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Daily Inspiration: Meet Hailey Babcock

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hailey Babcock.

Hailey, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I came from a very cut and dry family. When you graduate high school, you go to college, get a degree, and get a job to join the masses. So when I graduated high school I hopped straight on the college train. I changed my major more times than I can count and struggled trying to find my place in the world.

My senior year of college after struggling greatly with my mental health, I finally decided it was time for me to do something for myself. I dropped out, and spent the next 2 years working on what I really was passionate about: art.

People thought I was crazy, that I was giving up my whole future. But I couldn’t see myself working a normal 9-5 and being miserable for the rest of my life. I put together a portfolio of all my best art and started taking it to tattoo shops within a 100-mile radius of where I was living at the time asking for someone to give me an apprenticeship and a chance at something bigger.

I started my apprenticeship at Mattoos in Moberly Missouri in 2019 and drove an hour one way not making any money for months, I crashed on friends’ sofas and did anything it took to make my dream come true. I made a lot of sacrifices, but I knew it would all be worth it.

In 2020 I lost my way a bit, I was in a very toxic and abusive relationship which pulled me away from my dream of becoming a professional tattoo artist. I left Mattoos and started working at McDonald’s to try and appease my boyfriend at the time. I struggled even more with my mental health and felt like I had hit rock bottom. One day I woke up and as he left for work I packed everything. I moved all my things out with the help of my mom and maternal grandparents and disappeared. Before I even got everything unloaded from the Uhaul I went to Mattoos, where I was told: “I’d always have a home.”

So I really cracked down on getting my license. I was at the tattoo shop 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. I had so much to prove to myself and my family. On July 8th of 2020, I got my tattoo license and I felt on top of the world. Things only went up from here. In October of 2020, I got my first place all by myself. In 2021 I began networking outside of Mattoos and Missouri altogether. I now am friends/colleagues with several artists and shop owners around the US and travel regularly to tattoo.

Now in 2022, I am making great money, able to support myself entirely on my own, in a very loving relationship, and finally having fulfillment in my life. For the first time in my life, I am moving out of state and feel completely confident in doing such. In November of 2022, I will take on a permanent position at Electric Blue Tattoo Co. In Forest Lake MN and I could not be more excited to see exactly how far my story will go.

“Sometimes things fall apart, so that better things can fall together” -Marilyn Monroe

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I feel like everyone who made it to a position in their life that they’re completely proud of has struggled a lot along the way. The hardest part for me was having to make sacrifices. I had to be honest with myself in what I can and can’t do and choose what benefit me the most in the end. Between dropping out of college, and the battle with my mental health in a very toxic and abusive relationship, my path definitely had its ups and downs. But you have to have the drive to better yourself and your situation. Weigh your options and choose what is the most beneficial for you and your needs and future. And don’t sacrifice anything for anyone but yourself. Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a licensed tattoo artist in Minnesota and Missouri. I specialize in neotraditional/new school bold color work, but I dabble in a little bit of everything. I think what I’m most proud of that sets me apart from others is my forward growth. I’ve only been in this industry for a couple of years and not many people with that little experience in the field can say they’ve gotten the opportunities that I have. I work 60-hour work weeks regularly and push myself extremely hard and get the greatest return. I’m so excited to see where I’ll be in another 5, 10, 20 years. Things can only get greater.

What’s next?
I’ll be one of the first people in my family to move out of state to follow my career! I’m super excited to start my new journey in Forest Lake MN in November! I’m also very excited about some other out-of-state guest spots at some friends’ shops including Florida, Kentucky, and Illinois. Plus I’ll be attending some conventions as well which will be super exciting!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Maddison Sharp (Maddison Sharp Photography)

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