Ink for an impact: Tattoo shop partners with OASIS


Courtesy of Laken Hamby

The flash tattoo designs that will be offered April 16 at Primal Flame Tattoo.

Hollie Moore, Associate News Editor

Primal Flame Tattoo, a new member to the Boone community, has partnered with OASIS to raise money and awareness for the domestic violence help organization through a flash tattoo event April 16. 

Laken Hamby, an apprentice at Primal Flame Tattoo, overheard Kellie Bass, the rape prevention education coordinator at OASIS, talking about her work with OASIS. Hamby says the owners of Primal Flame Tattoo, Dylan Rosage and Steve Garvey, had been looking into partnerships with a local charity.

Bass had known of OASIS doing events with tattoo shops in the past, one being Speakeasy Tattoo Co. located on King Street. She said she had been one of the ones to sleep outside for the event at Speakeasy and that it “was one of the best times of my college career.”

Organizers of the OASIS flash event pose for a portrait in the lobby of Primal Tattoo. From left to right: Dylan Rosage, Steve Garvey, Kellie Bass, and Laken Hamby. (Mayesivy Carlson)

Primal Flame Tattoo, which opened in January at 1434 NC-105 in unit 5, will be donating 50% of their proceeds from the flash event to OASIS, in addition to money donations and items needed for the people in OASIS’s care. Some items they are in more dire need of include girls and mens clothing. They ask people to not donate things such as deodorant, body wash and toothbrushes/toothpaste since they already have plenty. 

“We’ve been around the area for a while and, you know, we always wanted to do something like this, didn’t know if it was gonna take off or anything,” Garvey said. “Honestly, it’s been well received and people hear about it, and friends that we tattooed, that people have a good experience. They always want to come back and it just is breathing its own life, you know, by itself. It’s amazing actually and this is gonna be cool.”

Primal Flame is offering 12 specific tattoos for the flash event, each for $120, which they have posted on their Instagram and website. They will be open from noon-8 p.m.

“It’s cool to be in the position, now as business owners, we get to do things like this, you know, without necessarily asking permission from the owner of the shop,” Rosage said. “This definitely fits more on, like, the purpose side of stuff as opposed to just profit.” 

Bass said OASIS has 36 events planned for April, more events than days in the month. Their motivation came from April being Sexual Assault awareness month, Bass said.

“These events are really cool because the donations that come to us are basically unrestricted funding,” Bass said. 

She said most funding comes from local and federal grants, but they’re “really strict” about ways the money can be used. 

“So if somebody’s only reason for not leaving their abuser is that they need $600 to fix their car, we can’t use grant funding for that but we can use money we make from these kinds of events to do that,” Bass said. 

The flash tattoo event will also include two raffle baskets, each raffle ticket being $5, Hamby said. There will be a $100 gift certificate in each basket and all proceeds from the tickets will go to OASIS.

“I mean, honestly, we have to praise Laken for sure,” Garvey said. 

He said she ran the idea by the two owners, which they “were totally about it” but it was a “big help from her.” 

Primal Flame will allow only walk-in customers that day to “knock out as many as possible,” Hamby said.

“We want to be a part of the community. So for just being open a couple months, it’s sweet to be able to already start working with other people and making some positive change,” Rosage said.