Lady Lo’s Custom Tattoos

Photo by Joel Upshall

Sylvia Plath said that “you should wear your heart on your skin in this life.”

If that’s the case, Laura Casey’s heart pumps tattoo ink.

Casey, who returned to the province three months ago after years in Ontario and the Okanagan, has just opened Lady Lo’s Custom Tattoos (267 Duckworth Street), an independent tattoo shop and studio space.

In this case, “independent” means Casey is the only employee, running the show solo.

“I’m the operator, secretary, cleaner. Just me,” laughs Casey. “That’s all I can mentally handle right now.”

Casey has always been interested in tattooing, and actually tried to get an apprenticeship back when she was just 17. “Which was a tad young,” she laughs, “considering I couldn’t even get a tattoo without parental consent at the time.”

Years later she eventually did get her internship at Art Therapy tattoo studio in BC, and she’s been working as an artist for seven years now.

The idea of her own tattoo shop was a recent inspiration, one that struck Casey while she was dropping off resumes for waitressing gigs. The old Conservation Corps building, out of use for the past several years, provided the ground for the idea to grow. When she and her husband saw the location was available, they saw the possibility.

Freshly renovated, the space matches the creative, fun vibe of Casey’s work.

“There’s a good humour about it. Easy going.” says Casey. “It’s a mellow atmosphere, but clinical. Clean, not cluttery.”

Along with Casey’s workroom, the space includes a large common area, and two rooms that will soon be available for additional artists, including possibly those that use more traditional canvases

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