As you can likely imagine, I raised my oldest daughter, Eden Nelson to be a free spirited dreamer. She was home schooled for a good portion of her school years, then she attended high school and graduated in 2015. She has always been an artist; it is in her spirit and she is awesome (of course I am a bit biased).
She began with crayons, moved to pastels, and then painting, which captured her heart. She has been featured in a number of galleries and has sold some paintings, but as you can imagine, being a young artist is challenging to say the least.
Last summer she got a job cleaning at the local cheesery here in our little Midwest town. Let’s just say working in an entry level job scrubbing floors tested her resilience. She was sitting in the parking lot outside her work crying when she called me in a bit of a life-related panic. She felt like she had no direction and didn’t know what to do.
We started looking at schooling options, but she was hesitant to accumulate thousands and thousands of dollars of student debt. She is an incredibly practical girl, so she kept talking to people she trusted looking for a viable solution.
We had talked about starting a mural paitning business. It is something she is good at and had already been hired for a couple of professional mural jobs, but she started researching mural businesses and began feeling like it wasn’t feasible.
We talked about her becoming a tattoo artist, but growing up, she was one of those people who fainted when she got a needle. She decided she could maybe overcome her fear of needles and so she ordered a basic tattoo machine off of Amazon.
She began tattooing just bout everything she could get her hands on; oranges, fake skin, and then she advanced to tattooing pig ears, which is what tattoo apprentices use to practice their tattooing skills.
She was not only a natural, she fell in love with the idea of putting her art on people’s body. She really likd the idea of working with a “living canvas”. She asked me if I was willing to let her do a tattoo on me just to see if she could handle tattooing an actual person.
She designed a beautiful OM symbol and tattooed it on the inside of my foot. It was/is awesome and I love it! She got together a portfolio of her paintings and went into a local tattoo parlour to see if she could get a tattoo apprenticeship.
They didn;t take her seriously at first, but the shop owner didn’t just shoot her down. He told her to design some tattoos and bring them in. She was nervous but gave it her best go. When she came back in, the owner of the shop seemed interested.
He asked her to draw random things on the spot (rose, skull, heart, etc.). He was impressed. He hired her as his apprentice. Thus began her journey to becoming a tattoo artist. Within a month, he said she was already able to get her tattoo license.
This is almost unheard of, but she had natural talent combined with her understanding of hack schooling and mastery learning. She pretty much lived, breathed, and dreamed tattoos! She was constantly practicing, watching videos, talking to people connected to the industry and doing her best to improve her skills on a daily basis.
In July of 2015, our then 18-year-old daughter became a licensed tattoo artist in the state of Iowa! She worked at the shop, continuing to learn and improve her skill, but being a young, beautiful, talented woman in the tattoo business is difficult.
Her spirits became dampened and we began talking about opening her own shop. As a lifestyle entrepreneur myself, I knew it would be tough, but I also knew that if she pulled it off, the rewards would be well worth the effort.
During her time working as a tattoo artist, she had managed to purchase a top of the line tattoo machine and all of the equipment necessary to give a professional tattoo, but opening your own shop requires a lot more than the tattoo supplies.
We found her shop space, renewed her tattoo license and she will have her shop license January 15th, 2016! Unfortunately, we still have a huge list of items she needs. Though each item may be small, the combined cost is around $4000, which feels overwhelming to Eden.
My husband and I have a large family, so as you can imagine, our budget is already stretched. We paid for her tattoo shop license, tattoo artist license and some of the basic supplies, but we still have a long way to go!
Today I launched a Go Fund Me Campaign to help support our daughter in opening her tattoo parlour. So far she has raised: $1580!!! This warms my heart and makes me feel like I might actually be able to helo make Eden’s dreams become reality.
Even if you do not want to personally make a donation, I would appreciate it if you would share my daughter’s campaign. The minimum donation accepted on Go Fund Me is $5, so please remember that every dollar counts! I will keep you updated and hope to have some pictures of her new shop space to share over the weekend.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wish you bliss and abundance in the coming new year!
From my heart to yours,