ANTIGONISH, N.S. - How time flies.
Local artist Emily Kane will be celebrating the first anniversary of her Folklore Tattoo business, which is located above Myers Tea Room on Main Street in Antigonish, July 27 and 28.
Kane, whose large Town of Antigonish sponsored mural hangs prominently on the other side of Main Street, said she was very pleased with her first year in business.
“My clientele, which I thought would be mainly students, really hasn’t been; the demographics have been really broad,” Kane said. “A lot of working artists, a lot of professionals and, yes, the [St. F.X.] student body has been supportive and are amazing.
“But people older than me, younger than me, the community has responded really well.”
Kane’s success reached the Nova Scotia Legislature as Folklore Tattoo was mentioned on the floor as a small business success story in northeastern Nova Scotia. Kane said she first heard about the mention when she received a certificate, with the dialogue used, in the mail.
“Pretty flattered and happy,” she said of the verbal recognition.
“Apparently someone had made mention of a new small business in Antigonish, I believe it was our MLA [Randy Delorey]. I had no idea but received this in the mail; I felt pretty happy about it because it was my first year.”
In talking about promotion for the business, Kane said word-of-mouth and Instagram has been her best “tools.”
“I have people coming in saying their friend had a great experience and this type of thing. It’s really rewarding to hear people say they felt good about the experience,” she said.
“And you really get a feel for someone’s body of work on Instagram. You see their style. A lot of custom artists are specializing down to what they’re good at, and people really respond when they see skill.”
Kane also emphasizes a “safe space” atmosphere for her clients.
“You begin with the art and then the environment is really important,” she said. “Creating safe spaces for clients, which hasn’t really been offer before in the industry, is super important.
“I think when people have really positive experiences with tattooing, they expect more, so it makes the industry stronger.”
To celebrate the business’ first year, Kane is putting on an event Friday and Saturday [July 27 and 28], she is calling Flash Weekend.
“When a custom/appointment based tattooist offers walk-ins of fun, small, pre-made tattoos,” Kane said, offering a tag-line for the event.
Kane will extend her hours on the days and have the walk-ins take a number. She’ll have the selections of her personal designs available for customers to check out and choose. She said she’ll add those to her Instagram account in advance of Flash Weekend.