Tattoo artist and entrepreneur Emilie Robinson runs The Aldrich Tattoo Parlour in Mill City Minneapolis, a cheerful, calming environment—with pink-painted walls and plant-filled corners.
Robinson says the studio is meant to be a relaxing, restful haven for all of her clients.
“We wanted to create a safe, relaxing place to get a tattoo,” says Robinson. “We wanted everything that went through the Aldrich—be it tattoos or collaborations—to come through a lens where respect was always the focus.
The private studio, located on the second floor of the Greenway Building, opened in May of 2018.
A Memorable Tagline: Respect Every Body
“Tattooing is an intimate art form, and it’s a place where we talk about everything,” she says. “My clients are mostly women, queer, and femme folks and I love to create space to talk about social issues, body positivity, and life in America.”
Robinson’s mission of inclusion comes through in the tagline of the Aldrich, which simply reads “Respect Every Body.”
It’s a stake-in-the-ground statement that the shop owner takes very seriously.
“We respect people of color here, we respect plus people here, we respect non-binary folks here,” she says. “We are always learning and getting feedback about how to better serve diverse clients. Every decision—from collaborating artistically to things we buy for the shop—is measured against that statement.”
A Trademark Tattoo: The Babe
Some of Robinson’s most popular tattoos are pin-up tattoos with flowers for heads, that she refers to as “babes” (in the “gender-neutral” sense, of course).
Robinson explains that the babe tattoos have become a medium for exploring and celebrating self love for her clients. “I’ve been drawing curvy babes, and non binary and trans babes,” she says. “The babes have started to be a vehicle to start talking about body positivity.”
Though Robinson is extremely grateful for her career as a tattoo artist, she admits that she’s had negative experiences that have spurred her to try to be a beacon of positive energy. “I’ve had some challenges with jerks and misogynists, as have most women who are in any career,” says Robinson, “but I’m lucky to have found a welcoming group of people to work with today.”
To help drive change and diversity in the tattoo industry, Robinson says that it’s up to people getting tattooed to invest in artists from all races, genders, and backgrounds.
Read the full version of this story on FemaleTattooers.com.
All images via Emilie Robinson on Instagram.