How a World-Renowned Tattoo Artist Manages Her Business with JotForm

In the tattoo world, Sara Fabel isn’t just a name, she’s a brand. Clients come from all over the world to get inked by her, including UN diplomats, surgeons, and NASA scientists. On the day I visited, she was getting ready to tattoo a client who’d flown in from Montreal just to see her – no big deal.

Sara’s story is a fascinating one. Born in Finland. Apprenticed tattooing in Australia. Immigrated to the United States, where she worked as a model and acted in a few movies. But it wasn’t her calling, and she knew it.

“Tattooing gives me the perfect combination of spending time with people, getting to talk to people, learning stories — but still doing art and getting paid to do the most amazing, fun job ever,” she said.

Her tattoo specialty is blackwork, a style using only black ink. The tattoos are detailed, comprised of thousands of finely drawn lines. Despite the lack of color – or perhaps even because of it – Sara’s tattoos are vivid and lifelike.

 

Payments

Just being a good tattoo artist won’t keep the lights on. Sara has a whole business to run, including marketing, scheduling clients, accounting, and handling payments.

“When you have to get into the not so fun parts of business, it kind of gets you down,” she said.  “So having programs that help you do things in the least amount of time allows you to use your time more efficiently in things that do make you money.”

Tattooists need to collect a lot of information from every new client. First there are the details of what kind of tattoo they’d like, including any inspiration images and selecting the days they want an appointment. Then there’s personal information like their age and any serious medical issues. Traditionally this might require a lot of back and forth emails and phone conversations, leaving data and information scattered about in different formats and not readily accessible.

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Sara asks for everything in a single deposit form, integrated with Square. So not only does she get the information she needs up front, but her clients commit with a deposit payment. And when they come by for their tattoo, they can pay the remainder of their balance using a credit card.

“Sometimes tattoos are really expensive, unfortunately,” she said. “To have a client walk around with that much cash in their pocket is scary. So I want my clients to be comfortable with being able to bring a card.”

Consent

Getting clients to give their consent shouldn’t be a headache. Sara uses JotForm for that, too.  Her consent form releases liability and lets the client agree that they’ve been fully informed of any inherent risks of receiving a tattoo. There’s a long block of text that outlines everything the client agrees to, with a checkbox at the end allowing the client to mark that they understand and agree.

This provides a fast, seamless way for clients to give their consent – from any type of device and without needing to print anything out and fill it by hand.

Sara has ambitious goals. By using tools like JotForm and Square, she can focus more on her craft and less on the tedious aspects of running a business. Are you using JotForm to collect payments online? How many tattoos do you have? Let us know in the comments below. And for a chance for your business to be featured in a JotForm case study, fill out our Case Study Request Form.

Chad is Director of Communications at JotForm. He’s also a frequent contributor to various tech and business publications, and an absolute wizard with a Vitamix. He holds a master’s degree in communication and resides with his girlfriend and cats in Oakland, California. You can reach Chad through his contact form.

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