Lauren Szmak | Loti Henna Studio

Lauren Szmak

Artist Bio

At Loti Henna, we adorn bodies with beautiful henna designs and have transformed these designs into apparel prints. While we won’t be doing henna at this market, we will have our henna-inspired apparel & accessories on display. Our apparel is hand-selected for the softest fabric that our lead artist will print all her custom designs on. We love our city and love that we can celebrate it and wear it proud with fashionable styles. With the addition of unisex and youth sizes, we have been able to broaden our customer range to allow more people to find something they can feel good in.

How long have you been an artisan? How did your particular skillset develop over time?

I’ve been an artist my whole life. From drawing roses and geckos with gel pens on my arms in elementary school, to taking studio classes and architectural drawing in high school, to pastel and charcoal sketches in college and now creating artwork for the body, as well as henna-inspired designs for apparel that I screen print myself.

I first tried henna when I was younger but I wouldn’t say that I started honing my skills until college and recently the past few years when I started my business. As far as screen printing, I first tried that when I was younger as well — I made a few (not so great) screens out of panty hose and Elmer’s glue. I’ve since started using the proper materials and eco-friendly water-based inks to print what I design.

Please describe your work / product.

In regards to the business, I first started solely as a henna artist at various local art festivals. Over the next year I had an idea for a shirt design, so I drew it up and had it printed. To my surprise people actually liked it so I continued to design and then started printing the apparel myself. Now my business focuses on adorning people with henna as well as creating wearable designs.

Who are some of your favorite artisans / makers in the region? Who amongst your peers inspires your work?

It’s so awesome how talented Buffalo artisans are! Every festival I attend I see/meet someone new and am instantly in awe of their creations. I’ve attended a few Buffalo Boss Babes meet ups and it is inspiring to talk with local women business owners, because at these events you get to see all levels of business here — from startups to fully formed businesses to myself, who I consider somewhere in the middle. Whether you can learn something or pass on a tip or two that you’ve learned along the way, I always leave events like this inspired to create.

How long have you been a business owner in WNY?

3 years

How long have you been a part of Buffalo Women’s Gifts?

This is my first year!

Where can people see / purchase your work year-round?

On my website or I’m always out and about at art festivals and events throughout the year. I always post on social media where I will be.

Where else will you be representing your wares this holiday season?

I am lucky to have local stockists — Thin Ice, Blue Rooster, Buffalo Botanical Gardens and Buffalo Gal Organics, and I have a few other holiday markets.

Social Media

Instagram and Instagram