The Face Behind The Brand: Sumita Batra, CEO
- Ziba Beauty
- The Art of Threading
- The Art Of Waxing
“People often ask me, ‘What do you do?’ I tell them I make the world a less hairy place, one eyebrow at a time,” says Sumita Batra. “It’s not really about money for me, but building something and leaving a legacy behind.”
Batra is Ziba Beauty’s CEO. For her, Ziba is more than a business. It’s her passion. Ziba Beauty is a family-run business. The chain of threading studios employs a wide range of family and friends. Sumita became the CEO after working 20 years alongside her mother and sister, both of whom still work in the operation.
Like her mother, Batra has always been enchanted with the beauty practices of her native country and wanted to share them with the public. Batra knew early in life that they weren’t just beautiful but marketable — that they could be the foundation for a successful business in the West.
Business savvy and a sharp mind for marketing, Batra believed that the potential market for The Art of Threading® and The Art of Mehndi® was much larger than ethnic sections of large cities and had much more potential than a simple kiosk business in a mall or on the street.
She believes it is an art form and that American women, once they experience the obvious advantages of threading over waxing, will spend money with the brand that consistently delivers the best quality. Her hunch has been right on target. Visit a Ziba Beauty studio in California and you’ll see busy operations with people waiting in line to have their eyebrows shaped.
You not only see Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian women, but you’ll also see a full cross-section of American women and men. The upscale threading studio is not only a hit in the U.S., but it is also a lucrative and profitable business with an enormous future.
In addition to making Ziba Beauty a popular brand with celebrities, Batra is considered to be a worldwide expert on The Art of Threading® curriculum. She developed a highly specialized training curriculum that all Ziba Beauty Artists must undergo.
Ziba’s training is known for being the best available. Ziba Beauty is a company on the move. Sit with Sumita Batra for a few minutes and you’ll see where the company gets its amazing momentum.
Batra has written a top-selling book, “The Art Of Mehndi,” that illustrates step-by-step directions about how to apply henna. More than 80,000 copies of the book were sold worldwide and was featured in publications such as Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, and Vanity Fair.
The 144-page book shows hundreds of original designs, many of them done by Batra herself.
What is The Art of Threading & The Art of Mehndi?
In the Far East, a simpler way of life is standard among many. Instead of artificial products, use of natural products prevails. The rising steam from cooking pots serves as a facial, clearing the pores.
Rich minerals and oils cure almost any ailment. A balance of mind, body and soul is essential. Sadly, Americans are all too familiar with the saying, “Beauty is pain.” In the United States, women and men alike undergo many uncomfortable and downright painful procedures to enhance or alter their look.
Ziba Beauty never accepted that custom as its own. Instead, we provide services that not only enhance natural beauty but are also comfortable and relatively pain-free. We provide our customers with affordable Luxury, well-educated artistry, and a blend of the old with the new. We proudly call it The Ziba Way.
Street Art Form Turned Mainstream Beauty Service: The Art of Threading
When you look at someone’s face, your attention usually goes to the eyes, the “windows to the soul.” The eyebrows are like the frame to a beautiful painting; one out-of-place hair can ruin the picture. Women in particular know that. One in 10 American women spends money on her eyebrows and other hair removal options.
We’ve all seen the nearly flawless eyebrows of our favorite celebrities and wonder how we can achieve their flawless look. The secret’s out: It’s called The Art of Threading®. The Art of Threading® is an ancient Far Eastern method of hair removal, dating back several centuries.
Rumored to have been the desired hair removal option for Cleopatra, the practice is most common in countries such as India and Iran. Today, over 1 million eyebrows are threaded each year at Ziba Beauty.
The result of The Art of Threading® is a clean, evenly shaped brow that lasts longer than one that’s tweezed or waxed because it removes the hair right from the follicle. The Art of Threading® is not only used for eyebrows, but for the upper lip and other facial hair, too. Far gentler on the skin, threading gives clients the look they desire without the complications that come with waxing, such as breakouts, skin discolorations and rashes.
The Art of Mehndi® Remains a Cultural Mainstay
The thing about a good story is it can be told anywhere. Even on a person’s skin. The Art of Mehndi®, more commonly known as henna, is the traditional art of painting the hands, feet and body with henna, a paste made from powdered, dry leaves from the henna plant.
