Prestige Body Arts in Indianapolis, IN, has made itself known as a force to be reckoned with. At barely one year old, they’re not settling for mediocrity. Already one of the top five shops in the city and top twenty in the state, the combination of owners Jason Dempsey and Jim “Gypsy” Finuf is an artful balance, tipping them quickly toward front runner.
Jason, not an artist, has ample success in marketing and sales. Gypsy has tattooing his blood, but was missing the business side. Their kids began dating, they became friends. Then Gypsy knew someone who had a shop and was selling out. He told Jason, asking him if he was interested. “I said to Jason, ‘I got this thing covered. I know this, but I need some help on this end of the spectrum,’” said Gypsy. Jason was in. “So,” said Gypsy, “here we are.”
At the Indy 500 in May, they were inside the gates – and the first shop to break that barrier. The shop is less than a mile from the track. “We were doing airbrush tattoos and henna tattoos, and our girls were in the dunk tank,” said Gypsy. All the money went to the shop charity, Wish for Heroes. “We’ll be there for the NASCAR Brickyard in July and are going to make the girls some Prestige Body Arts bikinis.” It isn’t stopping there. Said Jason, “I’ve got really, really big ideas for things that I want to do that other studios don’t do.”
It’s no surprise, then, that they’re the first Tatt2Away center not only in Indianapolis, but in the state. One of their artists knew of it from his previous shop in Springfield, IL, a shop unable to obtain the Tatt2Away system because the Springfield market was claimed by another shop. “We get a lot of messes,” said Jason. “We tell them we can make it the state of Indiana; we can make it the state of Texas, or we can make it the continent of Africa, but that’s about it. They’re not putting a 3D lion in the middle of their big, black blob.”
The two had been begun contemplating ways to offer tattoo removal, but there were complications in providing laser. Additionally, neither Jason nor Gypsy wished to involve themselves with it. “With Tatt2Away, we’re able to provide a new service that’s not here at all and is an alternative to laser,” said Jason. “It’s also going to help us get rid of some of these things that we can’t cover up.” To both Jason and Gypsy, most important is being able to offer an all-natural service. “It’s much less harmful to the body, and it gives people another option for removal,” said Jason.
Neither has been lasered, but both are knowledgeable about it. Jason has a medical background from prior to Prestige Body Arts. Gypsy makes it a habit to educate himself on anything relevant to tattooing and his clients. Both know the effects. “They come in, and want something done with it. But it’s a burn. It’s got texture,” said Gypsy. “It’s all scarred. It doesn’t matter what I cover that with. I could cover that with a black box, but when the sun hits it just right, it’s braille. You’re going to see it.”
His experience with laser is that the outcome is proportionate to the investment. “Unless it’s done by someone who really, really, really knows what they’re doing, it’s generally a bad outcome, “said Gypsy. “The only way to find someone like that is to spend a lot of money.” A lot of money for a lot of sessions, he said. “You’re going to have to do it in so many light sessions just to do it correctly so that it doesn’t cause that scarring and that tissue damage, that by the time you remove your ex-girlfriend’s name, you’ve spent $3,000.” He notes cheaper options abound. “If it only cost you $500, then there’s probably a lot of scar tissue, skin discoloration, and probably some texture issues because of burn marks, because they did it too fast.” Or as he paraphrases, “They had it set up high to bump that apart as quick as possible, but that in turn did a lot of damage to your body, too.“
Gypsy is also savvy about pigments and the lack of regulation, and what that means for some people who choose laser removal. He uses World Famous Ink with the MSDS readily accessible. “I do a lot of studying before I put something into my clients,” he said, adding that people’s bad reactions to pigments are because some have crushed plastics or metals in them. “And by God these things may be okay in the layer of skin that you put a tattoo in, but a laser disperses it below that layer and makes the body absorb whatever that pigment was created with. And that’s going to cause problems.”
He likes Tatt2Away not because he can’t do coverups, but because he can. “I can cover up anything. Anything. There’s nothing I can’t cover up. But the good thing about the Tatt2Away is it’s not for me. It’s for the clients. It gives the clients more options. I can cover up anything, but Tatt2Away gives more options for what will work. We want to give them the best we can.”
Prestige Body Arts of Indianapolis, Indiana is now scheduling Tatt2Away consultations in their studio. New art, coverups, and tattoo removal all under one roof!
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