Who would have thought that the tattooing industry could prove the front for a highly successful business enterprise? Well, apparently Club Tattoo founders Sean and Thora Dowdell did – and their hard work and shrewd tactics have paid off. Club Tattoo is a premier tattoo parlor chain based out of locations in Arizona and Nevada respectively, with over one hundred employees and $30 million dollars in revenue. Rather than keeping their strategy close to the vest, the couple have opened up extensively about their process through the pages of the new book, Brand Renegades: Our Fearless Path From Startup to Global Brand. An effective osmosis of the duo’s personal and professional experiences, Brand Renegades reads like part leadership advice guide, part nonfiction memoir story. It’s packed to the brim with personal details, including some that feel almost too brutally honest, as Sean and Thora make their way from blue collar beginnings to multimillionaire status.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHORS: https://clubtattoo.com/
But they haven’t lost their sense of artistry and anarchy commonly affiliated with the underground tattoo scene. It’s clear their chain, Club Tattoo, hasn’t lost this form of aesthetic either. Tattooing is an art form, but it’s arguably a poor man’s art form. The kind of expression associated with the inner-city workings of Oakland, New York City, and Detroit. The kind of unofficial Jean-Michel Basquiat feeling, a place for society’s more colorful characters and hardened, streetwise rhetoric.
A sort of representation of the school of hard knocks and then some left over, coupled with a penchant for the macabre and the subjectively bizarre. Sean and Thora’s backgrounds as rock star and corporate manager arguably form both the glue and creatively the bridge between the tattoo world and the more corporate-minded field of industry. The sort of grunge-chic which has caused Club Tattoo to grace everything from the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona to Las Vegas’s sacred Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes.
“How can you make your product a differentiator within your industry?” Sean and Thora write in From Small Business to Brand, arguably one of the book’s most important chapters. “…When you develop a brand, you have created something more valuable than the product or service you sell. As a small business owner, you must find out what makes your brand special and highlight that. Is it truly your product? Is it the location of your business? Or is it the customer experience? Find it and capitalize on it to create long-term, loyal customers who will continue to seek out your brand.”
By articulating everything in simple, effective language choice, the duo makes the headache of looking over the typical, formalized business guide into something that really feels like nothing more than a step-by-step breakdown of common sense factors. This is also helped by their repeatedly stressing the knowledge in Brand Renegade’s pages coming from their own trial-and-error as burgeoning entrepreneurs at the time. Add to that specific, narrative-styled analogies of both Sean and Thora’s wrestling with the uncertainties on realizing Club Tattoo’s success. The third chapter of the book, Understand What Makes a Partner Tick, makes particular use of this formula with direct quotes and first-person accounts that serve to humanize the potentially dryer, more intellectual parts of the read.
Sean and Thora Dowdell prove to not only be effective communicators, but solid writers too. Their balancing of all the elements adds a nice personal touch, serving the totality well. Success Can Be For Everyone.