June 30, 2022

By Betti Halsell

Assistant Managing Editor


The Painted Lady LA is a Black woman-owned business, The Los Angeles Sentinel had an exclusive interview with founder and owner Autumn Armstrong before the grand opening.

The Painted Lady is set up in Silverlake, located at 4220 W. Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. Armstrong reflected on her expansion, she stated, “Leaving my first shop almost felt like leaving an old friend behind. It was bittersweet. We didn’t expect to have to find a new location 6 months after our grand opening, but God works in mysterious ways.” Her former location was located on Venice Blvd.

Armstrong continued, “Our new location in Silverlake is bigger, better, and starting to feel like home. We’re so excited to be a part of the community and share our art and our message of inclusivity in the tattoo industry.

The seeds of The Painted Lady LA were planted almost 12 years ago. In considering the beginning of her journey, the founder of The Painted Lady LA said, “When I first started tattooing over 12 years ago, I realized tattoo shops weren’t really a female-friendly environment.”

Armstrong continued, “There was also a lack of customer service, which seems insane to me. Over the span of my career, I’ve helped other shop owners make their shop work better and create a more welcoming environment.”

It was only a matter of time before she saw her transformative gifts within herself, “I had been working on the business plan for my shop for years, so once the right location was available, I could jump on it.

The COVID pandemic was that final push for me to finally break out on my own.”

Armstrong created a space that would build loyal clients. She stated, “At The Painted Lady LA, we want our clients to keep coming back. Not only are we an all-female staff tattoo shop, but all our tattoo artists also have solid backgrounds in art, we give certificates to first-time tattoo collectors, and offer fully detailed after-care kits.”

The founder of The Painted Lady LA admitted to being afraid of needles until she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes also known as type 1 diabetes.

Armstrong elaborated on her challenge in overcoming needles through her new lifestyle, she stated, “At 15, I was diagnosed type 1 diabetic (juvenile diabetes). I had to get over my fear quickly, injecting myself multiple times a day. Eventually, I started hanging out in tattoo shops; I think the industry always fascinated me. There’s something very sacred about a practice that has been around for centuries. The permanence and commitment, it’s something to admire.”

Armstrong shared that she has been an artist for as long as she could remember. “I had been painting and drawing my whole life, tattooing just seemed like the best way to create and still be able to make a livable wage. I’m fortunate enough to give that opportunity to other female artists in an industry that doesn’t want us here,” she said.


Her inspiration came from women who are tattoo pioneers. She stated, “I was inspired by female tattoo artists like Tatu Baby and Kat von D - feminine, talented, and badass.”

Armstrong continued, “I didn’t know women like me had a place in this mostly male field until I saw them. Being a queer Black woman, I think I bring something completely new and refreshing to the game.”

As a Black woman tattoo artist, Armstrong faced a lot of energy that tried to snuff out her dreams.

The owner of The Painted Lady stated, “I remember when I told my tattoo artist I wanted to learn to tattoo, he promptly told me not to waste my time. That one statement has kept me going through my career, because why not me?”

When pursuing the goal of her tattoo shop, she had to maneuver past many obstacles.

This included finding the right location, staff, marketing, and funding. “It took time to find the right place, but I found that standing my ground and negotiating my terms got me into the right location.

The best advice I got about finding a storefront is not to settle.

You want to feel proud of your space; you have to see the vision of what could be before anything is there, ” Armstrong said.

The founder of The Painted Lady credited her success to her team and the new levels she had to climb as a leader. Armstrong stated, “My current team is incredible, but I’ve had to make some decisions as a boss that I didn’t think would arise.

I had to learn to set good boundaries so that everyone feels respected.”

Armstrong shared the latest updates on the new location, she stated, “Our art gallery is open, and we’re taking appointments for private tours until our grand opening in August!”

For more information go to https://thepaintedladyla.com. 

Category: Community