Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Snailberry Studios: New Tattoo Shop Leaves an Inked Mark

Snailberry Studios in Toledo, a new tattoo shop created by sisters Libbey June and Katelynn Mckenzie, welcomes clients interested in getting a tattoo to a cozy, safe space for those both novice and experienced with tattoos. 

Located at 3520 Heatherdowns Blvd., the studio is open by appointment only from Wednesday to Saturday between 11 am and 6 pm. Clients can book with either sister via their individual Instagram pages. 

Photo Cred. Snailberry Studios

Snailberry Studios was created to allow the sisters to branch out from the shop they worked at for two and a half years, Brick House Tattoo & Co. June described the journey as a pipe dream, but the sisters decided to take on the risk and open their own shop. “We both started tattooing three years ago and came together at Brick House Tattoo… We discovered that we had a similar dream of having our own studio, which had a special twist because we are sisters,” June said. “So last summer we just went for it, like we’ve been talking about, and started looking for properties. This one (on Heatherdowns) just fell in our laps and we thought ‘This is too good to be true.’”

Described as an atypical shop, decorated with earth tones and floral accents, the studio features a waiting area equipped with a coffee and tea bar and various snacks for clients to enjoy while they complete paperwork. With a heightened emphasis on the client experience, June lets customers request music and Mckenzie lets customers watch their favorite cartoons during a session, a reflection of the sisters’ individuality. 

Sisters but individual talents

The studio showcases each of the sister’s artistry and differing tattoo styles. June describes her style as typically dealing with more natural elements, from a range of botanical references, to create a design that satisfies clients.  “I gather reference photos; a lot of my work is botanical or nature based,” June said. “So, it’s nice that there are so many stock images of different flowers along with many resources online. Typically, the clients provide styles and the reference photos, or I’ll find photos of different flowers or botanical things and I’ll line those up. Then, I’ll use bits and pieces of each part to design an artistic piece for them.”

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Mckenzie describes her style and approach as slightly different. She enjoys designing tattoos based on cartoon characters. She typically asks clients for two to three reference photos and the specific style of tattoo they would like and then she makes adjustments from there. “With cartoons, it’s pretty straightforward; I look up the character sometimes and adjust their limbs and things like that to be reading a book or holding a fabric,” Mckenzie said. “As far as the neo-traditional, I like to find things that flow with the body really well. So, I always try to look for something a bit more niche as far as how they’re placed, and things like that.” 

Industry changes 

For new clients, both sisters suggested that they stay hydrated, eat and get plenty of sleep before their appointments. They also recommended that clients reach out and ask many questions about a particular tattoo or design they were interested in to ensure they are satisfied and aware of the process. 

June sees the tattoo industry as evolving as more clients want new styles of tattoos but the most welcomed change has been the rise of diversity in the artist pool.  “I’m just really, really grateful that there are so many women in the industry now;  we are so lucky. Even five years ago, it wasn’t like this. We are super grateful to the women before us who started businesses and laid the foundation to inspire us and to go through the hardships so that it has been a little bit easier for us. There are some really awesome hard-working women in the industry who had to pave the way in this male-dominated industry.”

To book with Libbey June or Katelynn Mckenzie, visit their Instagram pages: instagram.com/tatts.by.kat001 and instagram.com/tattoosbylibbey

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