"My mama would take my game, so I would draw...later when I couldn't find a job my mama told me to get a tattoo kit...this changed my life.." - CASH
Originally from Boston, Cash can easily call Charlotte, (THE WEST SIDE) his home. He remembers learning so much in his formative teen years growing up on notable Queen City streets like Beatties Ford Rd. and La Salle, much like our host Gi.
Throughout the conversation, Cash's humility shined more than anything. He states that MONEY was not the reason for chasing his hustle. He wanted to master his craft, or in his words "I needed to be GOOD at something."
His passion took him far, but Cash makes sure not to forget his humble beginnings tatting his friends out of his home until 2015, when he decided to take the leap into owning his own studio space. A space that Gi notes, is a well kept secret.
"Man, once I got into it, and this was something I was GOOD at and LEGAL?" - Cash's excitement beamed as he talked about his growth. His excitement burned harder as he talked about, "Not being done." as he expands his creative skillset, as well as his business acumen.
Gi and Cash also discussed the beauty of the journey which included a large amount of trial and error, a process that Cash wishes on no one. Noting that the self made journey comes with a lot of pride but also a lot of time spent.
HONING HIS CRAFT
The biggest caveat to note about Cash's brand is being able to call himself a true artist. Cash will always pride himself in making custom, hand drawn artwork for his clients. Noble on many accords, Cash noted that he will decline work that is not original without hesitation, noting his code is not to not copy anyone's work.
Despite all these challenges, Cash maintained a disciplined attitude even if he wished he was able to get more experienced before going into business himself.
"If I could do it over, I might've worked in ONE more shop before I opened my own studio. I think that exposure would've been helpful running my own studio," Cash tells Gi as they get candid about Cash's journey into entrepreneurship. "I mean I only worked in one shop before I did my own thing.."
With everyone we have on the show, we love to dive into people's motivations and what KEEPS THEM GOING. Something that CASH attributed to his motivation was continuing to progress his craft. "Progression and Perfecting my craft. That's keep me going...and also helping people. I mean...you got people who are scared to show their legs because of some bad tattoo. I come in and cover it up and give them confidence. The clients. The relationships. That keeps me going."
CASH, THE ARTIST. CASH, THE MOGUL.
Gi and Cash noted a situation that damn near went viral, where a client bashed Cash for not taking her job because Cash wanted to do an original project for the client instead of copying the art of another artist.
"The client was mad because I wouldn't copy someone's work. How could you not respect that?"
When talking about his passions, Cash also talked about his art in general and how he loves to paint Not for money though, ironically enough Cash always sought to improve not to be able to charge but to be able to say he is progressing in his work. Getting better. That's what fuels his art.
His passion for his art, translates to his growth as businessman. Cash tells Gi how getting organized and taking himself serious allowed for his business and social media presence to grow.
DO NOT DM. That is what his insta page with over 78 thousand followers read whenever they come to his page.
"I got organized. I made sure I set myself up to where I can keep up. There was no way I was going to keep up with all the messages and comments, not with that massive following." Cash also told us once he got his own studio, and someone to handle his bookings, he was able to grow exponentially.
To fuel his inner artist, Cash also paints in his free time. He tells Gi that painting was something that he does to release.
"Whatever mood I'm in, That's what I paint," notes Cash as he talks about his passion surrounding painting and not ever taking commission work.
In terms or inspirations, Cash attributes his passion for the arts to his homeboy, Pat (@tattoorenaissance), whom took his craft just as serious before him. He remembers watching him and seeing the dedication he bestowed upon his craft, setting the precedent for Cash to take his own work just as serious.
"Do it because you want to get better. If you treat it as something where you need to be the best in and not for profit, the money will come. Trust me." - Cash.
The Power of Social Media
The power of social media is incredible. There is no doubt about it. Cash notes how he doesn't even like social media, but cannot ignore its power. He attributes his business to word of mouth, but an even larger portion to his social media presence.
The power of his following and understanding the nature of business allowed for Cash to scale his brand.
First, he was able to release his own line of skin care cream, KANUNI. He mentions how he studied immensely and used his same trial and error approach to learning what made the nest ingredients for his product.
"Once I learned all the cream can be used for, I knew I had something great," says Cash who talked about his pride in his product. This didn't come without mentioning his shortcomings, including getting heavy handed with essential oils in his early batches of the now refined skincare product.
Nowadays, Cash is chasing a new business endeavor: real estate. Studying for the majority of 2020, Cash nows make sure to use his knowledge to empower his clients and support the black community.
"Traditionalism is a big curse in the black community...I mean people have no Idea about wholesale real estate..." Cash goes on to explain how the passing of real estate can actually be pretty common in the black community but our generation may not exactly know what to do.
Going into the new year, Cash plans only to ONLY take existing tattoo clientele. This move is so he can focus on growing his real estate business to make sure his family, including Baby Cash coming soon, can prosper for many years to come.
PEACE AND BLESSINGS.
Episode 7 of The Black Vibrations Podcast will drop on 12/26!
Make sure to follow cash on Instagram!