Samantha Frederick is the owner of Depiction Tattoo.
Many people struggle figuring out what they want to do with their lives, or what kind of career they’d like to pursue. Some go their entire lives without figuring it out. Sometimes reality and dreams don’t coincide.
Samantha Frederick, 27, is proof that hard work and desire are the building blocks of a successful and happy life. Though she wasn’t dealt the best hand throughout her life, she is now a business owner and artist at Depiction Tattoo in Texas.
Frederick received her high school diploma this year. She was a young mother to her now 9-year-old son, Austin. She attended Ogle School to obtain her aesthetics license in order to practice medical skin treatments, specifically laser hair removal. Frederick also worked as a shift manager at Ann Taylor Loft. Following her time at Ogle School she took a course in permanent cosmetics, which got the ball rolling for tattooing.
Unfortunately her son’s father, Jason Randall Frederick, whom Frederick had been with for seven years, was killed. “Just before my son turned 2, his father was killed in a car accident on his way to work,” she recalled. After this, Frederick and her son moved in with her father and she began working three jobs to support them.
Even with her license in hand and the knowledge of permanent cosmetics and tattooing under her belt, Frederick’s struggles weren’t over. “At this time female [tattoo artists] were not very prevalent and no one was at all willing to let me work with them,” she recalled.
She had little business experience prior to this, but wanted to excel in everything she did. “If no one will help me, I will do it myself except it wasn’t completely solo,” she said. “When I attended Ogle I had thought if I was going to be working in a spa why wouldn’t I open my own? My mindset was the same when it came to tattooing.”
Frederick had attended a tattoo school in New York and met a man in Albany who became somewhat of a mentor to her. He was a better tattoo artist and helped her better her skills as an artist.
With the help and support from her father, friends and mentor, she made her way into the business industry, eventually obtaining her own studio. Though she had no prior business experience, she was able to get it up and running for approximately $75,000 within 12 months.
Frederick said, “I made all of the silliest, most expensive decisions. I didn’t really know what to do, I just figured it out.” She ended up moving to a bigger location after two years and spending another $20,000 to fully finish her startup. It is now going into its sixth year in operation and has acquired a team of six artists and one receptionist. She also has a helpful financial advisor and a CPA to help her make the right choices.
“Of course at first no one took my studio or I seriously and we are now one of the most sought after studios in the metroplex,” she said. “I will say I probably tattoo more females than males but I think it is because my work is more feminine. I do have a high demand of males wanting tattoos from me also.”
Her male artists agree that the barrier is mostly gone, especially in their studio. “I feel that Sam is an amazing tattoo artist and business owner, regardless of gender. Also, having her here as an artist has made a huge positive impact on the business because we are able to accommodate the clients that prefer a female approach,” John Clark praised, noting that the entire studio believes that as long as you can hold your own and tattoo well then there isn’t a problem.
Shannon Phillips is an intern at Lioness. She is a senior at Western New England University and is a Creative Writing major. The 20-year-old is also the Assistant Editor of her campus literary magazine and aspires to be a professional writer and author. She enjoys, horror movies, fiction writing and soap-making.