To get tattooed by Ivano Natale is not like walking into a salon for a haircut, or even like walking into any other tattoo shop for some ink. It’s an entire experience.
First of all, the physical environment is different. Going beyond being just a tattoo shop with a few pieces of displayed art, the 5,000-square-foot studio is more a world-class art studio with spaces inside of it to get tattooed.
Natale, who has won dozens of awards for his tattoos and been featured in many magazines and books on the subject, boasts a truly international clientele; over 90% of his current customers fly in from all over the world to patronize his shop.
A VIP Experience
Rather than just providing one service, he and his associates work on providing an entire experience. They meet clients at the airport, put them up in five-star hotels, and take them on tours of the studio, which includes a gym that they can use during their stay.
With an average client paying upwards of $10,000, a VIP experience would certainly be expected. Part of that service, too, includes multiple meetings with clients so that Natale can help them to transform their vision into art that will appear permanently on their skin. Natale says, “We’re not cheap on our time nor on anything else; we work with one client a day and give our best performance.” After booking through a video chat or in person at the studio, those clients then have the undivided attention of Natale and his team.
It’s All About Relationships
While friendship isn’t officially part of the deal, it often blooms organically. “Because of the nature of my job, people need to see me multiple times before the tattoo is actually done,” Natale says. “They come in with an idea, and that idea extends to something else, which establishes a working and sometimes personal relationship that goes on for years.”
The studio’s clients would say that the experience is well worth it. Natale and his team focus on the quality of their work first and foremost. That, combined with the broader experience of getting a tattoo at his studio, is what keeps new clients coming and older ones coming back; some have been faithfully visiting him for new tattoos for the past 20 years.
“I Don’t Micromanage”
To accomplish this level of fantastic service, Natale has learned how to delegate. A shop manager filters and handles the clientele, makes sure that they have rides to and from the airport, and assures that they have five-star hotel rooms booked. He also has shop helpers who make sure that everyone, from the workers to the clients, has everything they might need.
This allows Natale to keep his focus on the big picture, while trusting that those he’s hired are experienced and dedicated enough to get done what they need to get done. And attracting the people he wants is not difficult. “My place of work and business method motivates people on the inside and gives them credibility on the outside,” he says.
Part of that bigger picture is a geographical expansion. While he’s already expanded into art for the clothing line SULLEN, he also has his eye on opening a studio in the United States.
Who else might he want to work with? That question is still unanswered, but he’s always got his ear to the ground.