If you've been reading the blog for very long, you probably have noticed that both Elsie and I have tattoos. So alternative! (He he)
But, in all seriousness, sometimes folks will ask me about my tattoos. What do they mean? When did I get them? Do I regret them? Will I get more? First, let me show you my tattoos. Spoiler, I really only have two (sort of three depending on how you look at it).
These are my first tattoos. I got them at the same time, so I think of them as one tattoo, but I guess it's technically two. I got these right around my 22nd birthday. I had just moved to LA to pursue acting, and I had recently gone through a pretty heartbreaking (for me) breakup.
I remember I actually wanted to get these done in white ink, but the tattoo artist said that would look really bad (honest much?!). So, he talked me into black. I figured, he does this all the time, so he probably knows if white ink would look bad for this particular tattoo. Whatever.
So, what is the deep meaning behind the words "Love Love" on my wrists? It's my dog's name. Yep. I have my pug's name tattooed on my wrists. Obviously, it's sort of open-ended too. I mean, if my dog's name had been Mr. Sparkles, I probably would not have tattooed his name on my wrists. :)
Sometimes people ask about the font. It's not a font, it's my sister's handwriting. I actually took it off her Myspace page because I didn't want to bother her with writing it for me.
Do I regret these? Nope. I think I like them even more today than when I got them. (Is that disappointing? Would it be more interesting if I hated them now?)
And here is my other tattoo. It's quite a bit larger and way more colorful. It is (obviously) an electric hand mixer with the words "Red Velvet" on a banner across the whole thing. I got this one around my 25th birthday when SO much about my life had already changed! I had moved home (feeling like a real failure at first) to work with Elsie in her vintage shop and later here on the blog. I also started a small catering business that stocked our vintage shop with cupcakes, and I catered weddings on the weekends.
I had a feeling cooking was going to be a life-long passion, whether it was part of my day job or not. And "Red Velvet" was the name of our vintage shop at the time. It's actually still the name of our business. You likely think of us as "A Beautiful Mess" since that's the name of our blog, but our business's name is actually "Red Velvet Art LLC." Which, I sort of like that this part of our name turned out to be not as well known… makes my tattoo feel a little more like a secret. But for me, finding a new dream alongside my sister changed my life! It taught me more about who I am, what I'm good at, and what I love. I am much more confident than I used to be because of our business. So, no matter where life will take us from here, I don't think I'll ever regret this tattoo because it reminds me so much of all these things and that time in my life. Plus I think it's pretty. 🙂
My brother, Doren, and I were talking about our tattoos last week. He has a lot more than me and they're all SO cool. He has plans to get more in the near future, and he asked if I was thinking about getting more. I told him that I had been thinking about writing this post and it had made me reflect on both my tattoos, which I hadn't really done in a while. Truthfully, it's easy to forget about them once you're used to seeing them.
I told him, one thing I had realized that I hadn't really noticed before, was that I chose to get both of my tattoos during a time of big transition and, frankly, heart break in my life. Which is probably the WORST time to decide to get a tattoo! But, that's what I did. So, I am always thinking about getting another one (off and on), but part of me thinks that until I go through another time of transition in life, I may not.
Thanks for letting me share a little about my tattoos with you. If tattoos totally aren't your thing, I hope you skipped over this one! They certainly aren't for everyone, but these are mine and my story about them. 🙂 xo. Emma
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
I loved this post. My tattoos were all at times of transition too 🙂
Really liked this post…I have been contemplating my first tattoo as I am about to have a big transition in life. I am originally from Melbourne, but have lived in Bali, Indonesia for 2 years. I started my own business here and have been making lots of beautiful, creative things. My signature being bright felt & yarn dreamcatchers. I am leaving Bali soon (off to NZ for a mountain life with my lovely family) and think my parting gift (to myself) will be a dreamcatcher tattoo with the words “Mimpi indah” Sweet Dreams in Indonesian…Anyway, thanks for sharing xx
I love this post! I do not have any tattoos of my own, but I have always been a big fan of them on other people/ in general. When I saw the “Love Love” tattoos, I actually thought that it was meant to be similar to a tennis score meaning “zero zero” at the start of the game! Kind of like an clean slate or a fresh start! Obviously, I was reading too much into it haha, but its kind of interesting that it could be interpreted like that too 🙂
Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!
Have you ever noticed your “love” one upside down almost looks like “Trey”? Kind of neat 🙂
I got my first-ever tattoo last week and I absolutely love it. It’s of a swallow – the same placement as your gorgeous hand mixer tattoo – and signifies love and companionship to me.
I had been a bit scared about whether or not I’d barf or faint during the tattooing process – I did neither, phew! – and it didn’t hurt at all really, turned out to be a really fun experience. I will almost certainly get more and am confident that they will remind me of times in my life as I journey through it.
Loved reading about your tattoos – they’re great and Elsie’s too.
I got my tattoos after periods of unpleasant transition as well. Strange as it sounds, I feel like they all serve to commemorate where I was and the strength it took to get past those times. I was 17, 19, and I think 24? I’m 37 now and have a desire for one more tattoo – something to permanently record my children on my skin, just not sure what. I feel like those first three were marks of my youth (not that I’m old, but you get the idea) and a new one marks adult life.
i love the colors in your red velvet one!
thanks emma for this post
I love this post, and you !!! I also have two tatoos, the border of Africa and the constellation of Orion, but I want somenthing so coloured like your electric hand mixer (so adorable) … I hope Elsie too makes a post about her tatoos; kisses from Italy. 🙂
Loved this post and love your tattoos! I’ve put lots of thought into a tattoo for many years now, the only thing stopping me is where on my body will it go? I’ve decided on a small and simple pine tree- to remind me of the forest I love so much where my husband’s family has a cabin. We also just recently moved to Colorado so now the pine tree would have a double meaning.
I am not one for getting tattoos, but I LOVE seeing and hearing about other people’s tattoos, and the significance of them! Thanks for sharing!
Beautiful tattoos Emma! My first tattoo was spur of the moment and during a period of heartbreak… and it’s the WORST, though luckily pretty small and generally out of sight. But I definitely put more thought into planning the others lol.
PS. I always saw your wrist tattoo upside down and honestly thought it said ‘Trey’. It’s actually so cute how that worked out 🙂
I’ve always wanted to see all of you and Elise’s tattoos. Thank you! Your turn now Elise. 😉
Your tattoos are beautiful, thanks for sharing!
I love how you have the mixer and how Elsie has the spools of thread! Brilliant tattoos!
Totally in love <3 All your blog it’s so cool. I’m brazilian and your blog it’s only blog in english i’m follow.
Love your tattoos! I got my first one at the end of my first year of college redux (at age 54), and my second one during my last semester. I love them still, and plan to get more. But like yours, mine are special, and meaningful, so I’m waiting for the right time. Thanks for sharing!
I LOVE this post! I would love to read the stories of the tattoos of the whole ABM team! 🙂
Oo, I like it. xa
Every tattoo should have a story. I love your story about how and why you got your tattoos. My daughter has two and they are lovely — especially the story behind them. My husband has a couple too and again, he has a story and purpose for each. They are wonderful daily reminders of dreams, goals, and life.