Jessica Gahring has unleashed her full potential.
From the moment I first met her, I knew it was only a matter of time before the artist, actress, model and Mom put down the moniker of “Shop Manager” of NY INK, pick up her own tattoo machine and open Ms. Dixie’s Tattoo & Pin Up Parlour in Troy, New York.
With the unique shop layout that reflects the 1950′s and her love of pin-ups, Jessica is about to make her own mark on the business.
Her love of art began at a very young age and was nurtured by family and through education. On the television show, she may have been portrayed as a person with limited experience in the art of tattooing. In reality, quite the opposite is true. Jessica is already gaining notoriety for her work from people all over.
I had the chance to speak with Jessica as she prepares to open the doors to her shop for the very first time. She may have butted heads with Ami James for entertainment purposes, but in “real life” Jessica Gahring is making her dreams come true.
goJimmygo (gJg): Jessica, it’s so great speaking with you. Congratulations!
Jessica Gahring (JG): Thank you! This was definitely a long time coming.
gJg: How are you doing?
JG: I’m doing great. I’m tattooing full-time now, which was a given. I have people who want to travel and come see me!
gJg: Did you always have the dream of opening your own shop?
JG: That was always the plan. Even when I worked with my friend Lydia years ago we almost bought a studio together. It didn’t end up happening at the time, so we decided to wait. I went into banking to get more into the business side of things. I knew I wasn’t going to be there long.
gJg: Why did NY Ink choose not to showcase your talent?
JG: The producers didn’t think it would make much of story. Even though I was already working with Lydia, they didn’t want to reveal that I had any sort of real background in the industry.
The truth is, we play characters in a “reality-type” show. The public wants confrontation and that’s what sells. But the person they showed in the first season is not who I really am as an individual.
gJg: What makes Ms. Dixie’s different from your typical tattoo shop?
JG: I’ve got a pin-up modeling theme; with a 1950′s, vintage feel to it. It looks like it belongs way back when. It’s classy and something completely different from all other tattoo parlors. I’ll be tattooing full-time at one of three stations. I never wanted to have a huge studio. I wanted something that felt like home when people walk in and I think I’ve accomplished that. It’s very true to what I imagined it to be.
gJg: Do you have anyone else helping you in this endeavor?
JG: Yes, my boyfriend Christian is my business partner and he’ll be scheduling and managing appointments for the shop. He’s the one that holds it all together.
gJg: Do you have any other artists lined up to work with you?
JG: I have an amazing artist, Jon Abbott, who will be working with me. He’s a traditional style artist. The third slot I’m going to leave open for guest artists until someone else comes along. I’m not sure what will happen down the road but I am really excited about where I am at right now!
gJg: Where did your love of art begin?
JG: I’ve always loved art even as a child. My Dad painted and drew pictures and even from a young age I was amazed that you could actually look at something and put what you saw down on paper.
I have art awards from elementary school and graduated high-school with a fine arts degree. Even when I went to college; I studied sociology but still took art classes. Art has always been a huge part of my life.
gJg: Where did your interest in tattooing begin?
I grew up in a very conservative family where tattoos were sort of taboo and something that was untouchable. I think because of that, it made me want to understand it more.
During high school and college, I would often design tattoos for other people. To me, tattooing is art on the ultimate canvas: the skin. I think that’s very cool!
gJg: What’s one thing everyone needs to know about getting tattoos?
JG: Be knowledgeable. My first tattoo was a butterfly on my upper back that I got right after high school. Unfortunately, it was done poorly and I ended up covering it up.
Most people between the ages of 18-21 usually either hate their first tattoo or end up covering it, so it’s really important to understand what makes a good tattoo and the health and safety aspects of getting one.
gJg: Which of your tattoos is your favorite?
JG: I really don’t have a personal favorite; all of them mean something to me. I have some that represent my daughter that are very special and the very first tattoo I ever did was on myself, so that has importance as well.
gJg: When is your official grand opening?
JG: We are open for business right now but we’re having our huge grand opening the week of Aug 11th. That’s where we’ll have the ribbon-cutting, balloons and prizes. I will be tattooing two radio DJs live on-air during the Grand Opening week: one from Jamz 96.3 and the other from our local country radio station, 104.9 The Cat.
I also happen to turn thirty on August 12th, so it’s perfect timing.
I figure, if I’m going to do thirty, what better way than by opening a tattoo shop?
For information on Ms Dixies Tattoo Pin-Up Parlour Click Here
Article first published as Jessica Gahring Is Making Her Mark on Technorati.