I really wanted a tattoo as a teenager. So, on my 18th birthday, unbeknownst to our parents, I dragged my older sister with me to get one. The parlour I researched was closed on the day we went, so I ended up at a different, very sketchy place. Now, some decades later, I look back and consider myself lucky not to have contracted an infection. Today, I have what appears to be a mottled, forest green blob on my right love handle that once resembled a Native American bear claw. What in the ’90s was generally referred to as a “tramp stamp.”
My parents eventually found out, of course, and insisted that more tattoos would limit my career options and made me promise not to get any more ... so at 21, I got my tongue pierced instead.
Luckily, I didn’t pick a line of work where tattoos (or a tongue piercing) were a career-ender ... and my tattoos (yes, I did get more) are hidden under that snazzy striped jacket.
I love tattoos. I love the artistry, the personal expression, the stories they tell about the artist and the wearer. But other tattoo lovers aren’t always as fortunate as me and the appropriateness of tattoos is still highly debated in our industry. So, in this issue’s Special Feature on tattoos, I thought we’d highlight a few of our highly-accomplished peers who love ink just as much, if not more, than I do. No, tattoos aren’t for everyone. They are a personal decision — just like the sort of business you want to run, the customers you want to attract, and the community you choose to become a part of — but they do take time, commitment and a vision. Things I think we can all agree are necessary to run a successful independent eyecare practice.
Speaking of which, 2016 produced a particularly strong crop of America’s Finest Optical Retail winners and in this issue, we profile our last 2016 Honorable Mention here before unveiling the 2017 winners next month. I know a lot of you are looking forward to that and you’ll be impressed with our top three winners.
Until then, enjoy the laugh-out-loud and sometimes cringeworthy True Tales in this issue and find new appreciation for those uneventful days at the office.
Best wishes for your business,