We want to start this entry off with the fact that we love kids. Everyone who works here has children that they adore. With that being said, there is a time and a place for younger children in this type of establishment. It is extremely stressful for us (and other clients who are in getting work done) when there is a younger child acting wild in the studio.
We do need to draw some lines. When there are children ages 0-2 screaming and crying- that automatically raises stress levels all around. When there a children ages 2-5 running around yelling and being careless and destroying our property- its not only stressful but its dangerous, distracting, unsafe and disrespectful. We have had portfolios destroyed, beverages spilt, every inch of glass smeared and wet snow packed winter boots walking on our furniture.
I for one, am very passive. I dread the thought of having to scold other peoples children. A lot of the time I watch parents either ignore what their kids are doing or noticing something inappropriate and simply saying nothing. This is extremely frustrating.
To eliminate this, we now have a policy that children under 6 do not come with during your appointments. Unless the child is getting a procedure done, they do not need to be in the studio. If your 6 year old is getting his/her ears pierced and you have a 4 year old, please find someone to watch your 4 year old.
There MAY be rare exceptions but we would like you to call and ask ahead of time.
This is in place to keep a safe and happy environment for everyone. We hope you read this and understand where we are coming from.
'No calls. No shows'. Its a phrase that makes every tattoo/piercing studio cringe. Here's why:
When we book an appointment, we are blocking off a portion of that day for that client to get work done. When artists are not tattooing/piercing there is no money coming in and no one is getting paid. When someone doesn't give a timely heads up or simply does not show up at all, they are wasting the artists time and there usually isn't enough time to find someone to fill that time slot on such short notice. To add to that, they are also causing other clients to have to wait longer for their appointment, for no good reason. If that person that never showed up had never made their appointment in the first place, the next person would be in sooner. Not showing up causes a lot more issues than you'd imagine. It can easily (and likely) ruin an artists day.
The artist also spends time before the appointment drawing the design. Editing the design. This can happen multiple times on one design until the artist is confident they have a design that will make the client happy. That's typically at least a few hours of drawing... now for nothing.
Client books a 5 hour session of a bumblebee playing a harmonica while surfing in the ocean. Their time blocked is from 12pm until 5pm. The artist draws the design. Doesn't like the first draft. Re-draws the design. Doesn't think the second design will fit for the placement on the body. Artist draws it again for the third time. Likes how it turns out, for the most part. Artist then goes back in to edit the harmonica and the waves. Now the artist is super excited to show the client the design and get that rad bumblebee playing that rad harmonica on that client. A lot of drawing and preparation has already gone into this tattoo. Its not even the appointment date yet. 12:00 on the appointment date shows up. No client. 12:10 on the clock. No client. 12:30. No client. The client doesn't show up. Now the artist has no income coming in for a minimum of 5 of their 8 hour work day. That's a huge financial blow. And even when that client doesn't show up, the artist still has bills to pay. The studio still needs to pay the bills to keep the doors open. The studio and artist are then left with a small window of time to attempt getting someone else in on extremely short notice. A lot of time gets wasted and a lot of tattoo time goes out the window, while trying to get someone to fill that spot on the day of.
Almost all studios will require a deposit. The deposit is there to make people committed to their appointment/time slot. Our deposit starts at 50.00 for most tattoos. This deposit is there so the client has "something on the line." Imagine no deposit being in place. The potential clients appointment date shows up and they decide, "Eh, I'm tired. I'm not going." Now imagine the 50.00 deposit in place. "Eh, I'm tired. But I did commit that 50.00 deposit and I would rather not waste that money. I'll go get that rad harmonica playing bumblebee."
When someone still doesn't show even with a deposit in place, the artist and studio will at least still makes a little bit of money. But that "little bit" isn't enough to pay bills and make up for the full time that was blocked off for the tattoo.
Please keep all this in mind. We want to tattoo you. We want to pierce you. WE LOOK FORWARD TO IT. But if you're not serious about it, please just wait until you are serious about it. We all have bills to pay. We are all trying to make a living.
Kiddos getting their ears pierced... When? Where? What? How? And important read for parents considering letting their kids get their earlobes pierced.
Claire's, Walmart, aunt Paula's kitchen with her old 'piercing kit' she needs to go grab from the basement... I don't think I can cringe enough. I'll just jump into it.
