When I decided to take on the adventure of Tattooed Mom Boss, one of the reasons I did this project was to share with the world that just because a woman has tattoos does not mean that she is unprofessional, unfit for a corporate environment, uneducated, or many other negative stereotypes that tattooed women can get in the workplace.
One stereotype of many tattooed women is that we are bitches, so instead of ranting about the ignorance and such that accompanies people who judge others by their appearance, I am going to take the high road. Instead, I want to showcase some amazing women I know, and some I will get to know that just so much happen to be heavily tattooed.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Chelsey Goraczkowski as my first tattooed boss. Chelsey is from Rochester, MN and is an interior designer. She specializes in designing cabinetry for the most expensive rooms in a house, kitchens and bathrooms. She is 31 years old and graduated from Art Institutes International of MN in Minneapolis. Chelsey is also the owner and founder of STILLCODA Photography where she specializes in concert, boudoir and wedding photography.
It's a Wednesday night, and I was able to take some time once I put my son to bed to get some literal Facetime with Chelsey. Now let me preface that I am a serious fan of Miss Chelsey. I have known her for years and she took the photos for our engagement and wedding. She is bad ass, and this interview was also a fun excuse for us to catch up. I haven't seen her since I moved to Baltimore back in 2014. Since I have been gone from Minnesota for four years, I can easily hear her adorable northern accent!
TMB: "Being tattooed, how has this effected you in your career path?"
Chelsey: "It is such a nightmare. It is a pain in the ass. People automatically make assumptions for you. People think that you are uneducated and that you are not capable of doing adult things."
Chelsey went on to discuss her previous success in getting jobs in retail sales and how that was not the professional path she wanted to take. To anyone who has ever worked with the general public, it can be awful. "People think they have the right to touch you just because you have tattoos. I have even had my shirt pulled down to see the small tattoo I have between the girls."
Photography ended up being an outlet for Chelsey's creativity, and it just so happened that this career path allowed for the freedom of her tattoos. "This is just the kind of job that people with tattoos have." Her clients almost expected that she should have tattoos being that photography is an art. Many of Chelsey's subjects ended up having a ton of tattoos also. (See below for a sample of Chelsey's work.)
Photography was a passion project of Chelsey's but she wanted more. She wanted a chance to be an interior designer. That is what she went to school for. Finally, she received the call to set up an interview for a position with a interior design firm. Chelsey had a decision to make, to cover the tattoos or bare her knuckles (literally as she has finger tattoos also.) Sephora gained $50 in sales that day on tattoo cover up makeup that day. Chelsey was hired on the spot. "When I got the job, I was like oh, shit now what do I do?" Fortunately, when she sat down with her new boss, she confessed to having all of these tattoos, but her new employer was completely fine with it as long as they are not offensive. Now here she is, pursuing her dream career with a company that allows her the freedom to express herself. Fantastic!
TMB: Where do you get your inspiration for your photography, tattoos or interior design?
Chelsey: Photography has always been about emotion and catching those passion moments. I can capture that musician with their hair flying, face focused and look of pure determination in their face or the inside jokes and loving glances of a couple about to become married. Boudoir is about empowering women and men with their bodies. I always struggled to feel comfortable in my body, so I really love to assist in this empowerment for others. Design is about find that balance with the ever changing evolution of things. I have always gotten my tattoos for myself. I want to be able to see them, so that is why I have them in the places I do.
Then we got caught up in discussing glitter grout, sparkles and diamonds..... Typical. Now on to the fun stuff.
TMB: Current obsessions?
Chelsey: I drive about two hours a day commuting to and from work, so streaming stand up comedy has been huge for me. I'm in a pretty heavy metal phase, but I also really got into 21 Pilots, Imagine Dragons, and The Weeknd for awhile. I love following photographers on Instagram and follow so many different ones. I have been obsessed with different boudoir blogs for years. And Pinterest. It's my crack.
TMB: Weirdest thing someone has ever talked to you about because of your tattoos?
Chelsey: Did it hurt? You know those are permanent right? What do they mean? What are they doing? (in specific to the centaurs in her Fantasia sleeve. Which let's not even get me started on how much I love a lady with a Disney themed sleeve!)
TMB: I have to ask, any future plans for tattoos?
Chelsey: Disney villains, finishing current sleeve, art nuevo figure, an entire Harry Potter leg... who knows? The artist who did the majority of my tattoo work moved to Arizona, so I did find a new artist. I am looking into different pieces like the art nuevo piece because of his style. He had this beautiful painting in the shop that was the first thing I saw when I walked in, and I fell in love with it. I knew then I wanted him to be my artist, so who knows what other tattoo ideas that will inspire.
I had such a great time catching up with Chels. If you want to learn more about her or check out her amazing Pinterest boards, I have added links to her social media world throughout the blog. Enjoy!