All images credit: Eksentrika. Unless stated otherwise
Her father left when she was small, no matter, Namvinsha Kaur and her mother stayed strong.
In school, they called her names and isolated her, no matter.
No matter became a mantra as Namvinsha soldiered on and obtained a diploma in management and multimedia.
Five years after graduation, she was still searching and applying for numerous jobs, employers simply could not see past her physique.
No matter, Namvinsha turns to art and voila! Who’s the boss now?
Born with congenital achondroplasia, Namvinsha’s limbs are not fully formed.
People had called her a ‘penguin baby’. Making friends was never easy as she was usually poked fun at, a frequent target for bullies.
But all that has not stopped her from trying her hand at henna art and it turns out she has quite the talent for it.
Now with the help of her family, who believes in supporting her skill, she runs a henna business, arting for people as well as training wannabe henna artists.
“I’ve always liked henna since young but I only decided to try drawing patterns a few years ago.
“I also like to doodle a lot, although I didn’t realise my hobby could turn into a living,” says Namvinsha.
After attending a henna art workshop, this 26-year-old lass is now not only a certified henna artist, she can also certify anyone who is interested too!
As an up and coming self-made entrepreneur, Namvinsha is determined to be a success in order to support her mother, who had single-handedly raised her.
“I’m thankful I have supportive family members, who have helped me to develop myself and build a business.
“I hope people can see that I deserve a chance and others like me do too,” says Namvinsha.
She can do simple designs as well as more complicated ones for bridal parties, charged at RM10 up to RM350. Check this one out she did for me!
We had visited her shop in September, back when we were in the midst of sourcing out materials for Eksentrika.
Sitting atop a stool, she then asked me if I would like to have her ink me with one of her henna designs. It was tough choosing, as majority of the design samples were exquisite, unique with a mix bag of simple to complex designs.
I then decided to pick one that required the least effort. Namvinsha immediately got to work.
The thing about henna is that it’s a little like tattooing your skin. Only it doesn’t hurt at all and the ink goes away after several days or weeks – depending on the quality of the ink.
Namvinsha displayed perfect dexterity when it came to creating the henna designs despite her apparent shortcomings.
What was remarkable was that though she took her time in the henna process, I didn’t realise that the time had passed as she kept me engaged. Most of our conversation centred on how difficult it is for people with special needs to obtain positions in companies.
“When I applied for my higher education programme, the course counsellor advised me to take management. He said if I take up marketing I would have to move around.”
I then asked her if management was the thing she was into back then.
I prefer an office job, where I can sit down and do my work. But I faced many rejections. Henna saved me.“
The initial months were challenging as Namvinsha learnt the various designs and techniques. However, her determination and vision to make something of herself has led her to become the talk of the town. Namvinsha was featured numerous times in several newspapers and magazines.
Here was a woman – despite the odds stacked against her – believes in herself and is not afraid to try. Meeting Namvinsha was a good lesson for me. For one, I think we should all speak less and do more!
Check out Namvinsha’s work on her Facebook page and if you’re interested to learn henna from her, you can contact her at 010-3708612. You can also find her at her family’s Indian apparel store Vigor Capital at Jalan Taming Sari, Taiping. Have an inspiring creative individual we can write about? Send us more info to firstname.lastname@example.org