STATE GOVERNMENT LETTING DOWN MILLENNIALS
AGAINST THE TIDE is a mobile tattoo family business.
It is the brainchild of husband and wife team Trent and Zimarra Goldsmith.
Trent dabbled in a number of jobs before he found his true talent and passion. After 5 years in the tattoo industry, he wanted to be able to spend more time with clients and apply an enhanced lens to designing. Zimarra has a background in mechanical engineering, she does the marketing/promoting, bookkeeping and general admin and is mum to their young son, Cave. They have converted a 1970’s Viscount Caravan to a mobile Tattoo Studio with all the mod-cons to make their clients as comfortable as possible. They travel from town to town delivering high quality tattoos to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access.
Against The Tide successfully use social media, creating posts, seeking interest coming through the towns, deciding on whether to work full time or to holiday depending on the feedback. They promote the beauty of the towns they travel to, the local businesses they frequent and participate in the communities they are in. Not forgetting they have a young child with them, they attend community playgroups, seek out other young families so the kids can play, all the while building their own unique community.
The idea sprang from a fear being “stuck”. They were sick of giving half of their earnings to bosses, tired of setting alarms in the morning, bored of waking up in the same old house, in the same old town. They needed something tailored to them, working, travelling and exploring, where they can do what they love every day, in an environment that’s comfortable for both client and artist. “We get told a lot how lucky we are that we’ve found a job that allows us to travel and work, when really, we think anyone can do it if they want it bad enough, sometimes it’s better to just take the leap and fail, rather than not do anything at all.” says Against The Tide. Their clients range from a broad spectrum of the population, the changes in attitudes towards tattoos means they see everyone from women in their 40’s who want to “live a little” to those who have secretly always wanted to have one but have never felt brave enough.
Meeting new people and hearing why a particular image is important to the client, means Against The Tide get to see their clients when they are vulnerable, allowing them to respond with kindness. This is an underlying ethos for Against the Tide, they want their clients to leave feeling like have had an experience; creating artwork for people to permanently wear on their skin is an honour, therefore the people they attract are not just people who want a picture on their skin, but people who are also seeking to connect with others.
They are both fresh to the business world, neither really having any experience in management or leadership roles, as such they are constantly learning this side of the business and turn to family members for advice. When beginning the business, there was a lot of research put into the rules and regulations both through the local council and statewide (QLD), wanting to make sure they ticked every box in every council so that they wouldn’t have any problems while travelling.
They journeyed down the East Coast of Australia, regularly booked out; promoting the towns they visited, as well as local businesses. The welcome they have received from the towns is evidenced in the high turnover they have had and the response from local media, they have been featured in the news and radio, praising their ingenuity and approach to business. Being so successful allowed them to expand their dreams to take their work overseas. Until they hit NSW. It seems they hadn’t done thorough enough research or as can be the case the local regulations and the NSW State laws contradict each other. They have been pipped at the post.
They are not allowed to run the business as a mobile tattoo studio in NSW.
“It is deeply frustrating to function successfully, to then have to put a halt to that due to an external restraint, if it was through our own mistakes then fine we would deal with that, but knowing we are doing well, being innovative, supplying something people want and it is the NSW State Laws that will not allow us do what we do, really bothers us. As young people we are constantly told to get out there and try things, don’t leave it too late, work hard and be inventive etc well we have done it and we have done it well BUT we are being stopped in our tracks.” Zimarra stated.
So for now they will operate a shopfront on the NSW Central Coast until they head overseas next year. However, I believe the sheer determination and focus that bought Against the Tide into existence will mean they put their creative minds together and work out some way around this barrier.
It is their dream and they aren’t going to stop until they’ve succeeded.