I have been obsessed with art for as long as I can remember. From the time I was a young girl, I was filling page after page in my sketchbook trying to capture the world both around me and within me. This drive never ceased. It was never a phase. It was never something I fell out of love with. Through my schooling, I filled the margins of my notebooks with doodles and images until it became clear to me that I had no choice but to pursue my passion further.
I obtained my Bachelor’s in Fine Art with a concentration in Graphic Design from Colorado State University and then headed into the design world working on posters, playbills, logos, and brochures. However, the longer I sat behind a computer bending to each design need, the more I realized this world was not for me. I felt stifled. I was unable to get the creative outlet I needed in this environment, and I decided it was time to try out something new.
I had always been fascinated by the art of tattooing. I remember cutting my barbie’s hair and then decorating them with permanent markers that I snuck out of the kitchen when I was young. Eventually, I began to crop my own hair into interesting cuts and colors and decorated my skin with ink as well. I loved the way a piece of artwork could accentuate the body, while the body, in turn, accentuated the art. When I told my partner, Thom, that I wished to pursue tattooing instead of Graphic Design, he just smiled at me and said that I was made for that.
Thom helped support me while I spent a year apprenticing and working part-time as a paint and sip instructor, and I eventually became a hired artist for the same shop. Being a woman, I noticed that any female that walked through the shop doors gravitated toward me as their artist. To me, it made sense, as I was much less intimidating and had a style to my work that held a more feminine flare. I loved being able to help empower women by helping them reclaim their bodies in a new way.
Over my time spent there, I really took in the way that masculinity had taken over this space and how uncomfortable and uninviting it could be toward both women and to anyone with ideas different than the tattoo artists. I wanted a space where people could feel comfortable. I wanted a space where artist and canvas collaborated on the tattoo, so that they could be proud and happy with every part of their new piece and didn’t have to feel talked into something they would later regret. And so again, I decided to uproot and try something new.
Starting my own business was the scariest thing I had ever done, but it also turned out to be my most exciting adventure yet. With the help of Thom and my parents, I found a small studio near the heart of Old Town Fort Collins where I could provide a comfortable, spa-like experience to all my clients. I wanted to change the idea that getting a tattoo meant being intimidated and strove to provide a space my mom would love getting tattooed in. This dream has been my reality for about two and a half years, and I feel so incredibly grateful. I have the best support team and loyal customer base a girl could ask for and find myself waking up excited to tackle each an every day.