Woman Makes Her Mark In a Man’s World

For many years, Amanda Mas was the only woman in her workplace.

Sexism was rampant. Even colleagues at the same level felt they could tell her what to do. There was no HR department to help.

Whenever she felt uncomfortable, she left. Eventually that grew tiresome.

Now she has struck out on her own. She’s opened her own private studio: Amanda Mas Tattoo.

Amanda Mas, at work

It’s just over the Norwalk border, near Whole Foods. Westport does not have any tattoo parlors, but Amanda has plenty of local clients. After 7 years in this area, she is in high demand. She is a huge Westport fan too; the town’s embrace of charitable organizations resonates with her.

Most tattooists are men. They don’t (let’s face it) have the best reputation. But as body art moves in to the mainstream — and more and more women get tattoos, including sleeves — someone like Amanda stands out.

“I want to empower women, make them feel comfortable,” she says.

Sleeves are gaining popularity with women. Amanda Mas models hers.

The route to her own studio has not been easy. Tattoo shops were closed early in the pandemic. When they reopened (with many restrictions), she went back to work. But she did not want to accept walk-in customers, and — for the first time in her life — she was fired.

Now in her private studio, Amanda realizes, “I should have gone out on my own much earlier.”

Even during COVID, people want tattoos. She is booked for the next 2 months.

Her clients cover a wide range. She recently gave a woman her first tattoo, at age 80.

Amanda work with a lot of Westport mothers, businessmen — and many nurses too. Tattoos are a way for them to express themselves, despite having to wear the same thing every day at work.

Flowers, on arm.

Youngsters come in too. Amanda has a long chat with the parent, before beginning. She realizes that body art is permanent.

“If a teenager wants to commemorate a family member, that’s okay,” she says. “If they want a band logo, maybe that’s not the best idea.”

A business owner who might talk a client out of a job? Go figure.

“People have a vision of a tattoo artist as a scary person,” Amanda admits. “But I’m a little woman. No one should judge other people.” Or judge what their body art looks like.

She inks “plenty of flowers. Lots of animals. Landscapes, too.” Favored spots include wrists, ankles and rib cages — places where tattoos can be both hidden and shown off.

Elephant and butterfly, on ankle.

“A lot of really successful people who are heavily tattooed, and hardly anyone else knows,” Amanda says.

A recent trend is for full arm sleeve work on younger women. “People have gotten a lot more accepting about sleeves,” she notes.

Has she ever refused to tattoo someone?

“Yes!” she says. “If someone is impaired with alcohol or whatever, we’re not supposed to work on them. I left one shop because I was forcefully asked to do someone who was drunk. I didn’t want them to wake up the next day and regret it.

“If I think something is not aesthetically pleasing, or people in the past haven’t liked it, I’ll talk to them.” However, she adds, “a lot of people in the industry don’t have those morals.”

Pineapple, on calf.

Amanda Mas is passionate about her work. “Tattooing is an art,” she says. “It’s an entire experience.

“I love how it’s just my client and me in the office. We can listen to music, but a lot of people want to talk. I’m almost like a therapist.”

And — like any therapist — she helps people look in the mirror, and like what they see.

For more information, email amandamastattoos@gmail.com. She’s on Facebook and Instagram too: @amandamastattoo (without the “s”).

Bee, on arm.

14 responses to “Woman Makes Her Mark In a Man’s World

  1. Tattoos especially on women Yuck that’s why there called tramp stamps.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Eric Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Tattoos are a great way for the Woke to flush money down the toilet without wasting water.

  3. Great to see her striking out on her own and leaving the sexism behind! Except for in the comment section of this blog, where it showed back up on the very first comment. Some super old dudes just love to turn up and show the world just how out of touch they are.

    • Spot on David, I agree, great for her. I wish Amanda great and continued successI guess some guys still must be wearing their lettermen jackets and talking about their, ‘Glory Days’ at SHS.

  4. Most people seem to want change all the time – either the latest fad or something of their own choosing. But tattoos are forever. It’s hard to believe that people will enjoy that same design always. When tattoos are more easily removed they may make more sense.

  5. Cheryl McKenna Kritzer

    How great she is a talented caring girl doing her art. Men are always jealous of strong woman . Please keep your homophobic thoughts inside your own houses . We are very tired of them and it’s time to become open minded and empathetic to all people with or without tattoos!

  6. Tattoos are also great to cover up scars, and can really empower people who have needed some kind of major surgery. I have several friends who had radical mastectomies and now have the most beautiful artwork on their chests.

    I also happen to have two tattoos, one that is 29 years old, and one that is 16 years old, and I adore them both and love the story they tell. Please don’t let any of the naysayers on this thread sway anyone considering getting a tattoo, and thanks as always, Dan, for your playful, creative, open-minded posts.

  7. Amanda is a great artist and a calm and professional tattoo artist. Her new studio is warm and inviting and especially private. The comments here by ignorant men highlight the sexism that Amanda talks about in the article. Keep your ignorance to yourselves.

  8. Cheryl McKenna Kritzer

    Amen tiny mouse number one 👌👍🏻✅

  9. Interesting factoid: more women have tatoos than do men. 40% to 36%

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