MUSKEGON, Mich. — Everything at Sei Bella Tattoo is in the exact place it’s meant to be.
The “Good Vibes Only” sign near the entrance, the vintage pictures of tattooed women on the walls, and the ivy and Christmas lights that hang in the hall as a backdrop for pictures, all of it was intentionally placed, said owner Chrissy Robison.
“The grounds are shaman-blessed and cleansed. Even the paint is blessed and cleansed as well,” Robison said during an interview with FOX 17. “People tell me when they walk in, they just feel so calm, so relaxed. It’s sort of designed that way to give people an energy cleanse and an energy boost when they come through the door.”
Right after clients walk in, Robison or one of the other tattoo artists take them into a room decorated with candles, stones, black-painted walls and plush chairs, and they do a reading to determine the best tattoo to get.
Robison calls it "spirit-guided tattooing."
“I connect to your higher self, your guides, and they let me know what it is, if anything, what you should get tattooed on you for your highest good,” Robison said. “For a lot of the time, it ends up to be for healing purposes, for strength purposes. So, then I usually get a little message for the person from their higher self.”
As much as they love tattooing, drawing and making art, their goal is connection, she said. They want people to walk out feeling spiritually fed.
“We want to be, again, kind of a pit stop on the journey,” said Sydney Bernard, tattoo artist and shop manager. “If we can help anyone to elevate themselves, to expand their soul, expand past any limiting beliefs they have of themselves, to just feel more confident with who they are and why they’re here.”
Sometimes clients are there because they’re seeking to regain a part of themselves, Robison said. One of the things they offer is nipple tattooing for women who’ve undergone mastectomies.
“Our open house party two years ago, when I first came here and I was just by myself, we had a photographer come in and women donated their actual nipples, like images. She took them in a private space and photographed them,” Robison said. “Then I have a nipple reference file so you can pick what you want to replace. Another option is pre-surgery to have it mapped and photographed, and then we can replace your exact nipples back on after the fact.”
And it helps that for processes like this one, Sei Bella is run solely by women.
Bernard said it’s empowering.
“I want to empower women, children, anyone really to just shine, to stand out in whatever industry they’re in, no stigma, to bloom where they’re planted,” Bernard said. “Accept themselves as they are and to shine brightly no matter what they’re doing.”
Even though it's run by women, including their Spirit 33 store in the back — which sells handcrafted candles, essential oils and stones — men are welcomed as well, they said.
And no matter who walks through Sei Bella's door, the women want all of them to shine just as they do every day.
“I’m lit up,” Robison laughed. “Every day I come here I’m just pumped. I’m so excited to be here. I’m so excited to meet people and have them share with me their stories.”