Many locals probably thought Stone Mountain Village wasn't trendy enough to have its own body art studio.
With that being said, those same locals probably raised their brows when the 980 Main Street space was lit and open in November, advertising for that same type of art.
Sisters Candi and Trinity DaNae Sparrow head one of the Village's latest additions, Trinity Studios, a Christian-based business specializing in tattoos and piercings. This week, the tatted-up gals talk with Patch on how their mom inspired them to get into the industry and Toys for Tats.
Patch: So on your Facebook page, it says you're the first minority-owned tattoo studio in the Village. How does that feel?
Candi Sparrow: Personally, I think it's pretty awesome. It always feels good to be the first to do something, and the fact that it's me and my sister, and we're women, I think it's just totally cool to have something like this in the Village or just anywhere, period.
Trinity DaNae Sparrow: It feels great. It's different because everyone is shocked when they come in. They say, "OK, so where are the artists?" And we're like, "Right here." We've always dealt with that, though. It's not too different, it's just the pleasure of having the opportunity and ability to have our own business. We have a lot of great support.
Patch: Was that the kind of thing that drew you guys in the Village?
Candi: Well, we do like the Village. We like the community aspect of it. It feels like very homey, like family. Our church is right down the street, so we drive down here all the time. We got a little familiar with the area, and we just ended up liking it, so that's the reason why we chose down here.
Patch: How did you first get into the tattoo and piercing business?
Candi: Surprisingly, our mother. She was in a motorcycle club, and one of the members of the club was a tattoo artist. I was living in California at the time, and my sister was still here, so he got her into it. I moved back here and I got into it, and it just grew from there.
Patch: Do you have any pointers or tips for someone who's never gotten a tattoo or piercing before?
Trinity DaNae: Definitely seek out a qualified artist, and someone who knows not just the art side of it but also the medical side of it. The protection of preventing cross-contamination. Make sure they're licensed, because there are a lot of people now that do it out of their homes. They may be great artists, but they may not know how to prevent you from getting a disease. I would also go and meet the artist to see if they connect with you for what you want to get. Anyone can get a tattoo off the wall and duplicate it. But if you want something a bit more personal or customized, you want to see if they can connect with your vision.
Candi: The biggest thing is make sure it's something that you know that you want to have for the rest of your life as far as a tattoo. Don't make any quick decisions, don't make any names of boyfriends and girlfriends, because I'd say around 98 percent always end up getting it covered up. So, you just want to put some thought into it.
Don't think about it hurting, because that's the last thing you want to think about. Think about where you want it to be on your body, and what you want to live with and look at for the rest of your life.
Patch: Really? Pain is something at the top of my list of why I still don't have a tattoo.
Candi: I always say pain is only temporary and a mental thing. It's very quick. Tattoos last forever. Someone that's like, "Oh, I'm going to get something on my wrist because it's not going to hurt and it's going to be really tiny," will go back later and say, "Oh, that didn't really hurt too bad, but man, I really hate this tattoo."
Patch: Do you have a favorite tattoo/piercing style?
Candi: Personally, for tattoos, I like tribal, and the black and gray shading where you can bring stuff to look realistic. That's really cool.
Trinity DaNae: I'm leaning more towards realism. Our other artist likes realism, as well. ... I love giving tattoos that have meaning, too. Not just, "You know what? I want that creepy-looking heart because it's just creepy-looking." I like doing tattoos that have meaning behind it, because then it helps me to help you, I think, express what you want to express with the tattoo.
Patch: And you have a charity event this Friday called Toys for Tats. Where did the idea come from?
Candi: Well, we're really into giving back to the community. It's not just about money. It's about teaching people and making sure they know what's going on in their community. Our church is doing Toys for Tots, so we were like, "OK, we want to be a part of that. We'll bring the community in for that so they can see it's not just a tattoo studio. It's something different."
At the event, you can bring a toy and get 20 percent off a tattoo or piercing. It should be an incentive to bring in any toy! And we're trying to get the art studios from across the street to get some of their art in here to sell. We're gonna have food. We're gonna have music. It's not just somewhere where you have to come to get a tattoo, but somewhere to come and hang out and just have a little camaraderie.