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Exploring Life & Business with Jordyn Tinney of Brick House Tattoo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordyn Tinney. 

Hi Jordyn, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
People always ask me how I knew I wanted to become a tattoo artist and how I started. Sometimes I struggle answering that question because, truthfully, I always knew. My love for tattoos and the craft has been there since day one, almost like it was instilled in me. We’ll just say it was fate. 

After forcefully going to college for a year and hating it (just like I knew I would), I dropped out and needed a backup plan. It was then when my long-time best friend, Haley, persuaded me to chase my dream of being a tattoo artist. I didn’t think it was feasible, but I had nothing left to lose, so I did exactly that. I worked really hard making a portfolio of artwork for a few weeks, took it into a tattoo shop, and hoped for the best. Everything worked out in my favor, and I ended up getting a tattoo apprenticeship that same day in December of 2016, at the age of 19. I remained in the apprenticeship for about two years before graduating and finally earning the title I had always dreamed of- “tattoo artist.” Although I couldn’t have been happier, I’m constantly after bigger and better things. The ultimate end goal for me was always to own my own tattoo shop. 

Fast forward four years later to August of 2020, and I now own Brick House Tattoo & Co., Toledo, Ohio’s first and only female-owned and operated tattoo and beauty shop. 

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my friends and loved ones. Thank you, Haley, for always believing in me, and also a huge shout out to psychic medium Sara Costx for telling me to open my tattoo shop way sooner in life than expected. Brick House is the culmination of blood, sweat, tears…and a very intense, very accurate psychic reading. If you want to hear your life unfold in the craziest, most precise way, you can book a reading with Sara here: 

If you’d like to hear the details of the reading that built Brick House, you can watch this quick video: 

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I actually laughed out loud when I saw this question. It’s been a smooth road, maybe, if you’re driving a Lamborghini into the sunset…however, this road has been an Ohio back road filled with mile-deep potholes and endless construction while driving a beat-up sedan with a flat tire in the middle of a snow storm. 

Not literally, but that’s the best way to describe it. 

There’s been more battles along the way than I can count. When I decided I wanted to pursue tattooing, I was met with a lot of resistance from family. Obviously, your family wants the best for you, and I’m sure it can be scary to see someone you love ditching the societal norms of going to college and getting a stable job to maybe, or maybe not, become a tattoo artist. At the time, tattoos weren’t as trendy as they are now either, so that didn’t help the way my family felt. 

After I secured the apprenticeship, things were hard. Typically, in a tattoo apprenticeship, one will work very long hours for no pay. I survived off money I had saved up from being a pizza delivery driver prior to the apprenticeship for nearly a year until I was allowed to start accepting money from clients. Even then, the tattoos were done for free, and the money was just however much the client felt like “tipping.” 

Another struggle was just the apprenticeship as a whole, aside from the whole being dirt broke thing. In the earlier years of tattoo artistry, apprenticeships were treated almost as a “hazing” opportunity. The apprentice would do normal shop duties, like keeping the shop clean, answering the phones, running shop errands, etc. which is to be expected from an apprenticeship; however, that’s when the hazing would come in. In order for an apprentice’s mentor to ensure their prodigy wanted the title of tattoo artist bad enough, they’d belittle their apprentices, call them derogatory names, humiliate them any chance they got, make them do unusual and unnecessary tasks, and see how far they could push the apprentice until they’d give up. I’d like to think that’s not as common in apprenticeships nowadays, but mine was very much like that. I’m pretty rough around the edges, so at the time, it didn’t get to me too much, but looking back on the experience, it definitely impacted me negatively mentally, and I’m still struggling unlearning that toxic mindset and some of the negative ideas that were pushed on me to this day. If any readers are hoping to become a tattoo artist one day, please understand when a line needs to be drawn. 

In addition to the struggles already mentioned, another huge one for me was the lack of knowledge regarding tattooing during my apprenticeship. My mentor was very absent when it came time for me to actually tattoo. I feel like I was never properly taught most of the skills I needed to do a basic tattoo, so I had to learn on my own through trial and error. Unfortunately, this led to me badly damaging many of my early clients’ skin. If you truly care about the craft, there’s nothing more mentally shattering than seeing pieces you’ve put so much time, effort, and love into, that were supposed to make someone feel more confident do the exact opposite. Having to repeatedly go through that process made me stronger in the end and definitely made me pay very close attention to my technique, but it was very taxing nevertheless. 

One of the final struggles that come to mind is opening a business during Covid. I’m not sure what kind of crazy I was (am) to make that decision, but I’m sure you can imagine how much harder Covid made everything. There are an unending list of requirements, inspections, and improvements one must meet to open a tattoo shop, and making some of those happen during Covid was nearly impossible. In the end, it all paid off. 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Brick House Tattoo & Co. is a mixed-use establishment combining my love for tattooing and beauty. Aside from tattoos, we offer services like permanent makeup, facials, waxing, anything you’d find in a typical salon atmosphere. 

I think there’s quite a few things that sets Brick House apart, one being the previously mentioned. It’s not common to find a tattoo shop and salon services operating cohesively under one roof. 

Another factor that makes Brick House a bit different is we are completely female-owned and operated. With the tattoo industry being primarily male-dominated, this trait is definitely one of our greatest points of attraction for male and female clients alike. 

Finally, the overall aesthetic and atmosphere is what really makes Brick House unique. When one hears the words “tattoo shop,” generally, the same ideas will come to mind about what a tattoo shop looks like. Even when thinking about what a salon entails, Brick House has changed the standard across the board. Walking through the doors of Brick House feels more like walking into home, or almost like an eccentric type of lounge that one has a hard time leaving. 

Known for our slogan, “Welcome Home,” there’s no better way to portray our essence as a whole than with that one simple phrase. Whether it’s hearing from our plethora of happy clientele, reading through our hundreds of five-star reviews, or experiencing Brick House personally, it’s impossible to deny that there’s not something special happening within these four walls that truly does give a sense of being at home. Regardless of age, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, race, etc., Brick House Tattoo & Co. will always strive to provide top-notch services in a safe, welcoming atmosphere to every single individual that walks through our doors. Everyone is welcome. 

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’m constantly taking risks and believe that everyone should in order to live the most fulfilling life. Imagine being on your deathbed and thinking about all of the dreams you could’ve accomplished but didn’t because of the fear of risk! 

Making the decision to pursue tattooing was a huge risk in itself. I moved an hour away from home to work as a tattoo apprentice, making zero dollars for about a year and surviving off of pizza delivery driver money that I had saved up for a year prior. My apprenticeship was full-time, so there was no time to work another job for additional income in between. There was also no guarantee that I would graduate my apprenticeship and become a tattoo artist. 

Opening up my own business was another huge risk. When opening up any business, there’s always going to be a wide variety of risks involved; trusting that the chosen location for the business is the most adequate location, hiring trustworthy employees, taking out any necessary loans to get the business off the ground and hoping that the business will be successful enough to pay back those loans, just to name a few. 

The worst thing that results from risk-taking is failure, and even failure itself teaches a lesson or just redirects you to where you need to be. I encourage everyone to chase their wildest dreams and take all of the risks; you never know where you might end up. 

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Rob Lorenzo

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