Welcome to the Hey Eleanor! Podcast, episode two.
This week, were talking about tattoos. More specifically, tattoo removal.
I know a guy who opted to get AMY tattooed across his arm just a few weeks before Amy broke up with him. I also know a lady who thought, hey… why not just get tattooed wedding bands? Guess how that turned out.
The fact of the matter is, we all know someone (or maybe you are someone) who regrets getting inked. While I don’t have a tattoo, I’ve always heard that getting one removed is actually worse than getting the tattoo in the first place. It allegedly hurts, they scar, it’s expensive and the tattoos never really go away.
This week, I met with laser tattoo removal expert Dusty Nelson about why you don’t have to have that tramp stamp forever. By the end of his interview, you might find yourself armed with the courage to finally say bye to that Chinese character you thought meant peace, but actually translates to old man cheeseburger.
I said Fallen Ink is on Dale Street in St. Paul, but they're really on Selby... just a few blocks down from Dale. D'oh!
Other stuff I talked about this week:
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Molly: Why did you started a tattoo removal company. Did you have a bad tattoo experience?
Dusty: Sure yeah that’s a great question to start off on. I opened Fallen Ink Laser Tattoo Removal because I had a very bad tattoo experience when I was 18-years-old.
Molly: Was it in Mexico?
Dusty: It was in Stillwater [Minnesota]. It was a very spur of the moment tattoo. I went downtown to the tattoo shop, found something on the wall and decided to get tattooed on my chest. It was a really poor quality portrait tattoo and I guess we can just leave it at that.
Molly: Wait a second, you won’t tell me what your tattoo was of?
Dusty: In the laser tattoo removal industry, there’s kind of an unwritten law that we don’t ask people why they're getting a tattoo removed, what a tattoo was or what it means. So I don’t think I’ll tell you what it is.
Molly: So it’s kind of like don’t ask don’t tell? I didn’t know there’s a code.
Dusty: We don’t ask anyone why they’re getting the tattoo removed in the first place. If they want to indulgent and share with us, we will absolutely listen. But yeah, there’s definitely some unwritten ethics.
Molly: What did you do before you got into the tattoo removal business?
Dusty: Interestingly enough, before I got into this I had a concrete company. We did driveways, patios, countertops, and it was a very successful company. But I always have my eye on tattoo removal. And a good friend of mine in Denver had a clinic and he been on my butt for years about checking it out. I flew down a couple winters and worked side-by-side with him.
Molly: So is that where you’re going you got the 18-year-old tattoo removed?
Dusty: No. So I got the tattoo and I was 18. When I was 20, I started laser treatment to get it removed. I was a student at the University of Minnesota and I actually started getting laser treatments there in 2003… it was a terrible experience. Technology has come along way. I remember going in and the doctor shot me with three syringes of some type of numbing solution, and then he zapped me for 10 seconds. And I was bleeding and I was in a bandage for a week and a half.
Molly: So it’s stories like that when I keep people from being too afraid to go in and get a tattoo removed?
Dusty: Possibly. Technology is come along way. Rarely ever do we break the skin and the healing is very simple. There is zero downtime.
Molly: I'll bet you get to hear all sorts of crazy stories.
Dusty: You get to see all sorts of interesting tattoos. At the end of the day, you get to help people. A lot of people coming here pretty distraught. For some people, it’s emotional roller coaster. Some days I feel more like a psychologist.
Molly: That makes a lot of sense. Because the main reason people get tattoos is because it means something to them at the time.
Dusty: People get tattoos for so many different reasons. And equally we see people getting tattoos removed for just as many reasons. Whether it’s a change in lifestyle, maybe they broke up with their significant other, it’s remainder of a lifestyle they just don’t want to be reminded of anymore. And a lot of times, it’s just change.