Going into a tattoo parlour can be extremely daunting for a hyper-feminine person. When walking into most studios I often feel as though I don’t belong there.
To be completely honest with you, I think that all tattoo parlours, barber shops and pubs look the same. They appeal to a hyper-masculine aesthetic appearance that makes me feel super unwelcome.
Four years ago, I got a tattoo from a parlour in Christchurch and it left a bad taste in my mouth and on my arm. I got The Star tarot card on my arm as it represented me coming out of a difficult time with a new perspective.
Y'know, pretty deep stuff! Despite knowing the meaning behind it, the artist decided to tell me that he thought tarot was stupid and meant nothing.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but having a man twenty years older than me criticising my beliefs while permanently inking my body wasn’t exactly a slay in my book. Afterwards, I made a vow to myself to make sure that the artists I choose are people who respect the celestial aesthetic I’ve chosen to decorate my body in. That’s when I came across Maddi Garett!
When Maddi first appeared on my insta last year, I knew I wanted her artwork to be tattooed on me. Back then, she was a full-time secondary school art teacher and tattooed on the weekends.
“When I was younger I would have loved to have visited a parlour like Alora," she told me.
"Somewhere that is safe, where you can be authentically yourself with no judgement or shame.”
And it was true - for the first time in my life, I felt completely comfortable getting tattooed by an artist and fully trusted her vision. Maddi’s perspective on the art of tattooing is arguably even more stunning than her beautiful studio.
“When you look at your tattoo you are transported right back to where you were, who you were with, what your mental state was like at the time," she explained.
“Tattoos are an energy exchange from the artist onto your body that you will hold with you for a lifetime. I do not take this lightly and aim to create the best tattoo experience you will ever have!”
I've never really heard of a tattoo artist so passionate about creating a safe environment for their clients. To say I was excited to head into her studio would be an understatement!
Before we jump into my own review, I want to make it clear that this post is NOT sponsored! I paid for the tattoo myself and am too afraid to let my co-workers have any say over what goes on my body after Cal's latest tattoo trouble...
Ahead of my appointment at Alora, I was sent a guide on everything I needed to know. My 'new location' anxiety was immediately put to rest as she provided clear instructions on how to find the pink space. Talk about a prepared queen!
Entering the studio is like walking into Barbie's Dream House. Pink is on the walls, on the floor and even on the furniture! The space feels inclusive, welcoming and inspiring. As someone who isn’t a big fan of being in new spaces, I was surprised at how comfortable I felt in the space.
If you love astrology like I do, you’ll be stoked to know that Maddi also incorporates tarot, astrology, sound bowls, guided meditations and mindfulness to her services.
Maddi was incredible at making sure I felt safe and comfortable. We chatted throughout the appointment and it felt like I was catching up with an old friend. If talking isn’t your vibe, don’t worry, silent appointments are available too!
Alora also houses some incredible products from small businesses I’d never seen before. Hook, Yarn & Sinker’s display looked so cool in Studio Alora that I knew I had to grab one. It felt good knowing that I left Studio Alora supporting two Kiwi creatives.
“We currently have journaling cards, vulva pottery and an array of beautiful hand-knitted clothing and accessories.”
It’s been three weeks since I got my tattoo at Studio Alora and I can’t wait to make my next appointment. My tattoo has healed perfectly and I’m already considering getting my other hand done! Since my appointment, I also found out that there are going to be a lot more exciting things happening at my favourite pink studio.
“I will be hosting women's circles from this space, sound bowl healings as well as having local artists come and hold workshops for their communities.”
"Plus, lots more secret things are in the works for later in the year with lots of collaborations with small NZ female-owned businesses! I am a huge believer in females empowering each other!!!”