Meet Faye, owner of downtown Belleville’s one of a kind fully-female run tattoo shop, Feminink. Originally from the area, Faye has almost a decade of experience when it comes to tattooing. The shop recently opened its doors to a new and more spacious spot at 298 Front Street.
The idea behind Feminink is based around making anyone feel comfortable with getting a tattoo.
“It just makes it more comfortable—not only for females, but also people that are transgender, and even males, just prefer to be around a woman.”
The new location is already filling the books when it comes to appointments and business is doing great in the new space.
“We just love it here: it’s larger, more open, bright and inviting. And easier to find. We also have outdoor signage now and everything, which helps. It has definitely been good for walk in business—not that I can take a lot of walk ins, except on Wednesdays. But yes, it’s been good.”
Faye has been tattooing professionally for eight years and using her artistic abilities to not only leave her mark with ink, but also hearing the stories behind all of her client’s tattoos.
“It’s a very permanent thing that I’m doing to people and some [of them] treat me like a therapist. They’ll come in and have this huge story behind this tattoo. People just open right up to me like they’ve known me for years. Sometimes it’s even borderline uncomfortable, but it is important. Those people need someone to tell their story to.”
Being an entrepreneur isn’t something that Faye planned on becoming, but it’s a way to abide by her own personal values.
“I was kind of thrust into it—I didn’t really have any options. I had moral disagreements with just about everywhere else that I’ve worked—and I’ve worked at many other shops. I feel very strongly about things like not tattooing hands, necks or faces and not tattooing somebody under the age of 18. I get parents that can be a little upset with that sometimes, who really think that I should tattoo their 15 year old. I strongly disagree and I will not do it, I will not break for that.”
But, there are benefits to this career shift of being her own boss and owning her own shop.
“It means that I’m doing my own thing. I don’t really look at myself as a business person, by any means. I just wanted my own place to do my own thing and luckily I have Stacey, the piercer, to share the burden with. So, it makes things a little bit easier. We just wanted a place to call our own and it’s much easier without having other staff. ”
The idea behind a female-run shop was to create a space that would bring in a wide demographic of individuals looking to get tattoos.
“You’re always going to have traditional, old school tattoo shops where it attracts your bikers and stuff. That’s all fine and dandy, but we’re not here to be looking for the rough crowd. We’re looking for the crowd that is afraid to walk into a tattoo shop. They walk in here and feel like it’s a whole different atmosphere, and that’s kind of what we’re going for. We want something that feels comfortable for everyone.”