Meet Petra,30 & Branko,29. Happily married with kids, this Inked & Hitched couple run their own tattoo and piercing shop in Bratislava, Slovakia. I got to shoot them and we had a little chat about ink, kids and life.
How did you meet? We both grew up here, and met about 7 years ago. Petra came to my piercing shop to get pierced. She got her piercing and I got an invitation to have coffee, or well, a drink to be correct, and… here we are now!.
Tell us more about you
We both have loved tattoos and piercings from when we were younger. We are both from mid-class families, or low-mid if you like. We’ve both had to work hard for what we wanted, as nothing was handed to us for free. You could say we had to fight for our place in life, as many of us do.
What is an average day like for you? Average day? Are they such? hehe! I have a regular job with Greenpeace and on top of that, we have our tattoo and piercing shop, BODY GALLERY. We’ve been running it together for 5 years. After a full day at Greenpeace office, I goto our shop in the evening and do piercing, or any other bloody work (scarification, implants, etc). Then I come back home and have some time with kids before they go to sleep. Weekends are different. Petra looks after the kids at home after I leave for work. She cooks a lot. And very well!! This takes quite a lot of her time. Amongst other things, she has to work for our shop too. Mostly work which is possible to do over computer, such as social media updates, or other comms and marketing, book keeping and employee management. Of course, every now and then we make time to go out with kids and to play. And to not forget, on top of that we have a dog.. ooh yeaah. So we have very packed days.
Whoa….must be crazy juggling all those stuff. What about when you are out… how do people react to your tattoos? Sometimes we get weird or evil starts, but we are used to it. Mostly, people don’t really bother much, maybe because I am a man so it is a bit more tolerated than say, for Petra. She has had intense experiences in the past, but we both just go about our lives normally, and be as pleasant as possible.
Have your ink or piercings ever affected your jobs? In the past Petra had to take of some piercings to get a good job. Now that she is co-owner of tattoo shop, that is off the plate for now… But lets see what will happen in future… At my office, my colleagues are very pleasant. They understand the concept of looking at someone for their skills and not for how they look.
Do people stare when you are out with your kids? You don’t really think that you are a different parent. You feel normal. Until of course you start to feel the eyes of ppl who think they are better that you or something. Maybe they think our kids suffer with us. But as long as they are quiet I don’t care. When we visit the kindergarden, they always watch us closely, but our kids are like all the other kids, so at the end of the day, they behave to us like they would to any other parents. It will probably take sometime before everyone accepts these as a normal part of life, need some time, but we are getting there.
Any obstacles you think you will face, raising your kids?
We are vegetarians, and our kids also. I think this will become issue sooner or later. But we can always deal with what comes at us, right ?
Perfectly said. Do your kids react to your tattoos or ask you about them? Yes, kids are very nice,they don’t have prejudices! So they see you as a man or woman with nice pictures on skin. They make it so simple. Our kids like our ink. Some days my boy says: I want pictures too, then the next day he would say: I don’t want pictures… It does not bother them so much.
How will you react when your kids ask for their first tattoo?
We have told them exactly the same thing we will continue to tell them until they turn 18 yearsold. You can have a tattoo when you grow up. Having a tattoo shop, employing tattoo artists and having our own tattoos, we know what we get ourselves into. The old tattoos, those we gave ourselves when we were 16, or 17 years old, those are mostly crap. We love them, but the quality, motif or placement is shit. And this is so common! Most people keep them just as a memory, but they are still quite, shit. haha
Yea you are right. I have some of those…
So why not wait until we grow up in our minds, so we can choose a good artist, a good place, and good stuff to tattoo?
Very Good point, Branko. Any advice for parents like you?
My one advice would be not to care so much what others think. The more you care, the more troubles and stress you have. Just live as you see fit, and you will be the best man or woman for your kids. And the others ? They will eventually realise that the love you have for your kids is no different than their love for their own kids. And you do your best for them. So what difference does it make, tattoos or not? There is no difference… except that you are probably nicer and more polite than them.
Check out www.bodygallery.sk for more on the tattoo and piercing parlour run by Petra and Branko.