The art originated in the Far East, said to have been brought first to India by the Mongols centuries ago. From there, it was an oral tradition passed from mothers to daughters.
The temporary body art leaves a deep red or brown stain on the wearer’s skin, the designs sharing a story of tradition, auspiciousness and beauty. The deeper the color, the greater the luck, legend says.
The Art of Mehndi® is synonymous with celebration and happiness. Today, the traditional art form is still very much part of the Eastern culture, applied for weddings, births and parties. The intricate designs are original, first starting with a dot, which marks the beginning; next, a line, representing a path that sees no end; followed by spiraling symbols and floral patterns.
The Art of Mehndi® is for the everyday woman; it knows no social status. For the less wealthy, The Art of Mehndi® serves as jewelry, an accessory to the turquoise, red and pink hues of silk and cotton saris.
For the more affluent, The Art of Mehndi® provides a contrast to the gold jewelry that adorns the fingers and wrists. During wedding preparation, a popular custom is to hide the initials of the groom in the bride’s The Art of Mehndi® design. If he finds his initials, he will be the most dominant in the relationship. If he doesn’t find them, the wife will rule the home.
The celebrated tradition crosses cultural divides, making its way into Western culture. Now, it’s not uncommon to see an American bride with The Art of Mehndi® on her hands and feet; it’s a new take on the “something borrowed” tradition of American weddings.
Over time, the traditional art form has evolved to incorporate glitter, or glitter mehndi, to further decorate the arms, hands and fingers of the wearer for special occasions. At Ziba we call this The Art of Bindi. Sumita Beauty also sells special exclusive self-adhesive body art.
Ziba Beauty carries on the beautiful tradition, offering our clients — including celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Jennifer Aniston — Mehndi and glitter Mehndi designs at our studios. Our artists get hired to paint at parties, openings, launches, and special events.
What Services Does Ziba Beauty Provide?
Ziba Beauty has a personal mission to fulfill a need in the beauty industry to provide a simple, nearly pain-free hair removal option. We take pride in knowing that we are both introducing the world to customs we hold so close to us and that we’re breaking the mold; we will no longer claim that beauty and pain are synonymous.
We don’t want to over-complicate our system: we understand the importance of doing a few things and doing them well. We have bundled a set of core services that introduce the United States to the simple, affordable and authentic Far East beauty traditions they’ve come to accept as an essential piece to their beauty regimen.
The Art of Threading®
The Art of Threading® is gaining in popularity in the United States and is our most popular service. Our beauty artists come with years of experience in threading and are also professionally trained at the Ziba Beauty Academy.
During a visit, the beauty artist analyzes the shape of the client’s face and then decides the best shape of the eyebrow. Each client is in very good, qualified hands.
The Art of Threading® for the eyebrows and upper lip average less than 10 minutes per client, allowing our employees to see more clients daily. The Art of Threading® clients visit 12-36 times a year and stay loyal to Ziba Beauty.
In fact, many of our clients have been with us for more than 20 years. The Art of Threading® is the core service Ziba offers and The Art of Threading® revenue makes up the bulk of what we offer.
As Eastern beauty traditions ease into mainstream United States beauty customs, we’ve seen an increase in the number of clients who seek our The Art of Mehndi® services. Our customers know Ziba Beauty is the best place to get authentic The Art of Mehndi® designs.
Each Ziba Beauty location has a beauty artist on staff who has been trained at Ziba Beauty Academy in The Art of Mehndi® application.
The Art of Waxing
We want to be our clients one-stop hair removal option. We offer The Art of Waxing in all our studios by licensed Beauty Artists that are trained to the highest standards of sanitization.
We never double dip and everything we use is disposable. We make our own water-soluble natural wax in India and use a Far East technique that results in a cleaner look. Each studio has a private room for waxing to ensure client comfort.
Although threading is excellent for the face – waxing is better for other body areas. Clients enjoy getting all hair removal from one source.
Ziba Beauty = Trust
Ziba Beauty gains clients by building trust. Everything we do is based on building quality relationships with each of our clients. We have strived to create a system that works: We offer our clients consistency and care. We work with the community to create lasting relationships and bonds.
We make sure they receive the exact, excellent service they expect. We take time to listen, to become a source of trust and companionship. In return, our clients become loyal followers who share their love for us and what we do with their family and friends.