Many people find the process of getting a tattoo to be deeply intimate and even moving. The Evansville owner of The Cherry Cherub tattoo parlor opted to only hire women so that her female customers would feel more at ease.
Ink has been Dejae Cooley’s life for the past seven years. She spent five years working for various production companies. Back two years ago, when the limitations imposed due to the epidemic finally lifted, she opened her own tattoo parlor with a brightly colored twist.
“I wanted to make it seem like home,” Cooley explained. “I’ve had the unfortunate experience of working in a few studios where the walls were painted black. It’s a bit scary, that’s for sure. To me, this place is quite similar to a hospital or clinic.
According to Cooley, not all of her potential customers felt welcome at the studios where she previously worked. Some of her customers have been especially appreciative of the fact that she has made her studio, The Cherry Cherub, run totally by women.
“A lot of folks are almost afraid to go other places because they’re so frightened,” said tattoo apprentice Annabelle Turner. “We do still tattoo guys, but we do want it to be open and friendly, so absolutely, we get a lot of ladies.”
According to Cooley, the atmosphere has been welcoming to members of the LGBTQ community, especially transgender customers who did not feel safe visiting elsewhere.
According to Cooley, “they may be anyone they want to be without fear of ridicule.” When you enter through the door, you can be completely yourself.
Though they claim to be able to create any design, they are most well-known for retro cartoon graphics and the occasional sour gummy worm.
On October 7, the Cherry Cherub will reopen at its new location.
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