Policies + Procedures
Acceptance & Intolerance
Stay Awhile Tattoo aims to be a safer space - this is a space where our primary goal is to ensure all are kept safe from physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or other forms of abuse or harm. We welcome, accept and respect all bodies and all people regardless of their racial, gender, sexual, or religious identity; ethnicity, age, class, abilities, immigration status; or religious, cultural, or spiritual beliefs. Discrimination, harassment, and hatefulness of any kind is absolutely not tolerated within this space - this means that racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia and xenophobia are explicitly not welcome or tolerated here. We are committed to ensuring our clients feel safe, comfortable, and respected when in our studio and in their interactions with us. We are committed to continual growth and improvement in this area.
I take a consent-based approach to tattooing and operating our space. This means I will do my best to clearly explain every step of the process and will not proceed with any part of the procedure without your explicit consent. Non-consensual actions will not be tolerated between us or in the space.
This applies, but is not limited to, any physical contact with your body, any photos or videos taken or shared publicly, the sharing of personal or sensitive information, or the discussion of potentially sensitive or triggering topics. This also applies to final decisions around your tattoo design, sizing and placement – I explicitly do not take an ‘artist knows best’ approach to tattooing and view it as a collaborative process. I will do my best to provide you with informed guidance and advice, and reserve the right not to do work that is beyond my own scope, comfort level or ability. But I will never force or coerce my clients into going through with a tattoo that they will not be happy with having on their own body for the rest of their lives.
Consent is a process of continual negotiation. You always have the right to say no, dissent, withdraw consent, change your mind, or question my actions or process at any point without judgement or consequence.
Conversely, in order for me to maintain a safe environment for myself as a woman and as a tattoo artist working out of a private space, I reserve the right to revoke consent to the tattoo process and ask clients or visitors to leave if I feel that my process, policies, or personal boundaries are being overtly disrespected.
Personal Boundaries, Autonomy & Respect
Tattooing is an inherently uncomfortable process, involving direct and often painful contact with a client’s body. This can bring up anxiety, emotions, and past trauma, sometimes unexpectedly. My approach to tattooing acknowledges that the process can at times be cathartic, and other times cause distress. It’s my job to eliminate unnecessary discomfort, maintain respectful boundaries between us, and cultivate an environment where my clients’ comfort, autonomy, and wellbeing are a top priority.
You can reasonably expect the following from me, without judgement or prejudice, to the degree that my ability to perform my work and my artistic integrity are not unreasonably interfered with:
+ Any emotional or physical boundaries, triggers, fears, or sensitivities you feel comfortable communicating with me will be respected and remain private. You can do so in your booking form, at any point during our correspondence over email, or during your appointment.
+ I will not make assumptions about your identity or experiences. I will not bring your gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, or other personal details about you into the conversation unless brought up by you or without explicit consent to discuss these things. This also applies to any stories behind your tattoos, which I do not ask about but am happy to listen to if you choose to share them.
+ You are free to communicate your ideas, opinions, and concerns over your tattoo or any other part of the process and procedure at any point without intimidation and have them respected.
+ You are free to communicate any needs you might have regarding your physical comfort at any point (ie. pain management, adjusting your position with sufficient warning so as not to interfere with the integrity of your tattoo, taking breaks, areas of the body you do not want touched or have associated physical pain or discomfort with, etc.)
+ You are free to communicate any needs you may have relating to our verbal and emotional interactions with me at any point (ie. preference not to talk, preference to engage in conversation, topics you do or do not want to discuss)
+ You are free to communicate any needs you have regarding your environmental surroundings (ie. adjusting lighting, temperature, sounds, smells)
+ Any personal information you share during our correspondence outside of your appointment or during your appointment will be kept private and safe. This includes the information provided on your release forms, unless legally required by Alberta Health Services, or if I have reasonable grounds for concern over yours or my safety. I will also not share your name or personal details about you in any social media posts relating to your tattoo without your explicit consent.
None of the following things will take place any more than is necessary for the tattoo procedure to be performed:
+ Unnecessary exposure or uncovering of body parts other than the immediate area around the tattoo
+ Positioning a client in an exposing manner
+ Touching or leaning on parts of the body other than the area being tattooed
+ Taking photos or video footage that expose more of the body than is necessary to show the tattoo or than the client consents to
You can expect the relationship between you and myself to remain:
+ Professional and not continual unless consented to or necessary to resolve a conflict
+ Limited to communication over email or Instagram outside of our appointment (except on the day of your appointment when you may contact me by phone)
+ Social during the process of tattooing, healing, and posting photos of your tattoo
+ Respectful, positive, relaxed, non-judgmental
+ With conflict resolved in a respectful and non-confrontational and non-aggressive manner
+ NOT coercive, disrespectful, or abusive
+ NOT in any way sexual, romantic, or more than platonic
+ NOT social or focused predominantly around anything outside of tattooing beyond what we both enthusiastically consent to
The following safeguards are always available at your request, which you can communicate with me about in your booking form, or at any point during our correspondence or your appointment.
+ To view my space before booking or coming in for your appointment (you may do this by requesting a consult in your booking form, or we can set up a virtual tour)
+ To see the supplies I use beforehand
+ The use of a separate, private, lockable space at any time (our bathroom)
+ Complete privacy during your appointment (this requires me to schedule around my studio mates, so please be advised that this may be slightly more difficult to schedule in), or alternatively a request to not be alone with me during our appointment
+ To bring a chaperone or friend (provided that we are not over shop capacity, and with the option to phone or video call a friend if they are not permitted in the space for capacity reasons)
+ Blankets, covers, or extra clothing you might require for your comfort
+ The use of a ‘safe word’ – this could be a specific word, phrase, hand gesture or otherwise of your choice that will allow you to stop the process at any point without explanation or judgement.
+ To view any of the relevant legislation and provincial guidelines around tattoo safety that I have in the studio.
* Much of the above policy has been adapted from resources such as Change Tattooing, The LGBT Foundation’s Inclusion and Safer Spaces Policy, and Trauma-Informed Tattooing resources provided by Discipline Press.
Cancellations due to Covid-19 and sickness are still very common! If you develop persistent Covid-19 symptoms in the days leading up to your appointment, or you wake up with symptoms on the day of your appointment, please contact me as soon as possible. I will do the same for you. I will also completely understand if you decide to postpone your appointment due to general apprehension over Covid-19.
You will have the option of cancelling your appointment completely, or rescheduling your appointment. In cases of last minute cancellations due to sickness or related at all to Covid-19, your deposit can be refunded.