DONNELLSON 鈥 As she walks through her about-to-open tattoo parlor, the look of excitement on Lisa Puckett澳门开奖 face and the sense of how invested she is in her new business is evident.

Puckett has been working for months now on renovations to the building as she prepares to open Red Hot Ink Tattoo Parlor, located at the old Shannon Veterinary Clinic, located at 608 W. Madison Ave. in Donnellson.

On paper, a single mother of a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old who works full-time as a rural carrier for the Post Office in Mount Pleasant might not seem like the obvious profile of a tattoo artist, but Puckett is quick to admit that path that led her to Red Hot Ink is one she wouldn鈥檛 have predicted herself.

鈥淚 never thought I鈥檇 be a tattoo artist, ever,鈥 Puckett said. 鈥淲hen I was getting tattoos, I would think 鈥楪od, I would hate that job.鈥欌

But Puckett, a native of Pontoosuc, Ill., says she has always gravitated towards the arts.

鈥淚鈥檝e spent a ton of time doing art,鈥 Puckett told the Daily Democrat during a recent tour of the new studio. 鈥淚鈥檝e always had people ask me to paint them stuff. I鈥檓 really good at painting.

鈥淏ut I鈥檝e been artistic all my life...It was always an easy grade in school. Every year, I always made sure I had art as an elective. And then when I went to college, I always had art as an elective.鈥

Instead of pursuing art as a major, Puckett studied welding at Southeastern Community College, which she says came in handy when she began to learn how to drawing tattoos.

鈥淚t actually helped me out quite a bit with the tattoo pen as far as consistency and depth,鈥 she said of the welding classes.

But tattoos have also been an extension of Puckett澳门开奖 love of art.

鈥淚 don鈥檛 really even know why. I just like tattoos,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 got my first tattoos when I was 18. And then you get bored of looking at that one, so you get another one and another one. I just liked the entire process of it.鈥

But despite the interest and appreciation of the craft, the thought of actually becoming a tattoo artist didn鈥檛 cross Puckett澳门开奖 mind until more recent years.

鈥淲hen I got divorced, and it was (split custody) and the kids left and they were going to be gone for a whole week, it was really hard at first,鈥 she said. 鈥淏ut I started passing my time being productive and setting goals.

鈥淥ne day I was laying there getting a tattoo and I thought 鈥業 can do this.鈥 It just clicked one day that this is what I鈥檓 going to start doing. And then it became a hobby. And then it was more than a hobby and it became a goal.鈥

Puckett has spent the last two years practicing and studying to become a tattoo artist.

She had been looking for a place to start her own tattoo parlor. But it wasn鈥檛 until a few months ago that she found what she was looking for, even if it was seemingly right under her nose.

鈥淚t was weird. I was looking for a commercial building, but the housing market right now is absolutely outrageous,鈥 she said. 鈥(But) it was so nice out one day and I got up and started driving. And I saw (this building) and I saw a for sale sign and I thought 鈥極h, this place is so small. They can鈥檛 want much for it.鈥 And I thought really hard, because it was an 鈥榓s is鈥 sale.鈥

Puckett says the building needed a lot of work to be done. But despite the concern, she decided to buy the building regardless.

鈥淚 thought 鈥業鈥檓 going to take a risk and I鈥檓 gonna remodel this whole place and run my own business,鈥 she said.

After buying the old vet clinic in June for $40,000, Puckett says she has spent around $15,000 in renovations she had personally worked on to the building, which she says has been a rewarding experience for her family.

鈥淭he kids were watching (me work on the place) and they love it. They see me do all of this,鈥 she said. 鈥淚t澳门开奖 just been a very pleasant journey with a lot of accomplishments.鈥

The name of the parlor stems from her love of hunting and her initial thought that it might be cool to run a tattoo parlor that also sold gun ammunition.

鈥淚鈥檝e always been into hunting,鈥 Puckett said. 鈥淲e鈥檝e had a huge ammo shortage (across the country since 2020). And I thought maybe one day I would sell ammo. So, I thought the name 鈥楻ed Hot Ink and Ammo鈥 would have been (a cool name).鈥

While Puckett conceded a future selling ammunition and doing tattoos simultaneously probably won鈥檛 be happening soon, she will have no shortage of work in the coming months.

On Tuesday, Puckett received her tattoo license from the state and is set to begin working at the parlor next week.

She says she is already booked up through the end of February but says those wanting appointments can still contact her via the Red Hot Ink Facebook page to see if she can squeeze in any additional work.

Puckett says the next step for the business is to start selling t-shirts and doing piercings. She has also been in talks with other tattoo artists and piercers that are interested in working out of her parlor.

But for now, Red Hot Ink offers tattoos of existing designs as well as designs customized by Puckett herself for those who may not be sure what they want or for those who have an idea of the kind of tattoo they would like to get.

As she gets ready to start her work as a professional tattoo artist, Puckett says the job comes with its pressures but that the end result is worth the tradeoff.

鈥淎rt gets criticized so much,鈥 she said. 鈥(Tattoos are) not like any other art I鈥檝e ever done...The fact that all of these are permanent. You can鈥檛 take these back. You can鈥檛 erase and start over.

鈥淪o, there澳门开奖 a little bit of fear there, because you鈥檙e dealing with the public and it澳门开奖 a big liability putting art on somebody....They have to like it. And to be able to achieve that, to me, is very rewarding.鈥