Chelsea Brown can't remember a time that someone in her family wasn't doing some type of art. So for her, it was a natural progression to follow her dad into the tattoo business by co-owning and managing a new shop in East Lansing.
Brown and her father, Bill, opened Ink & Needle
in August. The Brown family also owns two other tattoo shops in Greater Lansing, including Southside Tattoo and Noble Ink.
"Everyone in my whole family is into art," says Brown. "My dad has always drawn as a hobby, and one day, he just decided to go for it and turn it into a career."
Ink & Needle offers residents and visitors to East Lansing a cozy and relaxing environment for getting a tattoo or piercing. The 1,200-square-foot space at the corner of Abbot and Albert has booths and chairs to accommodate up to four tattoo clients, plus a private piercing room.
The shop employs four tattoo artists and a full-time piercer. Brown herself is learning the trade by apprenticing with her father. She hopes to be ready to apply her skills by next April.
"It's nerve wracking and exciting at the same time," says Brown of learning from her dad. "He does amazing work. It's a nice bonding experience, and it's cool he can pass on his knowledge to me."
Brown says that her dad is considered among the best in the area for cover-ups. The other artists at the shop specialize in custom designs. Customers can view employee portfolios and choose the artist they want to do the work. Tattoos can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as eight hours. Some clients, depending on the design, may return for multiple sessions. Free touch-ups are also provided on all Ink & Needle work.
"We always like to make sure that the customer leaves with a great experience, not just a great tattoo," says Brown. "We make it about the client and not the shop. I really love art and giving people artwork that they can cherish forever."
Source: Chelsea Brown, Co-owner and Manager, Ink & Needle
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor