This blog is from Dolly Plunkett- a tattoo artist! Dolly talks about her business, her motivation and her support system. Read on for Dolly’s story…
Trying to create a successful business as a woman and someone who was new to an industry that is predominantly male has been my biggest barrier. I think my stubbornness and drive to overcome those obstacles was my main driving force but also having the support of my family really helped me to push through when things got tough.
Throughout my career, I have learnt that if you push and push for change, it will eventually happen. When I started tattooing I was the only girl I knew of in the industry. Now I work in a shop where there are more girls than boys. If you band together and dig your heels in, eventually it’ll get there.
My family, partner and friends are a huge part of my success and my support system. It’s tough being self-employed, there are days where I don’t know where my next months’ rent will come from and days where I want to give up. Having people around you who can pick you up when you’re down and have absolute faith that you’ll succeed is amazing. Also, I’m lucky that I work with wonderful people who are all in the same boat and aren’t afraid to talk about how tough it can be and if we can all support each other it’s a little easier.
Continuing to be my own boss and make my own choices is huge for me. That motivates me to work hard so I never have to go back to being employed and lose my freedom. Also, I’d love to eventually be in a position where I can help support a family, work my own hours around that and give my future children the stability I had as a kid.
Maintaining a work-life balance is something I have struggled with my entire career. It’s important to me to stay in the loop with friends and make sure I make time for them and my partner but it’s really difficult when my job is quite mentally draining and also super time-consuming. I try to make plans with friends at least once a week after work and I have a personal trainer at the gym so I have someone else holding me accountable, otherwise, I would probably make a million excuses not to go.
Last year I worked so much I wasn’t sure how I got through it so this year I re-jigged my working week so now I’m tattooing fewer days during the week and I have an “admin and drawing day” at home so I’m not working into every evening after work. I’ve had to make sure I’m prioritising my time effectively and giving space to things I care about. I exercise, try and eat well and take time out from work at least 1 day a week, read, write and make sure I call my mum often so she can keep me grounded. I also have acupuncture once a week which really helps keep my head clear and focused. It’s like a mental reset every week so I can go into my working week refreshed.
I try to eat really well but also not deprive myself of any treats I might want. I’m vegan so I try to eat fresh food most days otherwise I’d end up just eating junk and freezer food. I try to pay attention to what my body needs and what it’s craving and make good choices based on that. I have a pretty good morning smoothie routine and I try to make healthy choices most days so I don’t feel too guilty when I occasionally get something naughty for dinner.
I train with my personal trainer Natalie Evans twice a week which is really great for my body and my mind. I try to get to the gym a third time on my own and just run for as long as I physically can that day to keep my heart healthy. I also do my best to walk to and from work every day which is about 30 minutes each way. I’m lucky enough that if the weather isn’t horrendous I can walk down the seafront to work which I find is the ultimate feel-good treat.
My mantra in life is “don’t overthink it babe” – this started out as a bit of a joke because I am famous for my overthinking but it’s something I always say to my friends when they’re having a tough time. but eventually, I started saying it to myself because really…all that matters is that whatever you’re doing feels good. I’m a firm believer that you should follow your gut.