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Rising Stars: Meet Lisa Doll

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Doll.

Hi Lisa, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I started body art tattooing in 2011 and then cosmetic tattooing in 2013. In 2014, I opened Rose Red Tattoo Studios in Ellicott City, MD. It has really grown over the years into one of the most successful studios in the state of Maryland! I run the business based on how the clients would want their environment to be. Clients want their artists to be professional, proficient, friendly, and comfortable to be around. They want to have privacy, and to feel that their artist and studio have their interests in mind. I check all those boxes and more with the way I have run the studio over the years. As time went on, the community came to know me not only as an artist but also my consistent ethics as a business owne. So to them, Rose Red means quality and professionalism regardless of the resident artists roster. They know I’m looking out for them. That’s what has set myself apart and my studio from others. Artists know that my studio is different as well. Rose Red Tattoo Studios is a company that gives tattoo and permanent makeup artists the opportunity and freedom to own their own business without the associated costs. The company operates a business model that allows the artists as independent professionals to manage their businesses and rent private rooms. I have built my studio into one of the most sought after places to work and receive a tattoo; it is known for its forward-thinking, professional artists, excellent client service, mentoring and quality work and I’m proud of that.

My personal brand has developed over the years as well. With over 10 years experience, I am now considered an industry leader, as well as a very sought after artist and cosmetic tattooer.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing has ever been a smooth road for me. It was difficult to get into tattooing in general, and I tried for over five years before I eventually received a military spouse grant to go to a trade school. It so happened that a tattoo school was listed! Though I learned so much in the school, the curriculum was very bare bones so my skills were limited. This meant I had to start at the bottom rung of seedy studios. It was not uncommon to be around illegal activity at times and was definitely not where I wanted to stay. I worked hard and put in my time to improve to move up and out, which is exactly what happened. I went through some intense moments but it only fueled my fire to hone my craft. When I knew it was time to open my own studio, I was immediately met with discrimination in places not wanting to rent to me because of tattooing. I persevered and threatened to lawyer up numerous times as I wanted my studio in a nice area and was not going to settle for anything less. This is partly why I strive to set myself apart from the negative culture and stereotypes that can be in tattooing. I am a tattoo artist who is a strong businesswomen, an educator, and a professional artist. I dislike that when I throw in the word “tattoo” that it seems to diminish and devalue what I do to some people. I would even go as far to say that my business endeavors have the ability to generate more income then most people’s corporate management salaries.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My work is known for my gemstones, opal and moonstone in particular, as well as my creative depictions of pop culture subjects. I embrace color, vibrancy, bespoke brows and bold cat-eye eyeliner.

I also recently opened my own tattoo and permanent makeup training center, Lisa Doll Academy. Already in its infancy, it has been doing amazing and classes are booking up and alumni are being made. I’m currently focused towards continuing to build upon all the foundations I’ve set and to continue to expand everything. I’m very excited about future possibilities of some things I have in the works! I’m always open to talk with other entrepreneurs and people wanting to invest in business opportunities, because there is a lot that is untapped and could be a great opportunity.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I love the live music venues and kitschy bars and restaurants that you can find dotted around the city, as well as the Edgar Allen Poe history. At one point I was so excited to move into the city and I had lived in Little Italy. But only after a year, the crime and local political scandals were so bad that I moved right on out. It’s a shame, as I barely go to the city anymore now. When you can look around and easily see such high poverty and crime rates, drug addictions, failing infrastructure…you’re not motivated to visit just to look around and be depressed. But Baltimore has a lot of potential, and I hope to see it get its groove back sooner than later.

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