Let's start with training/apprenticeships. Places like the ones I've listed are performing 'piercings' by people who have no actual training. At all. No training on how to PROPERLY perform ANY piercings. No bloodborne pathogen training. No first aid training. No contamination control training. They literally start at work one day and pick up a (horrid) piercing gun and have at it. Which will transition me into the next aspect.
The evil piercing gun. There is no way to properly sterilize those things. They are made of plastic and cannot be autoclaved and sterilized. Wiping them down with rubbing alcohol is what they do. Rubbing alcohol is not even close to any form of sterilization. Please don't think it's anywhere near it. Those guns LITERALLY force the blunt ear stud through the tissue. It's brutal. (Do you want your kiddo going thru extra trauma? I don't imagine so). So now we are piercing violently by someone with no training with something that cannot be properly sterilized. See where I'm going with this?
Next let's talk about the make-up of the jewelry. They use generic terms like "surgical steel" which is what tools are made out of and trick people into thinking it's something better because "well it says surgical right on it". Surgical sucks. What you are looking for is IMPLANT GRADE stainless steel/titanium/niobium and solid gold. Would you want your kid (or yourself or loved one) getting decorated with a made-up loose term like "surgical steel" or would you rather have them get pierced with the same metal used in PACEMAKERS? Pacemakers!!!
And as far as age is concerned, please let your child decide if they want them or not. I know it sounds fun to decorate your kid, but before they can decide, it's only fun for you, at their expense. Your kid is a real life human being too and their vote on this subject is the one that matters. Don't force them to go thru it if they don't want it.
People who use the statement "I got pierced at Claire's and it healed up", you're looking at it wrong. You got it done there and it healed up 'IN SPITE OF' those issues. I hope this got thru to some of you. Even if it changed the mind of 1 person, it was worth the 7 minutes it took for me to write this. Thank you for taking the time to read this .
Please take your children to a REPUTABLE studio where they can get decorated in a safe and friendly environment with jewelry that is great inside the tissue. And be sure to check out portfolios and find out about their technique, how they sterilize and the quality of jewelry they offer. Not all studios carry the same high standards. You and your loved ones DESERVE high quality and high quality only.
So, you are about due to get a fancy new tattoo… What are your next steps and how do you choose where to go or who to get tattooed by? Well let us help you out with a bit of info to steer you clear of kitchen wizards, basement scratchers and even the “legit shop” who’s work may be subpar, but for some reason or another people keep going there for work they may forever be regretting.
The number one most important thing to do is research. Keep in mind this is a permanent addition to your body that you have to look at and bare to all the world for their judgement whether you like their judgement or not. Now, in this day and age the internet is ‘king’ when it comes to research and it truly is a very helpful and useful tool that should not be overlooked. I’ve used it for everything from diagnosing why my rusty tahoe is still rusting to figuring out math problems my 5th grade daughter has to learn…… I never have been all that great at math; it turns out. Nonetheless, the internet also has its restrictions. You don’t get the genuine face to face contact with the internet. I know we are in a new age and that almost everything can be done either via email, instant messenger, facetime, snapchat or any other variations of social media, but… This will be a place where you may spend hours at a time and form a relationship with. A bond so to speak. A potential loyalty for lack of a better term. Which leads me to tell you my next recommendation.
Go to the studio in person. We all lead busy lives and have things to do. I get it and I hear you loud and clear. However, this is an important commitment you’re signing up for. You are paying someone your hard earned money to leave ink in your skin for as long as you walk this earth. Nothing will ever replace the experience of you walking into every shop in your area and feeling that first impression. Is the place clean? Is the place thought out and appealing to be in? Is the place inviting and comforting? Long gone (For the most part) are the days of dingy dark and underground tattoo parlors. Today’s standards have risen incredibly as they should be. Just walk into a place and ask yourself two questions. Is this place clean and is this place somewhere I could sit for a few hours if need be? If either answer is a maybe or no, walk out. Go to every shop in your area and ask yourself those questions.
