We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaughnessy Otsuji and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shaughnessy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I always knew I was destined to make a living doing something creative and something I truly enjoyed. Starting my own business in the arts has always been a dream of mine. I have had a couple small businesses in the past including making and selling customized phone cases and accessories and creating an alternative clothing line with my husband, Kyle. I attended art university and worked within the tattoo industry which eventually landed me my dream job as a cosmetic and restorative tattoo artist! I began offering my cosmetic tattoo services at a local tattoo shop I was managing and my calendar quickly filled up. My clients and I noticed a lack of artists in the area creating that realistic, natural-looking brow that I always aimed for. This gave my husband and I the idea to create our own brand and studio that was a bit more relaxing and less intimidating than the average tattoo studio, as many of my clients had never been tattooed before. We signed a lease on a hot pink retail space (I had to keep reminding Kyle to look past the paint color), painted and redecorated it with the help of some friends and created Studio Sashiko, which translates to “tiny stabs” in Japanese (very fitting). We became extremely well known for our signature “fluffy brows” and later began offering all types of cosmetic and restorative tattooing like freckle tattooing, areola restorative tattooing, body tattooing, scar camouflage, scalp micropigmentation, lip blush and more! While we started small with only 2 artists, we have now grown to having 2 studio locations in both Canada and the US housing 14+ artists! (I also opened a plant based restaurant as well because why not?) Starting a business can definitely be stressful and challenging and.. stressful.. but SO rewarding to see it finally come to life! I have always said “you’ll never know unless you try!”

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My passion is producing natural looking eyebrow tattoos for those who have suffered from hairloss (such as Alopecia, Trichotillomania, or chemotherapy induced) as well as areola restorative tattooing for clients who have undergone a mastectomy or breast reconstruction. I specialize in creating, enhancing, and replicating hyper-realistic features for my clients. I love adding unique textural details, strategic fluffy hairs, shadows and highlights to my work to replicate what occurs naturally on our bodies! While some may consider these “flaws”, these additions bring dimension and character to my tattoo work and really makes everything pop! My goal is to help individuals find peace, restore confidence and fall in love with their bodies again. I am so grateful to be able to create daily and experience my own sense of reward with each client I work with!

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.
I am new to Los Angeles so every day of exploring is exciting to me! If my bestie were here, we would enjoy a day of sipping matcha, shopping vintage, and hanging by the pool. We would definitely have to hit up some of my favorite vegan restaurants in Hollywod: Crossroads Kitchen and Gracias Madre. We’d spend a day touring the Arts District and of course squeeze in a day of fun at Disneyland!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout is dedicated to my team: The #SASHIKOSQUAD! Every single person who works alongside me, inspires me, and helps the Sashiko vision become a reality deserves the world! Studio Sashiko truly would not be where it is without our talented team of artists, management, admin staff, marketing team, creatives, and of course our incredibly trusting CLIENTS! I love you all!

Website: studiosashiko.com

Instagram: @studiosashiko and @shaughnessy

Other: @studiosashiko on TikTok (we’re learning!) 🙂

Image Credits
Photos by: Matt Bourne

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.