Get inked at this female-run tattoo parlor
Story by Caleb Foster • Photo by Christian Lindgren
Dirty, loud, bearded tattoo artists lurk behind smoke clouds of the less-than-sanitary shops we have heard horror stories of. However, Lucky Cat Studio stands as the antithesis to the stereotypes associated with tattoo shops and artists.
Lucky Cat Studio is tucked away next to the picturesque Benton Park in St. Louis, located in a conservative red-brick building that does not immediately scream “tattoo shop.” The interior is more akin to a hip Grandma’s house with the colorful art, designs and small statues that blanket the lobby. If this doesn’t sound like your normal tattoo shop, get ready for the real curveball—Lucky Cat is absolutely spotless. The ladies of Lucky Cat pride themselves on the professionalism, creativity, cleanliness and comfort they provide their clients.
Lucky Cat primarily serves people who have never been into a tattoo shop before, particularly middle-aged women. Many of their projects are reconstructive tattooing, such as working with scar tissue like those left behind by mastectomy procedures. The studio offers private areas to protect the dignity of those seeking greater discretion.
Lucky Cat has an all-female staff, which instantly sets them apart from the rest of the crowd in St. Louis. Owner Amanda Pepper says she set out to create an atmosphere where women could feel safe, comfortable and creative, as opposed to the environment of the typical male-dominated tattoo shops. The studio has an almost palpable camaraderie; the three artists were longtime friends before opening the shop together. Lucky Cat employs an unusual business model: they do not advertise, but instead use word-of-mouth to find clients.
“We like that we tattoo the friends-of-friends,” Pepper says.
And it’s working, as Lucky Cat has a two-and-a-half month wait before the next available appointment. To get inked there, you should first check out the artists’ portfolios on happyluckycat.com, then email the artist of your choice to make an appointment for a consultation. There, you will speak to your artist for about 30 minutes to discuss what design you would like, prices and times.
If you’re looking for a clean, friendly and skilled tattoo studio to get your body art, your search ends with Lucky Cat.