We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Redmon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had been a makeup artist for 17 years at that point and was a mother to two young kids. I realized I needed something that was not only steady but a schedule that was on MY terms. I also felt like I could offer more to my clients than just makeup, which was already such an oversaturated field. So many of my clients would jokingly say “I wish you could do my brows like this everyday!” I believe in the universe guiding our path, and with all the changes in the world, I decided to trust my gut and let fate lead the way. Months of being a stay at home mom during 2019 led me down an Instagram rabbit hole of Microblading. I fell in love with the way it looked, the joy of the customers when they saw their new eyebrows, all of it. In January 2020 I started my apprenticeship. I changed diapers and rocked babies to sleep during the day and practiced on fake skin at night. In November 2020, I officially opened Blade + Ink.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My long career as a makeup artist gives me an elevated perspective in the art of mixing colors and creating the perfect brows for my clients. Microblading artists are all given the same type of training and patterns of brow hair to follow. I do add my own flair to these patterns to customize my clients’ brows so they aren’t all cookie cutter. Microblading is about 50 % of my business.
Permanent makeup requires a tattoo license and once I realized this, I learned and started offering fine line tattoos. These are extremely popular and it’s harder to do than traditional tattooing. I only work with the finest, teeniest needles on the market and there is no room for error, so I do rely on my steady hand and breathing exercises during the service to create beautiful lines. The reason I started this service is because along with loving tattoos in general, I wanted to create a safe space for women and members LGBTQ+ to get tattoos. There is such a stigma around tattoos and male-dominated tattoo shops. Everyone these days has tattoos, and everyone should feel safe and comfortable getting them. By offering my tattoos in a salon setting, I am able to service everyone from mothers who bring their babies with them to LGBTQ+ members who may have otherwise felt hesitant. I do lots of husbands and boyfriends tattoos too, and everyone is truly welcome at Blade + Ink.
It was definitely not easy to get my business to the place that it’s in right now, and I am constantly adding more education to my plate and learning not only the artistic side but the business end as well. I took every free coaching course that I found online about marketing, social media, branding, etc. I invested in branding photos, websites and classes. I continue to invest in my business and listen to feedback from my clients on what I can do better. I try to own up to my mistakes and make them right. I’m an honest person with integrity and will never price a service higher than I feel it should be and am available to my clients and social media followers 24/7 to answer questions and walk them through aftercare and the healing process.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If we are talking about LA, I would take them to the Will Rogers beach. The drive through Santa Monica and up the PCH is the best part of the city. I would set up a charcuterie board and picnic on the beach with the seagulls. We would hit up Yang Chow in China town for some slippery shrimp and hot and sour soup. I would also swing by the Getty Museum off the 405 to get a great view of the city, then drinks at the Penthouse at Huntley Hotel.
If we are talking about Bend, I would take them to downtown Bend for shopping at all the local boutiques for rare finds, Backporch Coffee for the amazing locally roasted beans and atmosphere, and Mt. Bachelor for skiing and zip lining (depending on the season). If its during the summertime, we could take some beers and float down the Deschutes River for 2 hours. It passes right through the Old Mill District where there are a ton of shops and restaurants. This place is absolute heaven and there are a ton of things to do and breweries to visit!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband is my rock, and if it wasn’t for him watching the kids while I worked every weekend I wouldn’t have the success I have today. He took care of all the bills so I could invest in my business and get it going. He supported every risky idea my entrepreneur brain had and put his whole heart (and wallet) in my dreams. He has been the breadwinner for a long time and carried us with no complaints. I also couldn’t have done this without my best friend who stepped in when childcare plans fell through time and time again. It really does take a village and I am grateful!
The local communities in both Las Vegas and Bend, OR have given me so much love. Locals want small businesses to win, and we couldn’t do it without them. I am still blown away by the amount of referrals, recommendations and reviews that people take the time to do for me. It’s overwhelming the love I feel from my best friends (who were my first customers) to strangers in these communities. I still take such pride in the trust people have for me to tattoo their faces and bodies. It’s truly an honor every time.
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Ati G. Photography