Akron-Based Woman-Owned Tattoo Studio Aims to Create a Safe Space for All

Erica Rose seeks to change the face of tattooing, creating a welcoming environment in a male-dominated industry.


Image via Stephanie Fairchild

Front door of the store front

By Stephanie Fairchild, Social Media Editor

Disclosure: I am currently a social media management intern at Black Amethyst Tattoo Company. 

Black Amethyst Tattoo Company is an Akron based, appointment only tattoo studio, founded by Akron native Erica Rose, 31, in 2016.  Not only is the owner and founder of Black Amethyst a woman, but the staff is entirely female. This is a studio that prides itself on inclusivity and curating a safe space for all. 

Artist Sadie Winter, tattooing a client (Image via Stephanie Fairchild)

When approaching the studio, you’ll read, “All bodies welcome. No racism. No sexism. No homophobia. No transphobia,” on the front door. You will be greeted with a masked smile by Haylee at the front desk and a large rainbow pride flag that stretches across the front counter.  

Rose completed her tattoo apprenticeship in 2014 and opened her first studio in Shelby, Ohio in 2016.  In 2018, she opened her second location in Wadsworth, Ohio but quickly outgrew the small space and migrated closer to home in Akron.  The Shelby location is now run completely by Rose’s friend Areal and operates as a sister studio to the Akron location. 

“I’ve seen situations at other tattoo studios where people have been both physically and verbally assaulted,” Rose said.  “I wanted to create a space that women who have also experienced this feel safe coming to.  We will never ask you to take off more clothing than necessary, make rude or inappropriate comments, make any comments about your body, or deny you the ability to bring along a friend for support.”

Black Amethyst has won Akron Beacon Journal’s Beacon’s Best Tattoo Studio for three consecutive years in a row.  They have also hosted fundraisers, offering flash tattoo sales, to raise money for non-profits like META Center in Akron for LGBTQ+ youth and Just a Dad from Akron.  Last November, they also hosted a raffle for a free tattoo and raised money to feed 17 local families.  They plan to host another flash sale on Nov 28 to raise money to support Queer in Canton’s efforts to open an LGBTQ+ Center in Canton.  You can find out more about this fundraiser by following their social media within the coming weeks. 

Image via Stephanie Fairchild

 “I think it’s important to note that the idea that ‘people with darker skin tones can’t get color tattoos’ is a long-standing myth rooted in racism,” Rose emphasized.  “We want to open that conversation back up.  We offer complimentary color patch tests for those with darker skin tones to determine what colors will hold best on their skin.  We don’t want anyone to ever feel excluded from getting a tattoo that they love.” 

Black Amethyst also generates much of its business organically through social media, often going viral on TikTok Clients have traveled out of state, up to 11 hours to get tattooed in a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment. 

The studio currently houses six women, five artists and one apprentice, many of which are currently booked out close to, if not through, the end of 2021. 

All booking is handled via their website where you can submit inquiries with reference photos and other details.  You can also view artist portfolios and find out more about rates and deposits.