Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Smile Now - Cry Later" - An Inside Joke of Lucky 7

Black & Grey "Smile Now / Cry Later" by Russell Fortier @ Lucky 7 Tattoo
Kings Beach-North Lake Tahoe, California. Copyright 2012
Golly gee friends, the year is over!                                                
As 2012 is coming to a close, my family here at Lucky 7 Tahoe is refurbishing the tattoo studio, painting, installing new floor covering as well as adding new displays for our ever growing inventory of jewelry. Happy to say we have a new young and talented tattooer by the name of Cole Knox who has joined our family. Last but not least, I am needing to put some strange rumors to rest. So let us chat for just a moment, shall we?!

Living in Tahoe is all sorts of wonderful for all sorts of reasons I need not bother to list. Yet there are also a few reasons living in a small town can be upsetting. When it comes to speculative gossip, small towns can be terrible. Over the years, Lucky 7 has had some crazy untruths come out of god knows where. One of my least favorites would be from 2004;

Imagine - mid winter, snowy and cold. Every staff member at L7 comes down with the FLU. Fever, chills, dizzy-the real thing. With everyone on the crew so sick, Corey and I decided to close the shop for ONE day. Always concerned with proper business etiquette, we rescheduled our clients by phone. Then I put a message on the answering machine explaining why we did not pick up. Lastly I hung a large poster on the front door explaining that we were all very sick, but would be open the next day as always.
"Smile Russell Fortier @
Lucky 7 Tattoo Tahoe
Copyright 2012

After getting a full 18 hours of sleep, in addition to taking some doctor supplied samples of Tamaflu,  I opened the shop as usual the very next day. Let me tell you-that one day of being closed for illness haunted our business for the next 2 years."Why?" you may ask? Because many people drove by that day, observing that Lucky 7 was closed. Rather than asking us what had happened or reading the poster on the door-some people just ASSUMED we must be having problems and closing down the business! Locals would call and ask if we were still in operation. People came in MONTHS later asking if we were going to be moving.

I proceeded to ask each one of these people why they thought something was wrong? Each and every one said they "saw" or they "heard" it. After a few more questions it all came from closing down for ONE DAY! That was an eye opener I had hoped to never experience again......flash forward to this week and the title of this entry......
Local scratcher  / NOT OUR WORK!

"Smile Now-Cry Later" is the name of a once popular tattoo flash design. The origin of these happy/sad faces comes from the "Masks of Comedy and Tragedy". Sometimes you may see this classic logo in programs from plays. Take a look at the pictures  and I am sure it will ring a bell.

"Smile Now / Cry Later" rework by Corey Boobar @ Lucky 7 Tattoo
Tahoe, California All Rights Reserved
An inside joke at L7 is calling our gift certificates smile now/cry later. Reason is - we would sell thousands of dollars worth of gift certificates at Christmas. Then on December 26th they start coming in like a flood! For weeks we would have the gift certificate customers out numbering our cash clients 2 to 1. So now you get our joke in naming the darn things "smile now / cry later?!?

Neither Corey or I had ever worked in a tattoo shop that offered gift certificates. We figured if folks wanted to buy tattoo time for others, we should issue them. It went very well for 8 or 9 years. The last couple of years the gift certificates had become problematic. Tattoo virgins expected too much ink for not enough money. Meaning the virgin would receive a Lucky 7 certificate for say, $100 from a well meaning loved one. Then arrive at Lucky 7 wanting a tattoo that would take at least 2 hours. We would patiently explain that the custom tattoo design would cost more than the gift amount-  and people became hostile, rude and downright unreasonable. After having more and more of this type of exchange with virgin tattoo customers we made the decision to honor all the gift certificates issued-but to stop issuing any new ones as of November 1st 2012.
CDC style "Smile Now / Cry Later" By Russell Fortier @
Lucky 7 Tattoo N. Lake Tahoe, California Copyright 2012

 As the winter holidays approached we had numerous customers call or stop by to purchase certificates. We explained we were no longer offering them, but gave these folks a few options instead, like prepaid Visa cards, lay away, etc. Seemed like everyone understood why we no longer wanted to offer the certificates....Sadly though, somebody must not have believed us-and has started a UNTRUE RUMOR that " Lucky 7 must be closing down."

This rumor found its way back to the ears of the Lucky 7 staff this week. Lies can hurt a business and its bottom line very quickly. That is why I need to tell all of you that read this blog: Lucky 7  just had our best year since the recession happened in 2008. November of 2012 was the best November Lucky 7 has ever had in 12 years,  we just signed a new long term lease for our building. I have been refurbishing and redecorating to keep the shop a stand out favorite in the tattoo and piercing industry.All is very well for us-thank the gods! Good things have been happening  all year - and will continue in the future.

Therefore, I respectfully ask each of you to help us at Lucky 7, to squash this silly rumor with the truth. Don't go out of your way. Just speak up if this rumor comes up in conversation. That is all it will take to keep this nonsense in check. Crazy how someones assumptions can cause all this fuss!

That being said, I thank all of you for your help. From all of us at Lucky 7, we wish you and yours a fantastic New Year full of happiness, wealth of all kinds - we hope to see you at the shop in 2013.

Blessed Be,