Down the years, tattoos have served to ward off evil, keep the gods happy, advertise tribal membership, generally show off — and occasionally as a form of punishment. Throw in the biker’s declaration of love for his mother, and that list basically holds true today.

Similarly, the options for bodily adornment haven’t changed that much either: what we wear, the cut of our hair, jewelry, and — boldest of all — marking our skin. But that’s something the best eyecare providers understand intuitively; tapping that ancient human need to express oneself is a great way to ease customers into the eyewear they need. 

In that spirit, we asked a few readers to share the stories of their tattoos: why they got them and — more importantly from our perspective — what their customers think of them.


Erik Lawrence

What is the story behind your optical tattoo?

This office is my life, it’s more than just my work, more than my second home … this place is everything to me. This place is my passion in every way possible. I’ve slept here, my kids have slept here, it will forever be a part of me in more than one way. The least I could do was get it tattooed on me.

How many tattoos do you have?

7 or 8. One of them wraps around my arm and connects to another, so I’m not sure if that’s 1, 2 or 3! 

How long have you been in the optical industry?

18 years.

Do you have an optical related tattoo?

Yes, I have the logo for Roadrunner Eyecare on my inner wrist, so does my wife.  

What is your favorite tattoo?

My favorites are the ones on my inner forearms, one for each of my kids. A monkey prince holding a football for my son, and a bear princess wearing a tutu for my daughter. They are my world, and they love those two tattoos. They show them off to their friends and ask, “Does your dad have you tattooed on him?” Next, would be my wedding ring tattoo — three lines showing my past, present and future with my beautiful wife. Luckily, she has that one as well.

Do you have any fun customer/patient stories regarding your tattoos?

I was worried about my visible tattoos offending customers, but in reality, they love them. It helps that my visible ones are for my kids, and the office, so it takes the edge off. More conversations have started because of my tattoos than I would have thought. I haven’t had a single negative situation come up from them. We’ve had a few patients take their shirts off to show off theirs as well; they can create some interesting situations. I wouldn’t hesitate to get full sleeves, and have them visible here at work.  Why not show people who I am instead of hiding that from them? What else could I be hiding?

Future plans?

I have plans for many more, including some more optical related ones. I just need to find the right inspiration. I know I will.

 


 

Nancy Revis

What is the story behind your optical tattoo?

I have always loved peacock feathers. My husband and I eloped eight years ago and I wore a peacock feather in my hair. That actual feather is in a vase in my shop. I have random peacock feather bouquets around the shop. Since I always usually wear cat eye shaped glasses, I thought it would be cool to shape two peacock feathers into the shape of a vintage cat eye. My tattoo artist and I worked together on the design and it turned out perfect. When he was finished with my tattoo, I stood up, looked at it and cried. It signifies so much for me. My life — work and love. 

How many tattoos do you have?

I have only one but it is kind of large.

How long have you been in the optical industry?

25 years or so ... 

Do you have an optical related tattoo?

Yes. 

Future ink plans?

Yes ... the other arm at some point. Currently working on the artwork for that.  It’s in my head for now. I understand the desire for more though. I loved the experience. The creation. The culture.

Do you have any fun customer/patient stories regarding your tattoos? 

Not yet. It’s still pretty new and mostly under a sleeve. My tattoo seems to pop one eye out for a look here and there. 

 


 

Heather Harrington

What is the story behind your tattoo?

Yin and Yang, the sign means so much. It describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, which allows you to see a great perspective on almost everything. The “S” design shows how they curve together in relation to good and bad rising together to be one. The ideal is the beautiful balance. They are not completely black or white, just as things in life are not completely black or white, and they cannot exist without each other. My tattoo means everything to me.

How many tattoos do you have?

One.

How long have you been in the optical industry?

Three years.

Do you have an optical related tattoo?

Not yet! But definitely will!

Future ink plans?

An optical-related vintage looking frame for sure!

Do you have any fun customer/patient stories regarding your tattoos?

No, but I get compliments all the time! I love it. I love that people accept me for who I am and that my bosses allow me to do so.

 


 

Lorelei Morris

What are the stories behind your tattoos?

My first tattoo was at the age of 18. My earlier ones don’t really hold much meaning. As I’ve aged, each one has a story. My left arm is a dedication​ to my favorite books and authors, eventually it will be completely sleeved. 

How many tattoos do you have?

13 

How long have you been in the optical industry?

9 years.

What is your favorite tattoo?

My favorite tattoo is on my right wrist. I combined the first two letters of my children’s names to create one word — Midali (Mikal, Dasia and Lilith). My kids are my reason for everything. #singlemom

Future ink plans?

I plan on getting a Game of Thrones piece done on my back after I get my left arm finished.

Do you have any fun customer/patient stories regarding your tattoos?

Most of them stay covered, but on occasion I will hear “Oh my gosh, is that the Lorax?” He peeks out of my lab coat on my left wrist.

 


 

Joselle Stumph

How many tattoos do you have?

At this point I am not sure there is a number ... A lot sounds about right.

How long have you been in the optical industry?

Over 15 years.

Do you have an optical related tattoo?

Yes, I have an old military pair of frames on my wrist. 

What is the story behind your optical tattoo?

I went to Portland a few years ago and visited my favorite rep (Shelley with Prodesign) and we went out and got glasses tattoos together!

Future ink plans?

I am now working on my left arm with birds and girly things. I recently got tiny portraits of my cats on my hands and I really love them.

Do you have any fun customer/patient stories regarding your tattoos?

I don’t have an easy name to pronounce or remember so I think it’s funny that patients will call and ask for the “Tattooed One.”

What is your favorite tattoo?

I really love all of mine. The one that I think is the most amazing, just because of all the time that went into it, is the sleeve on my right arm. It is the whole story of The Wizard of Oz. It has been my favorite movie since I was a small child. I still look at it and can’t believe what a beautiful job he did.

 

 

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