First Month Re-Cap!
Updated: Jan 28, 2019
SHOW.it+ is ShowOff Ink Artistry's official blog. Here, we'll talk about things going on at the shop, secrets of the tattoo world and much more.
From the beginning...
...everything was just as smooth as you would think. No, I'm serious. From laying my eyes on this place to the Grand Opening and everything in-between, I could honestly say there were minimal crossroads. In November 2018 I woke up having worked a few weeks straight, nonstop tattooing at an establishment where I was truly miserable, and I said "that's enough Ashley, it's time". Weeks and months of feeling unappreciated and ultimately feeling like I've allowed myself to be on this plateau year after year. Unconsciously, I may have been scared of change. Driving 25 minutes back and fourth from New Haven to Bridgeport everyday, having such a large and loyal client base, being around a couple great artists where days were filled with nonstop jokes and laughs, it was EASY! I didn't really have to worry about not "making ends meet" or being without a job. I placed myself in this box bubble wrapped and tapped up with no holes to breathe. I've actually learned how common that is. People having the potential to be the best and make it to the top with all their skill and talents, but not really doing anything with it because they are either scared of change (which is hard to admit), or they are comfortable where they are being they aren't "at the bottom of the barrel". I actually don't blame those people because I was living it. I know what it's like to procrastinate change and greatness. Honestly, I don't think there is a specific time where one could expect themselves to make that push. It just happens. One day, you actually sit and you find the time to clear your mind and not think about anything else but yourself. You don't think about your clients, friends, family, money, responsibilities. You sit and just think. You think about yourself and your happiness. It's one of the healthiest things a person can do. You go through life catering to others and working a job, where in reality you are catering to others and not really doing much for yourself. In November, I finally did for myself. In that moment, I thought about, "what's next?", my current state, and all the factors that will finally make me happy. Owning my own shop. Granted, I've tried this a few times in the past. There were days were I'd have a bad day at work and on the drive home I would drive through my local neighborhoods to find gems; local places for rent where I would just sit, analyze, place my eyes up against the glass and visualize my very own tattoo shop. None of those times were real. I'd play myself into thinking it was really going to work. I guess I wasn't ready. HOWEVER, on September 4, 2018 that was a different story. I WAS READY.
"Today was the day I find the shop of my dreams", is what I said to myself before venturing off with my father to the surrounding towns of New Haven looking for potential spots. After jotting down a list of like eight places with phone numbers to call we were ready to call it quits. We were almost home when we veered off another way and THAT'S WHEN WE SAW IT! A small for rent sign in the bottom corner of the store front. The next week was surreal. Called the retailer that day, Sunday, got a call back Tuesday, did a walk through Wednesday, by Thursday I was handing over a check with my security deposit. A week later I was signing the lease to my own shop and two month after that I was handed the keys because all the construction had been completed from the massive renovation. When the keys were given to me the space was a plain white box with the freedom to create a whole vision of my own. With the help of my family I was able to paint, decorate and move in all furniture within a month and a half time. I have so many people to thank for helping me put my shop together and getting me starting in this beautiful atmosphere.
Being a business owner of a tattoo shop...
...makes me more excited to wake up every morning and go into work. It's more meaningful knowing you're going to be opening up shop everyday with something that's all your own. You have a different outlook on things when you're working to push your name than working to put money in someone else's pocket. Wanting to opening my own shop has been my goal for the last five years. It seems like what I wanted and waited for the last five years and happened all for me in a blink of an eye. From signing my lease to the grand opening was a blur and before I knew it I'm tattooing out of my own station. The feeling is so surreal that I get asked often "So how's it feel?", and honestly it's humbling to say the least because I simply can't show how great. it feels. I've always found myself taking on the leadership role and wanted to have creative control in the best form. I always just wanted to handle things to ensure it'll get done the "right way". Now with this shop I will never fall short of wanting things done the right way. I will always strive to make sure my tattoo shop is at the most professional of levels but also a fun and down to earth meeting place. I feel up for the role of "owner" next to tattoo artist. I hustle hard like the tattoo on the back of my neck. Always loving the next day and what I can do with my client to make their stories into art.