So you’ve gone to every shop and asked yourself those two questions. Now what? Now the real work for you begins. Look at portfolios. Look at Instagram accounts. Look at Facebook accounts. Both the studio’s and the artist’s accounts should be reviewed. Look at the work leaving the shop. If a shop’s social media page is only promoting one artist (Typically the owner) ask yourself why is that? Why wouldn’t the shop want to promote their entire crew? Why would only one artist in a shop that has several artists only push one person out to the public? Without trying to sound offensive, it is usually for two reasons. The person being promoted is either a glory hound and seeking approval or the person is driven to do so because of monetary benefits…. That’s fancy talk for “They are money hungry”. Just think about it is all I ask.
I once took a mentoring program to continue my education in this field. During this mentorship I learned that we as artists need to be ambassadors for good art and educate our clients and potential clients on what “good art” is. Well, this is my attempt at just that. Look at the artist’s line work…… You all know what a good clean black line looks like on a piece of paper and that really shouldn’t change because of what the line is on; be it a piece of paper or a piece of skin. If the line work isn’t clean then be honest with yourself and acknowledge it isn’t what you want. Now not every tattoo has line work and as the future progresses you may keep finding less and less lines in tattoos. So if that is the case, look at the shading or color blends. Are they smooth and clean? Are they patchy and uneven? If they are turn around and walk out.
Now you’ve visited the shops in person, you’ve looked at portfolios and social media accounts. The next obvious step would be to talk or consult with the artist you have chosen. Sometimes a good artist can also be not so good of a person. If you and an artist have a personality conflict it can make your tattoo experience miserable. Bounce ideas off each other and get a feel for what your experience will be like. As a tattooer, I know that a client is buying a piece of forever artwork, but just as important to most clients is the experience and the process of getting tattooed. We not only sell tattoos, we sell memories as well. I feel that if you do the research and hard work to choose an artist and shop you will get your monies worth. It will also help you be patient and give you time to think about what you want and which artist is going to best suit the style you’re trying to achieve. You will be more comfortable letting the artist put themselves into the tattoo so you walk away with a true one off custom piece.
In conclusion, be patient and put in your work. It will be time well spent and you won’t be looking for another artist willing to cover up a mistake that was made out of haste. Hope that makes sense!
Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog on this very important topic!
*Answers the shop phone....
"Red at Night Studios''.
"Hi, I was wondering how much a nose piercing costs".
"So, the piercing fee for a nostril is xx.xx and the jewelry starts at xx.xx, so the starting total is xx.xx and goes up from there, depending on the jewelry you select". (I also give information on the jewelry that I would be installing and things of that nature)
"XX.XX for a nose piercing?! Do you know anywhere that will do it for 20.00 or 30.00 total? That is way too much"!
It's a conversation that happens sometimes and it personally drives me a little batty. The price that I am telling you, I find to be more than fair (and so do my clients after a visit to me). This isn't a hobby for me. This is my career. When you get a piercing from me (or other reputable professional body piercers) you are getting much more than just a piercing and a piece of jewelry inserted into it. What all is included in a piercing from me? Lets start with the jewelry....
Every piece of jewelry that I carry comes from the leaders in the industry of high quality body jewelry. It isn't just the run of the mill jewelry. IT IS THE BEST JEWELRY IN THE WORLD. LITERALLY! Every piece of jewelry you get from me comes with a LIFETIME guarantee, directly from the manufacturer. So if something ever went wrong with your jewelry, you simply bring it back to me and I will take care of it for you. I will contact the manufacturer and they will make it right. Every piece of jewelry I carry is either ASTM F136 implant grade titanium, pure niobium or 14k or 18k SOLID gold ( no plating here). These are materials PROVEN to work, in great success with a fresh or fully healed body piercing. The polish of the metal is to a mirror finish. The gems are hand set, no glues, you don't want glue holding anything in place. Glue has no place in high quality. When it comes to the gems, they are genuine Swarovski crystals, the best synthetic gems in the world. They never fog and they never cloud. They will look as beautiful 50 years from now as they do the day you purchase one. The other option I have available are genuine stones. Mix all this together and your new jewelry is well worth the price you pay.
Education. Education. Education.
