Businesses come and go in Burlingame, and residents are used to the opening of new restaurants and clothing stores. However the newest addition to Burlingame’s business sector isn’t selling sweaters or sandwiches--it's selling body art.
Royalty Tattoo Collective opened in mid-November as the first and only tattoo shop in Burlingame, and owner Sarah Walsworth is trying to change the way people think about tattoos.
“Tattooing has been more or less mainstreamed…(it’s) definitely a more widely accepted form of art now-a-days,” Walsworth said. "(It’s) putting something that you enjoy and love and admire on your body.”
She said her tattoo business is family-oriented, which may sound like an anomaly.
No profane or graphic images hang on the walls, and the space is bright, open and inviting. She started the shop with her brother and a couple of friends who had been tattooing for the past five or six years. All of them have families—Walsworth has an 8-year-old daughter—who were actively involved in the development of the shop, pitching in on everything from layout to branding to assembling the store. For instance, Walsworth’s daughter came up with the idea of giving temporary tattoos to children in the waiting area. The shop is a collaborative effort of family and friends, which Walsworth called a new-school way of thinking about business.
“Hopefully, that whole value system is conveyed with the tattoo shop,” she said. “What it should be and what is can be is different from what previous tattoo shops have done in the past.”
While Walsworth noted a few raised eyebrows from neighbors and those passing by, she said most received the shop positively, and working with the city was a great experience.
She said she and the other tattoo artists (there are a total of four) are inspired by various art forms, such as architecture and design.
“We translated all of those types of elements into tattooing, and that’s kind of what new school tattooing is all about,” she said.
Walsworth has spent 15 years working in marketing for Hello Kitty, and enjoys creating cute, girly designs and animation. Other artists in the shop prefer working in black-and-gray or traditional designs. At their Burlingame shop, they’ve noticed a trend of clients in their early 20s asking for family crests.
“I want to be the premier tattoo shop in Burlingame, the go-to place for anyone and everyone in the area that’s interested or even just curious,” Walsworth said. “We’re hoping.”
Royalty Tattoo Collective is holding it’s grand opening Saturday, Dec. 3 from 5 to 9 p.m., located at 1009 California Drive, Burlingame.