Episode 44: Khadija Dawn Carryl: Henna Sooq, Elkridge, Maryland [Podcast]

Welcome to Episode 44 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this episode, I'll introduce you to Khadija Dawn Carryl of Henna Sooq, Elkridge, Maryland. Khadija launched Henna Sooq 11 years ago when she was the mother of four kids under the age of six. Today, her business has multiple income streams, and she credits a great deal of her growth to her willingness to engage personally with people.


Today, she and her husband have collaborated not only to grow the Henna Sooq brand, but they also work with other entrepreneurs in their area to manage a studio where Khadija teaches henna art and other independent entrepreneurs host classes like yoga and martial arts. You'll hear how Khadija has grown her business without much advance planning, as well as some of her tips for engaging customers visually using social media. Enjoy my interview with Khadija NOW!

Listen to the Audio

Episode Show Notes

  1. The story behind Henna Sooq, its international roots starting in 2005. (starting at 2:09)
  2. Khadija says, “I was never in a rush,” and today, Henna Sooq allows her to do what she loves as she successfully integrates her life as a wife and a mother with her business. (starting at 4:32)
  3. How Khadija credits interacting with people online and being clear what has been really important to her for much of her sustained success in business. (starting at 7:28)
  4. The first time Khadija “did henna” on me, and how she views herself as an artist, and a Maker. (starting at 10:53)
  5. What exactly is henna, and how are the different colors created? (starting at 14:07)
  6. Henna Sooq's income stream categories: online retail, wholesale to salons, studio with in-store retail, classes, “paint and sip parties,” and henna body art consultations, henna services on-site at weddings and parties, selling at natural hair shows, and the Henna Chai weekend teaching events. (starting at 16:22)
  7. How Khadija continues to add income streams without a real plan, and while staying present in the lives of her husband and six children. (starting at 20:32)
  8. How Khadija uses social media to grow her business, and how she stays current. (starting at 23:18)
  9. Food for thought: “How it looks is important.” (starting at 30:03)
  10. How to use social media (including hashtags) and networking with like-minded people to improve your own marketing. (starting at 31:40)
  11. How Khadija and her husband manage business and family together. (starting at 33:20)
  12. What's on the drawing board for Henna Sooq. (starting at 36:47)
  13. Khadija says you need this one thing to be successful in your business. (starting at 41:46)

Three Actions You Can Take Right Now

At the Indie Business Network, we are not just about listening and being inspired. We are also about thinking carefully about what we hear, and then taking action, because nothing happens without it! Here are 3 actions you can consider taking right now based on my interview with Khadija.

  1. Be visual.: Khadija reminded us that people are attracted by what they see. Use your blog, your packaging, your social media outlets, and everything else at your disposal to engage people in visual ways. They will reward you with their attention, and the engagement will lead to increased sales.
  2. Work to your strengths.: Do what you do best and don't worry about everything else. Khadija likes social media, so she does pretty much all of it for her brand. She assesses the social media landscape and navigates between the ones that work best for her. She says that this is something everyone has to do in order to progress forward.
  3. Don't rush: Khadija says that you have to resist trying to do grow fast, even though it's tempting. Technology allows us to see so many other people who have achieved more than we have, and it's important to remain focused on what you are doing as you learn from the successes of others — all the while not get carried away trying to keep up with others.

Explore Additional Resources

Visit the Henna Sooq website

Visit the Henna Sooq retail store at 7060 Oakland Mills Rd. Suite K, Columbia, MD 21046. Henna Sooq is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 9:30pm (evenings only) and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Social media: Instagram

Networking event: IndieCruise

Natural products stockist: Whole Foods Market

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.