When I get home from a day at the shop, there is a good chance I am doing something work related. I've been piercing for just under 10 years and I am still trying to learn more and better my craft. This will never end. When I'm 60 years old, I will still be studying body piercing and trying to be better. There is always room for improvement and my passion for what I do drives me. This takes up a lot of my time. Like I mentioned earlier, this is my career. This is how I pay my bills. I am trying to make a living, just like everyone else. There is an old saying, "time is money''.....
Tools for the trade.
The price you pay is also covering the things that I need to supply to give you the cleanest visit available. A ton of my money goes right back into my craft. Want a short list? Okay!
-Statim 2000 (A top notch autoclave that sterilizes your jewelry and needles and any other objects that need to be 100% sterile when its time to poke a hole)
- Jewelry steamer
- Needles ( Only the sharpest in the industry)
- Face masks
- Sterile gloves
- Dental bibs
- Sterile cotton tipped applicators
- Rubbing alcohol
- Skin markers
- Weekly tests to make sure the autoclave is working properly (yes, I have it tested weekly)
- Sterilization Integrators ( I also put one of these in the Statim on each load to show that each load is properly sterilized)
That is just a short list.
So, when I tell you the cost of a piercing and the cost of the jewelry, these are some things that you should take into account. And on top of all the things I've mentioned above, I also promise to help with any troubleshooting in the future, for no cost. You deserve a professional piercing with professional jewelry in a clean environment with a safe procedure.
Always do your homework before getting a piercing. Make sure you are visiting a REPUTABLE studio and are getting pierced by a REPUTABLE piercer. Look at portfolios. Listen to word of mouth. Read reviews. ASK QUESTIONS! There honestly are no stupid questions.
There are piercers out there that are simply trying to supply the bear minimum and are frankly and sadly, only after a quick buck. I pride myself in not being one of those piercers. I will always provide you with the best service and product available. You deserve it.
We get a lot of phone calls and people stopping in expecting to get tattooed the same day. As much as we would love to take care of everyone right away, it's simply not possible. Let me explain why...
Supply and demand. You're not the only one wanting a tattoo. This is a great time to reflect back to when your parents told you "if you want something important, you must be patient." Tattoos take a lot of time and effort (I will touch back on that shortly). And A LOT of people want a new custom tattoo. A LOT. It really comes down to first come first serve. Who makes their appointments in advance wins. They get put into a calendar and those days pile up. So hearing that the artist won't be able to fit that into their calendar for X amount of weeks or sometimes months is very common.
Tattoos take time. A lot of time. Even a small butterfly on your ankle needs to be drawn and sized and a lot of the time there are multiple drawings that go into even the more simple designs. Now picture a big piece. A full sleeve. A full back piece. These are appointments that endless hours of work are put in.
Imagine a restaurant on a Saturday night. A lot of people will call in and make reservations to eat a few days, a few weeks and sometimes a few months in advance. As more people are setting their reservations the less and less tables are available. Now imagine that each meal takes 1 to 8 hours to prep, cook, dish and allow the time for the customer to enjoy their food and allow time to get the table cleaned up for the next patrons. Now that restaurant that your picturing with 25-50 tables and an army full of staff, erase all those tables and all that extra staff and leave only a few tables and a few dedicated employees. Those tables are going to be booking out much further.
In this entirely real situation, some people will say "eh screw it, McDonalds is open and we can get in and out in 10 minutes." This is very true. But then I would highly recommend looking at the quality and the experience. You can get that Mcdonalds meal super quick. But is it quality food? Is there any real experience there? Need I say more?
I would also like to touch on deposits. All reputable studios require them. They hold your appointment in the calendar. They can range in price, depending on individual studio policies, but it is entirely common for deposits to range anywhere between 50.00 and 200.00. If someone makes an appointment and that block of time is set aside for them and they decide to just skip it, it hurts the artist. That's a good chunk of their day that they are not getting paid for now. There is drawing time even before the day of the appointment and if someone decides to just bail, there should be some compensation. Also these deposits make it much less likely for someone to flake out because they have something of value already tied up in it. These deposits are credited to the final cost of your tattoo and are costing you nothing extra. Its just a small payment upfront to help protect the artist that is working for you.
I hope this helped you understand that quality tattoos tend to have a wait. Sometimes people need to cancel or reschedule and there is a random opening and you can get right in. But when you call, don't plan on that. Plan on a little bit of a wait that will be worth it in the long run.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!