We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim Saigh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I wanted to open my own business for the freedom of calling my own shots, and navigate my vision of what seemed like an ideal work environment.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began Memoir Tattoo with artist and my partner of 13 years, Shawn Barber in 2009. We opened our shop so we could have a creative space that didn’t have the same blueprint as a typical tattoo shop, but felt like a second home, where we could make our best art, at our own pace, and be able to cherry pick our projects without the pressure of running a street shop. Although the path of tattooing has continually unfolded in so many serendipitous ways, it has definitely been challenging, and has forced me to dig deeper, be patient, be present, and occasionally reinvent my career. Of the many lessons tattooing has given me over the past 29 years, sitting down and spending countless hours with strangers that I would have otherwise never crossed paths with, has showed me that humans are much more alike than we aren’t. You can’t think you have nothing in common with someone, you can debate/ disagree and by the end of a 20 hour tattoo, you have a unique and powerful bond with that person. Brand? I guess our brand is no bullsh*t?
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?
If I’m in the drivers’ seat to take my friends around on a visit, it would be a lot of classics. There will be a couple of hikes involved- maybe Griffith and Topanga? My go-to’s are drives through Laurel Canyon, maybe Mulholland to the Getty, or Sunset to the Lake Shrine, and onto Malibu? Hollywood Farmer’s Market is always a crowd pleaser, loved the old Amoeba , Wacko/ Soaplant to browse get lost in, and at least one flea market, because most of my friends are traveling from a cold city, so they want to be outdoors as much as possible. The Comedy Store is my fave , followed by drinks at the Rainbow, and if I can find a way into The Magic Castle, that makes for an experience. I love all of the old classics in Los Angeles. A large portion of my friends are vegan or vegetarian, so the patio at Gracias Madre or Nic’s are both beautiful, I always end up at Pura Vita, Shojin and Crossroads as well, and always Magpies for dessert. Other favorites are Pace, Gjuista, Appollonia’s for pizza, the patio at AOC, Petty Cash or Esquela for tacos and Margaritas- the list is long, but these are my go-to’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think right now, my shoutout would have to be to our customers and friends, that have supported us through the pandemic closures. We’ve had customers buy and commission artwork, paintings, offer to pay for tattoos in advance of reopening, etc… even those who have reached out just see how we’re doing, has been a reminder of the strong relationships we have with our clientele and community.
Facebook: Memoir Tattoo
Yelp: Memoir Tattoo
Photo of Kim Saigh and Shawn Barber by Andrew Stuart Shop photo by Shawn Barber