Hand, neck, and face tattoos...

So you've decided to get your first tattoo.  On your hand.  Great.

But sorry, no.  Not at Cardinal Tattoo.  Not ever.

Unless you already have one of those done.  Or you've already covered a large amount of your body with tattoo.  Or you can prove to us that you're independently wealthy.  Or a felon.  

Here's why:  There’s this thing called gainful employment and if you get your hands, neck, or face tattooed you can pretty much forget about it.  Think about your dream job: great pay, benefits, lots of vacation time, totally awesomesauce.  One problem, you can't have any visible tattoos.  Life ruined.  If you're rich this isn't an issue because rich people don't have to live by regular people rules and if you're a felon, well, you're already screwed, what's one more bad decision right?

People that are heavily tattooed are different.  They've had time to adjust to the way society treats them and they've made peace with or at least learned how to maneuver in a culture that still doesn't accept them.  In short, they've earned it.  You?  You're 19 and think you know better than someone who's been tattooing professionally for almost as long as you've been alive.  You don't know what life has to offer and the hard road that you're paving for yourself because you don't want to listen to what those who have been through it are telling you.  

So we're going to clear things up for you.  If you want  your hands, neck, or face tattooed and you don't meet the above criteria don't even bother.  We'll tell you once what a bad idea it is, nicely, and if you insist you'll be asked to leave. Nicely.  (We're always nice, until it's time to not be nice anymore.  Thanks Patrick Swayze!) 

Another important thing to remember about getting those impossible-to-hide tattoos prematurely:  It doesn't speed you to the front of the 'We got a badass here' line.  Quite the opposite, it makes you look like an ignorant jabroni, a poser, a jerk, a dipshit, moron or a tool, a dumbass or fuck stick, etc., etc., etc.  So don't embarrass yourself.  Tattoos are permanent and time should be invested into collecting them before you go all Al Pacino and jump in the deep end of the social reject pool with both feet by getting your throat or face done.  I don't care what you saw on Pinterest, it's not cool.

But, if you're a tattooed badass (a real one) and you're ready to take the next step in your tattoo career, Cardinal Tattoo is the place for you!

Special Piercing Hours for Thursday, June 13th

Cardinal Tattoo will not be offering piercing until after 4pm on Thursday, June 13th.

As a matter of fact, we are toying with the idea of limiting our hours for piercing to a four-hour window: Either 3-7pm or 4-8pm. This will allow us to become more efficient at serving both our piercing customers as well as our tattoo clients.

For the past four years, Cardinal Tattoo has offered piercing services as a walk-in only service. Since we have become the only piercing establishment in Gallatin our piercing business has grown significantly, sometimes creating significantly long wait times to get pierced (more than 30 minutes). In order to alleviate this issue, we are instituting an abbreviated window of time to get a piercing and we will being accepting appointments for piercings in 10 or 15-minute windows of time. We would appreciate our customers’ opinion on this matter and will take every reasonable measure to make this transition a smooth one for everyone.

This will allow all of our piercing customers to receive prompt service and avoid protracted wait times. We will continue to revise the way we do business to better serve you! Log on to Cardinaltattoo.com for updates!

Will's Schedule and Booking

Our esteemed realism artist Will currently has only four more days available for tattoo appointments in August and his weekends are full until October. We strongly encourage any of his existing clients to contact Cardinal Tattoo and book, as Will is going to be raising his daily rate after the first of the year, even for his existing clientele. Please take advantage of this grace period before all of the time is booked!

Additionally, Will is going to be attending the Lenoir City Tattoo Convention in North Carolina with George Patrick from To the Grave Tattoo from August 30th to September 1st. His Friday appointment will be an $800 session, and his Saturday appointment will be for $1200 (this is a 12 hour day), large-scale realism work only. If you are interested in attending, please contact Cardinal Tattoo and submit your idea for approval, Will only does tattoos at these shows that he believes can contend for Tattoo of the Day awards, so he tends to be a little more picky about what he’ll do there.

Also on the convention schedule (an abbreviated one this year, due to familial obligations) is the Pit Row Tattoo Expo at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 4th-6th. A friend of ours, Mr. Cody Gower of Against the Grain Tattoo invited us to attend and it looks like a great time! Tasha Grey will also be attending and Will and Tasha are looking to book two all-day sessions apiece, the Friday appointment for either artist will be $800, the Saturday appointment will be $1200. Interested parties for either artist can contact Cardinal Tattoo at 615 527-7102 to submit your idea for approval and leave your contact information. If selected, we will call you to leave a deposit and arrange travel plans.

Going to shows with your tattoo artist is one of the more in-depth experiences you can have as a tattoo collector and we strongly recommend that you try it if you have the ability to do so! We never fail to have a good time and get some great stories to tell!

Cardinal Tattoo Customer Appreciation!

It’s no big secret that the artists at Cardinal Tattoo love their customers. We understand that nothing we do here would be possible without them. The requests and trust placed on us as artists serve to drive us, to challenge us, and give us an outlet in an art form we adore. it would be difficult to find another occupation and lifestyle that so closely integrates the artist and their canvas.

It is with this in mind that Cardinal Tattoo has begun a new program designed to give back to the people who mean so much to us: our clients. Every month, Cardinal Tattoo will hold a drawing to win tickets to a show, whether it be music, a play, monster trucks, or some other entertainment venue, if you have been tattooed at Cardinal Tattoo in the last month, you have been entered in the drawing! Our first winners were drawn earlier this month: Jessica Ashley and Tasha Turner will be joining a couple of our artists to see their old favorites Dave Matthews Band. Of course we called and made sure they were fans, we wouldn’t want to drag someone to a show they didn’t want to see!

