We had the good fortune of connecting with Bree & Charly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bree & Charly, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When we started Black Diamond Tattoo we wanted it to be not only a high quality tattoo shop, but also one where clients of all types felt welcome. In the past there was a stereotype about tattoo shops and who you had to be in order to be welcomed into one, we wanted to change that. We wanted to make it accessible and desirable to anyone wanting to share in the very passion that keeps us all working.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After we established the key parts of what we needed to make this shop great, it was just making sure it stayed that way. Tattoo shops are more mainstream at this point in our society it’s being able to stay established and bringing something different to the table when literally everyone in your industry is trying to do the same. Decor has a huge part in what separates shops, you can walk into a typical tattoo shop with cheap flash on the wall and that’s what you choose from, or you can walk into a nicely decorated welcoming tattoo establishment where you’re greeted and enjoy the fine art on the walls and the care to detail whether it be chandeliers or vintage sofas. The details make a difference in how people respond and reciprocate, both in your team as well as from your clients. We also make sure we have the right artistic influences in the shop because it is a big deal, if everyone didn’t have anything to look forward to it leaves room for people to flatline in their artistic abilities, so we encourage attending art classes, we participate in some select trade shows, we have inspiring guest artists come to work with us from all over the world and you can see the motivation and push it gives people once they experience how others work in different parts of the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Venice Beach is iconic, it’s not known for being fancy it’s known for the sights, and the boardwalk is definitely a must see while in town. It’s about 10 minutes from the shop, a quick scenic drive with tons of food and sights along the way. The Santa Monica promenade and the Pier is also a must do, shopping and food, two dynamic combos. Melrose is legendary, after seeing it torn apart and burned down during the Riots last summer, it’s kind of paying homage to the past businesses that made Melrose so iconic and memorable. There are some great shops and restaurants lining the street and it’s worth even just a drive past to see. If you’ve never been to LA, you have to drive down Hollywood blvd, I don’t necessarily think you need to get out, most of us locals think it’s kind of dirty, but it’s still quite a sight to see while in the city of Angels. Among my fav food spots on the westside, Pho Show is a local Vietnamese restaurant, it’s not fancy but it has some of the best pho I’ve ever had. JINYA is really good ramen in Santa Monica, it’s on Main Street which is a destination for bars and shops on the weekends, definitely a great area. High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin is also a local fav of mine, in the heart of Venice it’s views of the beach are amazing while you wrap yourself in a blanket sipping your favorite drink. Ending up in Manhattan Beach is a nice way to end any week or weekend, it’s usually busy with locals and tourists but there’s lot to do see and eat in MB, the Kettle is a favorite as well as The Strand for finer dining. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s no way we’d be where we are if it weren’t for having a solid team and everyone’s contributions. Each artist brings something to the table, each staff member helps out uniquely, we all have a part in making something great or making something average and having the team we do has made this journey amazing. There are a few artists that not only rode through the bumps with us, but also just kill it in their own craft, so huge shoutout to Justin Jakus, Juan Gollaz, and Shingken, I can’t put into words how much we appreciate these guys. They’re talented and genuinely nice guys, but they’re also total badasses with tattoo machines. They’re absolutely pillars in this shop and we wouldn’t be the same without them.
All photos are owned by me.