Jessica Valentine built her tattoo career from the ground up. Starting out as a store assistant, she’s now an accomplished tattooer and business owner in Brooklyn, New York. Specialising in cosmetic, fine-line and traditional tattoos, she’s had her work featured on the Today Show, in Nylon Magazine, and in The New York Times.
Looking for new foil business cards to help spread the word about Haven Private Studio, Jessica came to us with her own unique design – and a desire to rewrite the rules for printed promotion in the tattoo industry.
With her new holographic foil-printed business cards all boxed up and shipped to the States, we caught up with Jessica to talk more about the tattoo trade – and how tattooists can upgrade their all-important marketing materials using metallic foil print.
Can you tell us your story, about how you got started?
I’ve been working in the tattoo industry for about thirteen years now, tattooing for eight of those years. I started off as a shop assistant and then moved on to manager, then apprenticed and finally started to tattoo after about five years.
What do you love about your daily work, and running your own business?
I love that every day is different; I get to interact with people from all different walks of life and it really keeps things interesting. It doesn’t hurt when people get super stoked when they see their final product, and for some people it’s therapeutic, so it’s humbling to be able to provide that for them. The best part of running my own business is not having to answer to anyone, doing things my way, and making my own schedule.
What inspires your work, and how has it changed over time?
My style is always evolving, and I’m constantly pulling inspiration from a multitude of things that I see in my daily life. It’s a never-ending process, and every day I’m growing.
You must have faced some challenges along the way, and had some really proud moments too. Could you tell us about that?
I’ve absolutely faced some challenges, especially being a female in a male-dominated industry. You have to work extra hard to be taken seriously, and grow a very thick skin. But for all the negatives, the positive outweighs it. I have had some amazing opportunities and I’ve met some truly amazing people that I can call lifelong friends. I am so thankful, and feel so privileged, to be in the position I am.
So, why did you decide to work with us?
I’d been looking for a company to do gold foil or holographic work for my cards for quite some time, and I just wasn’t finding a company that I really wanted to go with. Being an artist, you really want to stand out and show your artistic side – but I also really like minimalism, so being able to have a very simple design that pops is really important for me. So, when my friend suggested you guys, I immediately placed an order. I’ve had business cards for the past thirteen years and I haven’t found a quality of card that I love as much as your guys’ product. Not only is your quality superior for the price points, but your customer service is above and beyond. You guys just get it!
What did we create for you, and what was your experience of working with us?
I have a friend who’s a psychic, who had black business cards with gold foil made by you. I saw them and placed an order for my studio the next day. (White cards with rose gold foil). Once they arrived and I saw the quality, I ordered another batch of business cards for my personal use. Everyone loves them, and a co-worker is now designing new cards for herself to order from you guys too.
My new business cards have been very well received – but that isn’t a shock. (I had just ordered 500 with another company a month earlier, but the quality paled in comparison.) I’m recommending you to everyone; your customer service can’t be beat. I can’t stress this enough! The patience, the communication – the best!
What’s your advice to other professionals who want to work with a printing company on their marketing materials?
Find a company that has a human on the other end, who can actually help you with your questions and concerns. People who pride themselves in their work. I have honestly had such a pleasant experience with your company in every sense; from behind the scenes, to excellent communication, to amazing execution.
What’s the most important advice you’d give to people in your industry, when it comes to promoting yourself in print?
I think showing your personality in your business cards is super important. Foil gives your card that extra flash of personality through the print. Tattooers typically have paintings they do as their card front, and/or use the same fonts you always see. It’s what’s expected. I no longer do this. I let my personality show by doing things the way I want to do them. There are no rules!