On opening her own shop:
I never thought about becoming a tattoo artist, even though I started to get tattoos as early as I could, when I was 17. After college, I designed in Paris for Dior and quickly learned that kind of corporate environment was not for me. The spirit around luxury brands wasn’t feeding my need for freedom and inspiration.
One summer, my best friend went to New York, and I decided to quit my job and go travel with him. I discovered one of the most incredible cities, I fell in love with New York City. Meanwhile, I met an American man on the stoop of the building I was staying at. And… I fell in love with him! We wanted to stay together, and as crazy at it might sound, we got married 6 months later. Feels like a true love story movie talking about it!
I started working as a waitress while waiting for my green card. With my master's degree in my pocket, it seemed absurd - but I absolutely loved it. Meeting people, having a flexible schedule, moving all day, improving my English… I found a family in this bar.
I started to draw, at home, during my time off from the bar, a lot. Drawing Malagasy symbols, geometric shapes, organic designs, and my friends would get them tattooed. I decided to start an apprenticeship at a tattoo studio. I discovered the real world of tattooing and how it is to work in an old school tattoo shop. It takes a lot of humility to gain the respect of old tattooers and teaches you to put your ego on the side and learn.
After a year, my mentor suddenly disappeared. He committed a crime and got put in jail. Unbelievable right? I decided to travel for 6 months with my husband to celebrate my green card. When we came back, I started working in a new tattoo shop. My clientele was getting crazy. I was tattooing all the time, and very quickly, my schedule started to be booked up. My husband and I were talking about opening our own shop someday, but I never thought it would happen so fast (3 months!). I met Burak Moreno, a fellow tattooer, and we decided to open a shop together. I had clientele and a specific style, and Burak had the tattooing experience. Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour opened its doors in the fall of 2016.
Two years later, we have two locations and 25+ employees, coming from everywhere in the world. It was challenging and happened very quickly, but life is about taking opportunities and risks!