We had the good fortune of connecting with Christie Carlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
For the first twenty years of my career I worked in the service industry, but I dreamed of one day owning my own music venue. While I learned and experienced a lot of personal growth, I decided to focus on something new and I went to school for nutrition. Which led me to working in sales and marketing for natural and organic foods. When I later needed to make a shift in my career due to health reasons, I followed a passion of mine and enrolled at Rocky Mountain Laser College. Within a year I had already found a job within the industry. I helped the owner grow the company into three locations while doing the vast majority of the treatments. This situation did not end the way that I would have preferred, but I gained a large amount of experience from my time with the company. I was passionate and possessed the credentials but found finding another job was impossible. I decided that I needed to take control of my own destiny and I started writing a business plan. The process was challenging, but I had mentors with the SBA and friends that helped me with the challenges that presented themselves along the way. It took years, but I didn’t want to rush it as I had to be ready, financially and mentally. In order to obtain funding, I needed to do presentations that sold people not just on my dream, but on myself. These presentations gave me the confidence to believe in myself and the goal I was chasing. There were definitely times of doubt, but everything fell into place the way it was supposed to in the end. My advice to others is to let your path show you the way, regardless of how young or old you may be. Christie Carlin Owner of Wise Choice Tattoo Removal
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I got my first tattoo when I was 18, to piss off my parents, it worked. My first tattoo was also the first tattoo I removed when I was in school at Rocky Mountain Laser College in 2008. I followed by removing my second tattoo, and my tramp stamp. I learned of tattoo removal from my husband, a tattoo artist, we wanted to put a laser in his tattoo shop. On the first day of school you learn how expensive the equipment is. I knew that if I was going to do tattoo removal, I would have to work for someone else. I found a job doing laser tattoo removal and laser toe nail fungus treatments at a company with 3 busy locations. I got divorced and started removing even more of my tattoos. I worked at this clinic for 7 years and unfortunately got laid off. I was full time server again and I was exhausted. I decided it was time to open my own clinic. I wanted an owl themed name, inspired by my mother, who collected owls. Her owl pictures and knick-knacks are now in my clinic, a nice distraction for my clients. I was lucky enough to acquire the PicoSure by CynoSure that is the latest and greatest laser for tattoo removal. It is an amazing machine that has removed a couple dozen tattoos in the almost 2 years that I have been open. I opened May 9th, 2019 and was able to reopen after lockdown on May 9th, 2020. It has been a challenging year to say the least, but I try to focus on the positive. I’m always educating myself on new technology and techniques. It’s also important to educate my clients on the process of tattoo removal, every tattoo is so different, and it can take years. I am there for my clients every step of the way because I have been there too.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love to show off my city, where do I begin? Favorite brunch spots are Lucile’s and The District. For day drinking I love going to The Squire, my home away from home. A nice walk through Cheeseman Park is a perfect place to watch the sunset. If they want the best food in Denver, my favorite for a long time is Adelita’s on South Broadway. I can’t get enough of their tacos and chipotle mushroom cream sauce, and the prickly pear margarita’s. A concert is on the itinerary, perhaps more than one. Mishawaka in the Poudre Valley outside of Fort Collins is my favorite outdoor venue. I would love to check out the new Number 38, Denver’s newest venue. Another perfect night could be grabbing a burger from Meadowlark Kitchen and playing pool at Gerard’s Pool Hall. If we are looking for pizza I would take them to Bar Nun, and then go play some video games at the 1Up on infamous Colfax ave.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe so much to the strong role models that I am lucky to surround myself with. Kristin Rossi owner of Nails by KR, Molly Meyer owner of Salon Lucid, Courtney La Marine owner of Clove Studios, and Kai Bauer owner of The Proper for my lashes and brows, these are the women that not only make me look beautiful but also inspire. I know so many women business owners, Kelleen Shadow with Sup Dawg started her business in 2013, and gives my sweet poodle Pepper the best walks. And the women at Praise the Paw dog grooming, Jennifer and Paradise always making Pepper look handsome. And when I need to buy something for me, I love Antiques Etc., my friend Mary Beth Hatter owns a booth their. Her booth is filled a variety of items, including her own jewelry and art.
The concert photo is my Kim Mock (Kimbo_explores) on Instagram