Missoula’s Altered Skin Tattoos & Body Piercing is a Small Montana Business That Will Make You Stand Out From the Crowd
Altered Skin Tattoos & Body Piercing is a Missoula tradition, having served everyone from rockstars like Motley Crue's Vince Neil and Five Finger Death Punch's Jason Hook to a generation of Missoulans who've wanted to make a statement with and on their bodies. We chatted with co-owner Brenda Anderson about what makes her business so special to her and the community.
Q: How would you describe your business to someone from out of town?
Altered Skin is a locally-owned family business that has been making Missoula beautiful for over 20 years, owned by me and my husband "Detail" Dave. We have 7 amazing artists that do all styles of tattooing, and are Missoula's only certified body piercer with the largest selection of body jewelry on this side of Montana.
Q: What sets your product apart from the competition?
We're unmatched in experience and dedication to our art. We care about our customers. Did you know we have private tattoo rooms? It really makes a difference, especially to first-time clients.
Q: What’s the most fulfilling opportunity you’ve had as a business owner?
We love what we do, so work is never a chore. Being our own bosses helps, too. Our customers are amazing people and so many of them have turned into friends over the years. They come to see us for so many reasons: love, loss, new beginnings, the love of art, or when they're just in need of some ink therapy.
Q: Where did you find the money to open your business?
When I met my husband Detail Dave he worked at Altered Skin with a group of young artists. Soon after we took over the business. The first real help I remember receiving is my father lending us $700 so we could put new flooring in and start to remodel a bit. We worked 15 hours a day to get our business running and now we have a beautiful studio that is always being updated.
Q: What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to launch their own small business?
If you want to run your own business, do what you love to do. The most important thing is to be there: no one should care about your business more than you do. Care about your customers and the product you're selling and people will come back. When you find quality workers, keep them; good help is hard to find. Last, have faith in yourself and go for it!
Q: What’s next on the horizon?
We just try to enjoy life one day at a time.
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