August 24 / 2016

Metals Fab, Inc. INK


20160824_143455Nearly a quarter of all Americans have at least one tattoo, according to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center. As for Metals Fab employees, well…it’s more like half.

And there’s a reason for nearly every one of those tattoos. Often it’s to mark a life-changing event: the death of a parent, for example, or the birth of a child. Or, for Lawrence Dugas and Cameron Kjelgaard, an opportunity to celebrate your heritage (Cajun and Danish, respectively).

“It’s gotta be meaningful,” says J.P. Martinez, whose only tattoo is a Bible verse. Eddie Stone agrees. Though he has “too many to count,” there’s a story behind each.

Not everyone, however, gave quite as much thought to theirs.

Like Wes Davis, who can’t remember any of his three tattoos. And Gavin McGowan, whose first came when he was 15—from a tattoo gun he and his friends built after watching an instructional video on YouTube. “Mom wasn’t very impressed,” he admits.

Over its 5,000-year history, tattooing has been used to treat arthritis, to mark criminals and slaves, and to serve as a spiritual guide to the next life. And, of course, for pure artistic expression. Back in the 1920s, American circuses employed more than 300 people with full-body tattoos who could earn an unprecedented $200 per week—more than $120,000 a year in today’s dollars.

Yet, in spite of wider cultural acceptance these days, a visible tattoo can negatively affect your chances of finding—and keeping—a job. Except at Metals Fab, of course. And that fact’s not lost on our inked employees. “That’s part of why I love working here,” says Jeremy Dellinger. “This is the perfect job.”

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