We hope this, coupled with the free tattoos that Will does each month simply for the love of the art, will serve as a small token of appreciation for our dedicated clientele. We love you and we know none of this would be possible without you. You’re the best!

On Filing Complaints.

Every business has to deal with varying degrees of customer satisfaction, it’s a fact of life when working in a service industry. We at Cardinal Tattoo are quite proud of our record of satisfied customers and our business is supported largely by a growing number of repeat, if not downright habitual, customers. But it’s not always so.

Let’s start with the easy ones: Some people have completely unrealistic expectations with regard to how tattoos are priced and how long it takes to produce high level work. Some people expect to be able to speak to their artist any time, day or night, via personal social media accounts or cell phones. Some people are generally disrespectful of our time and our lives. These people are easy to dismiss as being unreasonable. If you think we’re being rude by pointing this out, stop reading now, you’re one of those people and we’d rather not do business with you. For the rest of you, read on and enjoy learning how you might successfully address filing a complaint in any service industry, including Cardinal Tattoo.

First, how not to do it.

1. Don’t, after having a less-than-ideal experience, immediately go online and attack the business.

2. Don’t, in your public online post, lie.

3. Don’t assume that the only reason you didn’t get things your way is because the business/world/universe is against you. It may have a lot to do with your attitude.

4. Don’t assume that the business would be unwilling or unable to work with you to your satisfaction.

Now, for some things you should do:

1. Speak up, if something isn’t right or the way you want it, let someone who works at the establishment know, or ask why that’s the way it’s being done. Good customer service would dictate that your question or comment will be answered or explained to your satisfaction. If it isn’t, ask for clarity. However, once the situation has been explained, don’t assume that everything has to be changed just for you. At Cardinal Tattoo we have dealt with a significant number of individuals with this sort of entitlement mentality, where they seem to disregard policies in place to protect ourselves and our clients from harm. Yep, people have actually left negative reviews about us for following health department rules. No joke.

2. Contact your artist through proper channels. You wouldn’t look up the local Mickie D’s manager’s personal account on Facebook and tell him how they got your order wrong, right? Well, don’t do that to your tattoo artist either. Cardinal Tattoo is open seven days a week from noon to 10pm, our phone number is posted frequently on this website and can be found with a simple internet search (615 527-7102), if you need to speak with your artist, simply email the shop at info@cardinaltattoo.com, call during business hours, call after business hours and leave a detailed message for us to call you back, or better yet, visit the shop and speak with that artist directly. Messages regarding business sent through personal channels are inappropriate and will not be answered. Once again, if you think this is rude, Cardinal Tattoo is not the place for you. You guessed it, we’ve had a number of people leave negative reviews about our business because we wouldn’t answer business-related questions through personal social media accounts, even AFTER we asked people not to do that and redirected them to the business contact information.

3. Tell the truth. Even if it’s not what we want to hear, it’s better than lying and we’ll respect that. Good relationships cannot be built on lies. If you lie to us, show’s over.

4. Cardinal Tattoo has a policy against doing further business with individuals who have posted negative comments or reviews online. Doing so will end any further communication from us. This is because doing so undermines the process by deliberately trying to harm our business, once someone does that they are forfeiting any possibility of reconciliation.

5. Talk to Will. We know, his knuckles drag the ground sometimes and he has a neck so thick it looks like he could gargle peanut butter, but this business is his entire life. He literally cares about it like you care about your next breath. He has a bit of a reputation for being a jerk, earned purely because he doesn’t take crap, not because he isn’t fair. Beyond that, he is polite, kind, generous to a fault, and open to reason. One of his greatest flaws is also one of the best things about him: his candor. Will once told a woman to her face that the reason he didn’t want to tattoo her was because he felt she wasn’t mentally stable. Should’ve seen the look on her face! But he meant it, and he was right, a real loop-de-loop, that one. He has also offered to cover-up or finish tattoos for free (done by artists who no longer work for Cardinal Tattoo); Given up his portion of the tattoo price as a discount for someone he indirectly inconvenienced; got to work early or stayed late to make getting tattooed easier for someone with a tricky schedule, etc., etc.

6. Say you’re sorry. We know this may seem a bit counter-intuitive to some of you (those in the ‘the customer is always right’ brigade), but if you find yourself on the wrong side of some of our policies or maybe you let your freak flag fly a little too early in the conversation we have a policy- everyone gets a second chance. In order to get that chance you have to be reasonable though, and you have to say you’re sorry. We’ve had people run their mouths online just to come in a few weeks later and apologize, they still get tattooed at Cardinal to this day. One woman cursed Will out in front of a room full of people and her son threatened him with violence. She said she was sorry, he welcomed her back. We’ve had people who no-call, no-showed for an appointment try to reschedule, only to find out they have to pay in full for their appointment to do so, swear at us and hang up the phone only to call a couple weeks later, pay for their appointment, and get a super-sweet tattoo. It’s nothing personal, really. Don’t make it that way.

The policies and procedures at Cardinal Tattoo were developed through years of training and experience to protect the artists and clients of Cardinal Tattoo. These policies are discussed at length throughout this website and every client has to sign paperwork stating they understand and agree to the shop rules. Even knowing this we have people violate that agreement on a weekly basis. If anyone reading this disagrees with any portion of what they have read thus far, you don’t get it, or you are just plain needy, please go somewhere else. We simply don’t have the time to deal with people who can’t or won’t understand why these policies are necessary. Thank you for your time.