Windspeaker Radio speaks with Bobbi-Jo Matheson, a Cree entrepreneur and experienced tattoo artist in Grande Prairie, Alta. She is the owner/operator of CREE8IV Ink Body Studio and has a background in management.
10024 100 Ave., Grande Prairie, AB
Bobbi-Jo Matheson began her tattooing business in her house, but she was becoming a little tired of inviting strangers into her home, so she concluded it was time to set up shop some place else.
But it wasn’t easy. She had a full-time job at the time, so she was making her way as a tattoo artist in her spare time.
When she went to rent office space for herself in Grande Prairie, many places wouldn’t rent to a tattoo artist.
“So it was either go big or go home, and I didn’t want to go back home, so I sat down with my family and discussed actually starting a tattoo shop.” Funding wasn’t available, so she pinched pennies, working long hours for a long time.
And with the help of her family, Matheson opened CREE8IV Ink Body Studio in 2015. It’s now become a popular tattoo studio and training school, in which she offers tattooing programs. The current enrollment capacity is four students per morning classes, and four in the evening.
The courses talk about the history and various styles of tattoos, infection control, Alberta health services, and provides art instruction. There is also a business component to the instruction.
She works with as many industry professionals as she can, and really concentrates on the health and safety aspect of that industry.
And she offers students ongoing mentorship after they complete their courses successfully.
She said being a business owner requires a thick skin and perseverance. She runs a tight ship—being professional and maintaining a clean environment.
CREE8IV Ink Body Studio has a front end reception and it’s easy and convenient to make appointments.