Empowering ink: Inside The Blush Artistry – a trailblazing tattoo studio redefining art and beauty
Photos by Jennifer Sherwood
After years of traveling and searching for fulfillment in other careers as a cosmetologist and graphic designer, Savannah Livingston and Heather Sharbutt of The Blush Artistry and Lumith have filled their cups by helping to fill others.
The friends and business owners have built their services around empowering their clients and making them feel at home within their fun and inviting space in historic downtown Hartselle. Though different in their approach, both women use their artistry to allow their clients to leave feeling pampered and with lasting confidence that makes them want to keep coming back again and again.
A Priceville native, Livingston started her early career as a cosmetologist and traveled throughout the states before realizing she wanted a change. After moving back home she started The Blush Artistry about three and a half years ago where she offers cosmetic tattooing such as lip blushing, microblading (brows), eyeliner and more.
Sharbutt was born in San Diego before moving to study graphic design at The Art Institute of Atlanta. After working a variety of art jobs, the two women met and decided to take the plunge together. Sharbutt specializes in unique feminine and fine line tattoos with a self-proclaimed “light-hand” that’s so relaxing she’s had clients fall asleep in the chair.
For Livingston, the magic comes in helping her clients leave feeling their best selves. While all of her guests are special, she says being able to help those that have experienced hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments or other conditions is especially impactful.
“I’ve had a client that has trichotillomania – where she picks at her skin and pulls her hair out. We did her brows and she said ‘I’ve never felt more beautiful in my life.’ That’s just incredible,” said Livingston.
Sharbutt says she’s had the opportunity to tattoo plenty of meaningful things for her clients from birth flowers of children to the handwriting from deceased loved ones. Being able to capture those moments and memories is something that she never takes for granted.
“I had one lady that both of her grandparents had passed away with Alzheimers and she had forget-me-not flowers tattooed with their name in the stems of the flowers.” Sharbutt said.
Although the business is practically a household name now, Livingston and Sharbutt said taking that initial plunge was nerve wracking, but that now they can’t imagine anything different.
“In the beginning it was terrifying, but as soon as I let go of it things lined up like crazy,” Livingston said, “If I could go back I would say to believe in myself. It wasn’t easy to put money into a business, it was crippling at first. But seeing what I can do – I don’t think I would have appreciated that in the beginning,”
Sharbutt said she initially was resistant to Livingston’s invitation to join the shop but that after ample encouragement, she decided to take the leap.
“I needed to stop comparing myself to others on social media. I use it now more strategically – it keeps you humble. I would tell myself to enjoy the ride more.” Sharbutt said.
Over the past several years, Livingston and Sharbutt have grown the shop from ground zero to being completely booked out months in advance. They have worked to create a salon-like space that they say they’re both excited to be in each day.
Livingston says one of the best parts about her job is being able to create a lasting experience for clients that leave as friends. She said one of her top priorities in creating The Blush Artistry is to create a space for women to empower each other.
“People share so much with us and they just leave feeling so much more confident in themselves. When women support one another it’s a powerful feeling,” Livingston said.
Similarly, Sharbutt says Lumith allows her not only to tap into her artistry background, but to provide a lasting impression.
“They come wanting an experience and when we come in here the energy is just different. It empowers, there’s a transfer of good energy. We really are passionate about pouring our all into it and growing it with love and passion,” Sharbutt said.