Downtown Vergennes business features henna body art

VERGENNES — A new business in downtown Vergennes showcases the finest in temporary henna body art, as well as fine art and boutique retail from around the globe.
Heartfire Henna Studio opened at 237 Main St, in October. Rebecca Freedner, owner and founder, has been working as a henna artist for more than eight years, and has spent time in Morocco studying with henna artists of the region. She brings her passion for art to the new studio space, and hopes it will be a gathering point for lovers of culture from Vermont and beyond.
Henna is a plant that lives in hot and arid climates. It produces fragrant and delicate flowers that have been used in perfumes since ancient times. The leaves of the henna plant are harvested, dried and ground into a fine powder that is made into a paste that artists paint onto human bodies in pleasing designs.
After four to six hours the paste is washed off but the design stays — temporarily.
“Natural henna, which is the only henna I use, stains the upper layers of the skin for about a week, sometimes longer, Freedner said. “It depends a lot on where it was applied and how well it was cared for. After five to seven days it will begin to gradually fade.”
She points out that her henna power is made from organic henna power, black tea and natural essential oils.
Heartfire Henna has open hours on Wednesday through Saturday with walk-ins welcome. Customers may be able to catch Freedner in he shop on Sunday through Tuesday, when she accepting clients by chance. Freedner is planning a women’s night every first Friday of the month, which, for a flat fee, will include a henna design, light refreshments, and a belly dance performance.
Freedner said a grand opening event was a huge success, with more than 100 people coming through the doors that day.
She is very enthusiastic to have her business in the Little City.
 “I live in Vergennes, and love my community,” Freedner said. “I initially thought a shop wouldn’t be possible anywhere other than Burlington. I soon realized that to have a successful business there, would mean I would never be home! I wanted to be able to walk to work, and have my kids come and go as they pleased.”
An accomplished artist, Freedner taught at the HennaCon 2013 conference last month. In a biography, Freedner explains what drew her to her craft:
“I so enjoy the peaceful, quiet moment of watching a design unfold on my client’s hand or foot while the extravagant scent of essential oils in my natural paste, and the slowing down of time appeals to our senses. To create something beautiful and nurturing for somebody is incredibly gratifying.
“Henna offers a moment of tranquil indulgence; something we all need more of in our busy lives.”

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