I have a tattoo on my leg that makes me want to cut a hole in the calf-part of all my jeans so that everyone can see it. It’s totally amazing, hurt like hell on hell, and was done last summer by the awe-inspiring and talented Brian Wilson of Scapegoat Tattoo in Portland.
Last week, during my Portland extravaganza, I talked to Brian all about owning a vegan business, within a vegan mini-mall, but in a non-vegan world. Brian had some interesting insights about how anyone can make their business a vegan one, and the reward can be beyond just financial:
I think that it’s really essential for people who are vegan and have non-food and non-clothing businesses to start “veganizing” what they do. As a the owner of a tattoo shop, I know what may or may not have animal products in it. The lucky part for me is that most of these things are food-like ingredients. But say, an art supplier […] will obviously know that quite a lot of brushes are made of animal hair, i.e. fur. There are a lot of synthetics out there, but, come to find out, some labeled synthetics actually contain some fur! I only found this out when looking into wholesale art supplies. […] I guess what I’m saying, is that anyone who is vegan and a business owner can become a vegan business owner. The more there are, the more aware everyone becomes. And that is where the best part comes into play. Sure, I get a lot, probably 75% of my customers are vegan. So, that leaves me with 25% that aren’t. And, as time goes on and the shop’s reputation as a good tattoo shop brings in more non-vegans, these people are exposed to the idea that there is more to this “vegan thing” than just eating tofu and caring about animals. And, every now and again, someone asks questions and checks out the information around them and decides that it makes sense and they might give it a shot.
Brian also talked to me about the skinny on vegan ink. Take a look: