After a decade of tattooing together, Gabriele Wright and Damian Reed opened their own shop in October. As co-owners of False Idols Tattoo, they are excited to grow and bring people together through a mutual love of art.
Since meeting several years ago, the two have been helped push each other to elevate their art — even with contrasting styles.
“It didn’t take long for us to actually start challenging each other because we were very opposite in what we like to do,”Wright said. “Damian likes bold lines and bright colors and stuff, and I like really fine lines black and gray.”
The two ended up traveling to a different shop — where Wright needed to tattoo Reed to get her foot in the door — and from there they’ve had the same passion to run their own place together.
“We’re both hungry to learn more. We’ve always wanted to go to tattoo conventions and just branch out,” Reed said.
Since opening False Idols (located at 1929 Tripplett Street), Wright and Reed worked hard to find ways to bring customers in; one of their biggest turnouts was January’s Friday the 13th sale.
The clientele that came in on that day were not regulars, they said, and the turnout was so big that the last customer didn’t leave until about 10:30 p.m. — two hours after the shop technically closed.
“I’ve never seen most of these people before, so you don’t really realize your reach until it actually happens,” Wright said.
One focus of False Idols is ensuring they can tattoo a diverse amount of skin tones.
“I also didn’t realize how many people with darker skin tones think that they can’t get color [tattoos] or are just uncomfortable in general asking people because [they don’t know if the artist] is even comfortable doing this,” Wright said.
She said it’s important that they continue to provide those services and grow in their ability because they want to promise a tattoo that the client is going to enjoy, regardless of who they are before walking into the shop.
“The amount of people that [come in the shop and] interact with each other are complete opposites in a lot of ways. But they all have one common thing — they like art, and that can really bring people together,” Wright said.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, search for False Idols Tattoo on Facebook or Instagram.