Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WOMAN OF THE WEEK: Frankie's Girls

If it wasn't because my mother would have a stroke and my father would put a belt sander to my skin, I would have a tattoo down my side of a reel of film with a different horror film in every frame. I love tattoos. I think that when they're done properly and when the tattoo isn't just some pointless image or some stupid joke that no one else but you will understand, that they are beautiful and wonderful works of art. We use our body as a canvas everyday with our clothing, hair, makeup, etc. Tattoos are just a more permanent approach. Lately, the media has portrayed tattooed women in a negative light with Jesse James' mistress and the constant speculation around Kat Von D. However, there is a group of women in Milwaukee who are proving that tattoos can be beautiful. I'm talking about Frankie's Girls, the promotional street team for Monsters Ink tattoos.

The shop is a monster movie-themed tattoo shop (hence the name Monsters Ink). The front part/waiting area of the shop is a horror "museum" type set up with figures from classic horror movies in cases as well as a life-sized Frankenstein's Monster statue. The artists at Monsters Ink are Tim Goodfellow, Tommy Back, and Mike Natarelli. .Monsters Ink was established in 2006 by Dave Curtis and Dick Noble.

Upon entering the shop, you are immediately transported to Dave’s vision of a thematic tattoo shop. The waiting area is inspired by Dave’s other business: Graveyard Records and Collectibles. It contains artifacts and collectibles from some of the most classic horror movies of yesteryear."


If you have something cool and want to get more attention for it, what better way to do so than to get hot babes to promote you! Thus, Frankie's Girls were born. Named after the most famous of all the movie monsters, Frankie's Girls were started by Tommy Back and Shawna Schwalenberg (the coordinator of the team and the shop's piercer as well as professional photographer). The girls are a promotional team of females ages 21 and older (though they do have a few underagers who are 19-20) who go out to promote the shop at local bars, clubs, festivals, and other events as a way of getting the Monsters Ink name out there. In exchange for their work promoting the shop, they earn tattoo work. How cool is that? They earn tattoo work for sporting some promo gear and looking hot. Sounds like a good deal to me! They also get to have photoshoots to show of their work and the photos are used to promote both Monsters Ink and ShawnaMarie Photography.

The shop does all kinds of tattoo work, including horror-themed ink.
Monsters Ink was voted number one tattoo and piercing shop in Milwaukee on the Channel 12 WISN A-list for 2009 (it was second place in 2008 and third in 2007 (they opened in December of 2006). These girls aren't promoting a rinky-dink tattoo parlor that specializes in stuff that looks like it came out of a vending machine, they're promoting the real deal and doing it with style.

Tommy Back won 5 trophies and awards this past summer...two at the Brew City Tattoo Convention, two at Harley Fest, and then best Horror Tattoo at Zombiecon X 2009 for his tattoo of Baby from House of 1000 Corpses (from the "I wanna be loved by you" scene.

Tim Goodfellow has been tattooing for ten years and won the best portrait tattoo trophy at Brew City Tattoo Convention 2007. He is also the singer and bassist for local punk band, Gnomeskull.

Mike Natarelli is the shop's newest artist and has long been part of the horror movie/convention scene, via his company, MN Etching

These women truly showcase my ideal of true beauty. In that they remain to be themselves and embrace the offbeat look that makes them look lovely. We still live in an age where women are starving themselves, over tanning, over bleaching, and over doing just about everything to reach society's standard of beauty. These women are truly role models. They're confident, they're beautiful, and yes...they have possessed little girls that scream obscenities permanently placed on their arms. I find Frankie's Girls to be an inspirational group of girls who can strut their stuff at events, proudly inked.
It is located at 3924 South 51st St in Milwaukee WI - on the corner of 51st and Howard.
Check out Monsters Ink's website HERE
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Show some love to Frankie's Girls HERE

3 comment(s):

The Igloo Keeper... said...

A tattoo of a reel of film with a different horror film in every frame? I've got that tattoo! Going down my old chap, with every horror film ever made from 1930. Still loads of space though so I need to update it regularly.

Robin Eduardo said...

As a HUGE fan of roller derby I rub up against (literally) many a tattooed woman! I think they are beautiful, and by the likes of their chosen images, incredibly witty and smart too.

Thank you for featuring this shop on your blog. Now I can indulge in more of my voyeurism and lust for these lovely ladies!

Anonymous said...

You can also friend us on facebook. We are FrankiesGirls MonstersInk. :)

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