Monday, May 16, 2022

At this plant-filled Denver tattoo shop, every artist is either a woman or non-binary

Editor’s NoteStaff: Each week at Favorites, we present our opinion on the best Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities, and more. (We’ll also tell you about some hidden gems).

Standing out as a tattoo shop on Colfax Avenue isn’t easy.

But step inside the Wolf Den and you’ll find a shop unlike any other in town. Visitors are greeted by warm jewel tones, comfy furniture and winding vines of houseplants that give the space a calm, forceful vibe. And then your eyes are inevitably drawn to a neon sign on the back wall: “All-Women’s Studio,” it read, and suddenly it’s clear why this tattoo shop felt so different from its neighbors. Is.

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Lead cast Ryan Urie – who is non-binary and uses the pronoun they/they – first opened Wolf Den in Reno in 2017, after years of working in shops run largely by male artists. The studio moved to Colfax last year and is currently undergoing a renovation that will add a community art gallery.

Provided by Hailey Wheeler

A small monster leaf tattoo on Denver Post Entertainment Editor Beth Rankin by Hailey Wheeler at Wolf Den Custom Tattoo Studio on East Colfax.

“I wanted it to be a place where it essentially transports you, like a different world, where you feel like you’re walking in the woods, and you feel safe because your community is in it, He said about the colorful and comfortable design of the shop.

But Uri’s design choices aren’t just about looking good. Their goal was to create a safe space for women, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ people who don’t feel comfortable getting tattooed in a traditionally male-dominated space. But they also wanted to make tattooing more comfortable for the male customers, who make up the majority of Uri’s own customer base.

Of the tattoo process, he said, “(Men) find a safe place to be hurt and not feel judged or have any doubts about it, which – let’s be honest – isn’t always the most comfortable experience. “I never really thought about that aspect until this place was built.”

The shop also only uses vegan products and is less plastic, another aspect that makes it stand out.

“Almost all of our products are a compressed wheat stock or corn starch for making plastics,” Uri said. “We’re trying to have the (smallest) footprint that we can.”

Wolf Den Custom Tattoo Studio, 6640 E. Colfax Ave., 720-917-9406.

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