Kate Blaubach is living her dream. The healthcare professional and artist would not have been able to have this had she not come up against a tough and strong person in business.
The Merrill resident and former Wausonian is the face behind Henna North in Merrill and has been running the storefront which offers temporary body art popular in India since January.
Blaubach came into the space after the COVID-19 pandemic caused her to burn out of health care. At the time, she began to wonder and dream about something different, and, eventually, her dreams came true and twists of fate led her to where she is at this moment.
“I was looking to be different,” she says. “I had done henna for over 15 years. I thought it was interesting, bought supplies, and did research. Last year I was figuring out what to do, so, I contacted the St. Germain flea market. I asked if I could set up a booth for shirts and was told no. I asked if I could sell plants and was told there were too many vendors for this. When I said I do henna, I was told this was unique. I put my booth together because other ideas were blocked.”
Starting Henna North
Blaubach began taking in cash for her creative side on Memorial Day and from this, the reaction of family, friends, and general clientele has been positive. After seeing she could do something, a grant from the state followed, she found her location on Main Street, and what people can come in to get is all-natural. Sugar, water, and essential oils flow easily and the biggest issue is online.
“I have my website, but social media has been a learning experience,” Blaubach adds. “Using it for a business is different and it changes all the time. I have learned about editing videos, content creation, and making things for TikTok. It is very good to see what others have been doing here.”
The primary customer base for the service is teenage girls and adult women, though men can get patterns on their arms, hands, and legs which are more geometric and less effeminate. Henna designs fade after 7-10 days.
Taking to the business
Blaubach has no shortage of appointments, wants to teach classes in the future, and, above all, is glad to have faced an obstacle early on in finding her second act.
“I am grateful for her being a tough nut to crack,” she says. “I probably would have tried other things, but am so happy to have landed on this. It has been more successful than I hoped for.”
Henna North is located at 404 W. Main St. in Merrill. It is open from 2-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The store closes Sundays and Mondays. Find more on hennanorth.com where you can book an appointment and discover the services she offers.
Evan J. Pretzer is a contributor to City Pages. Reach him at [email protected].
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