating henna love for more than a decade.
“First and foremost, I love what I do,” Mandy says. “Having worked as a henna artist for over 11 years, I have been bringing my passion for this beautiful and safe form of body art to children, adults and teens -- to festivals, libraries, private parties and workshops.”
Mandy says there is much to love about henna.
“I spend my days making people feel more beautiful or helping them to express their personalities by putting a little of my art on their bodies,” she says.
But that is just the beginning.
“I am an introvert, which surprises some people because I am a social introvert,” she adds. “So having my own space from which to interact with other people and watch the world go by is extremely satisfying. And, of course, there is the matter of running my own business and being my own boss, which is incredibly rewarding.”
Henna workshops are her most popular offering at libraries, but she also has about a dozen craft workshops that she has created including paint nights, sewing 101, fleece crafting, creative journaling, foodie fun, inspiration rocks, jewelry making and more.
“Libraries are always looking for innovative programming for their patrons, so I try to always be dreaming up new things,” Mandy says. “My dad died earlier this year and left me his marble collection, so I am currently researching creative pendants and jewelry that can be made with marbles.”
Besides henna, Mandy’s two most popular workshops are Slime Time and a seasonal Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop, during which each child, teen or adult gets a homemade gingerbread house as a blank canvas and a few henna cones filled with frosting -- “and of course, a candy buffet,” Mandy says.
She has many henna events coming up throughout the summer months into the fall, including Ladies Night on Aug. 9 in Leominster; ClusterTruck Food Festival on Aug. 25 in Lancaster; Rootsfest on Sept. 8 in Leominster; The Haunted Bizarre Bazaar on Oct. 6 and 7 in Salem; and AppleFest on Oct. 13 and 14 at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton.
“I am really looking forward to doing henna on the streets of Salem in October,” she says. “It’s the best place on the planet for people-watching, and I love all the fun, Halloween-themed henna designs.”
Mandy also has a few bat mitzvahs and quinceañeras booked this fall and winter, and she loves doing private parties, too.
“I am planning to offer more pop-up henna’ events, where I spontaneously pop up at coffee shops, events and parties with my booth set-up,” she says with a smile. “Because I don’t take private appointments, this will be a good way for someone looking for some henna to find me without traveling far and wide to track me down at a festival.”
One thing Mandy is always looking to share -- and this is where her heart comes into play all the time -- is that she provides “henna crowns” at no cost to women who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments and have lost their hair.
“I travel to homes across the state to offer this gift, and I would welcome the opportunity to work with more women in this way,” she says.
Mandy just loves working with people to bring their own vision to life.
“Lots of times, people have a tattoo in mind that they want to get permanently, and their first step is to try it out with henna,” she says. “But mostly, henna just makes people happy and that makes me happy.”
For more information on Wicked Good Henna, photos, workshops and upcoming programs, visit www.wickedgood henna.com .
Got a column subject or item for Community Conversations? Email ccuddahy@sentineland enterprise.com . Read her blog at blogs sentinel andenterprise.com/ communityconversations.