Who are you investing in?
I’m Shanzey Afzal. I’m a 26 year old tattoo artist who opened Ink Minx, a mobile tattoo studio for women! At a young age I fell in love with henna tattooing, a tradition from my Pakistani culture. In spite of the stigma against tattoos in conservative Muslim communities, I started a tattoo apprenticeship at 21, eventually becoming licensed in my own right.
I’ve always been a girl with big dreams. I bought a 1963 Shasta trailer and converted it into a modern tattoo studio, creating Ink Minx. I furnished it with a soft female touch, adding marble floors and pink highlights.
Ink Minx follows the Riot Grrl philosophy of “girls to the front,” tattooing only women and nonbinary customers. Ink Minx has grown exponentially in the past year, being featured in numerous publications including Inked Magazine, CNN, The Slutist, and the Huffington Post!
"So you don't tattoo men AT ALL?!" I take female customers as first priority. Men are welcome to schedule a consultation but an appointment is not guaranteed. (All men who pledge the reward for free tattoos will be honored, making this an EXCLUSIVE OPPURTUNITY FOR #HEFORSHE MEN TO BE TATTOOED AT INK MINX).
Women's only services are very common in my culture. In the US they are not only legal but proven to increase participation in industries.
So what's the reason for this Kickstarter?
The reason Ink Minx is mobile is to empower women across the country. Ink Minx is raising money to go on the first ever Tattoo Tour! Ink Minx will travel to ten cities up and down the East coast, from NYC to Miami. The tour begins November 23rd, 2018 and runs through Philadelphia, DC, Gainesville, Atlanta, New Orleans and more. The tour culminates December 9th, 2018 after a 4 day feature at Aqua Art Miami!
Aqua is a premier art festival featuring up and coming contemporary artists. Though there is usually a competitive application process, Ink Minx has teamed up with Shim and the owner's of Art Helix Gallery... and has already been accepted into the festival! Also, Shim has spoken to several women artist including myself who will encourage younger women to come to the fair, not only as viewers, but also as participants. I'm proud to say I'm already booking appointments!
The tour will be featured on several major media outlets and documenting each clients individuals stories! Each client will recieve a one of a kind photo of their tattoo after their session.
Ink Minx is coming out to the fine art world by being the FIRST thing seen at Aqua. Being at the forefront of this festival is the biggest way that Ink Minx can spread our message of feminine power.
The Ink Minx tattoo studio wants to serve as a hub for other powerful women. The tour will feature guest artists, and the exterior of the trailer will provide one lucky artist to come to Aqua with me by having the artist complete an original piece using the trailer itself. Ink Minx believes it's best to work collaboratively rather than competitively!
Where will the money go?
I have a business degree from Baruch College, where I took classes in accounting, marketing, business law, and art administration. You can trust me to use the funds wisely and with intention.
Where the money is going is simple:
*Insurance (through Allen Financial Group): $840
*Gas: $223.20 (as estimated through investopedia.com, round trip)
*Parking/Permits/Licenses: $900-$2500 (as estimated through roadslesstraveled.us)
*Single room Air BnB’s for one tattoo assistant and one tattoo artist: $1,920 (Average cost x 16 nights)
*Aqua Art Exhibition Cost: $1,500 (240 sq feet)
The true amount I'm trying to raise is $6,983, however I set a modest goal for I will BE making this happen.
Please keep in mind that you will not get charged and Ink Minx does not receive any money unless FULLY funded. NO amount is too small… a dollar donation goes a long way!
Ink Minx has been requested to go all over the country so why would we limit ourselves just to the East coast?! Should this campaign raise any extra funds I’ll add MORE cities to the tour - Dreaming of going all the way to the West Coast and culminating with game-changing spots at Coachella, Burning Man, and Lollapalooza, aka the biggest music festivals in the world.
Why do I care so much?
I’m a queer, first generation, American-Muslim woman living in post 9/11 society. Tattoos are one way I claim my ground, empower myself, and separate myself from anything holding me back. I’m fulfilled by being here to provide that service for other women.
I’ve observed female tattoo culture to be extremely personal. Unfortunately, the intimacy between the tattoo artist and customer is often lost in rough male-dominated spaces. As a female artist, I value the poetry of tattooing an experience into living skin. I am creating a safe space for women to tattoo their identities, telling skin-deep stories that transcend what meets the eye. By creating a tattoo experience specifically geared towards women, I create comfort and emotional poignancy for my clients.
Through Ink Minx, there is a space separate from the old boy’s club, focusing on female participation, emotional journeys, and artistic strength. My feminist tattoo revolution seeks to reclaim what has always belonged to the female experience, baring it unapologetically for the world to see.
This post was written in tandem with Malavika Kannan, creator of The Homegirl Project.
ART HELIX GALLERY - https://arthelix.com/
SHIM - @shimgrams http://www.shhhim.com/
HUFFINGTON POST- https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ink-minx-shanzey-afzal-tattoos_us_5a9e992fe4b0479c0256e7bc
HUFFINGTON POST- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67YwZi3QOBA
BROWN GIRL MAGAZINE- https://www.browngirlmagazine.com/2017/09/ink-minx-pakistani-woman-tattoo-artistry/
THE SLUTIST- http://slutist.com/ink-minx-shanzey-afzals-mobile-feminist-tattoo-studio/
HOMEGIRL PROJECT- https://thehomegirlproject.wixsite.com/homegirls/blog/interview-a-women-centric-tattoo-artist-in-her-own-words
INTERIORS AND SOURCES- https://www.interiorsandsources.com/news/design-news/news-detail/articleid/21971/title/ink-minx-the-traveling-tattoo-parlor
INKED MAG- http://www.inkedmag.com/g/how-she-transformed-a-1963-trailer-into-a-tattoo-parlor/2/
Risks and challenges
Unlikely risks and challenges include personal injury, acquiring parking permits, and damage to the studio. All of which I will do everything to avoid.
I've done this (crowdfunding) before and it didn't work, however the funds raised at that time allowed Ink Minx to get as far as it has! I've learned from that last campaign and this time I switched services, made my own video, and used a budget of ZERO dollars to launch the campaign.
Ink Minx is responsive and should you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns- please do not hesitate to reach out at email@example.com. Or just say hi! I'd love to hear from you.
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