We had the good fortune of connecting with Kendall Villalpando and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kendall, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always been an artistic and creative person, even at a young age. I pursued this career keeping in mind I really didn’t have much to lose and everything to gain. I originally got into the tattoo and body piercing industry because I wanted to be a tattoo Apprentice. I did of course get the opportunity and I absolutely love tattooing, but piercing was more my forte in the end. I love everything that comes with piercings, the idea of jewelry styling, making sure that each piercing is anatomy compatible and of course some of my favorite memories are of some of my customers just expressing how much they enjoy talking to me. As I’ve advanced in my career I have enjoyed getting to work with higher end brands of jewelry, creating more of a unique experience for each client. Honestly though if it wasn’t for my employer and co-workers at Imperial Tattoo Company I would have never gotten the opportunity, I should say my work family. Working with such amazing people has definitely helped me grow creatively in this industry. This kind of work never really feels like “work”. I get to listen to all kinds of cool music, I get to be around new pieces of art every day created individually for each client. If someone would have told me I’d get to doing what I do now to younger me, I’d probably say “I can’t wait!”

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I get asked all the time “how did you get into piercings?”. Honestly, this experience chose me. Before I became a piercer I was actually a private caregiver. I took care of the elderly and the terminally ill. That previous job had pretty much taught me the basics of what I was going to uses as a piercer. Bloodborne and cross-contamination training, good bedside manner, and general cleanliness. That job was extremely emotionally draining even though I enjoyed my clients. While I was still a caregiver I just happen to see on social media that a studio I had been going to was hiring. I had befriended some of the guys that worked there and so they knew me a bit. I reached out to the guy who owned the place and asked if they were still hiring and what qualifications were needed. I emailed my resume over with my fingers crossed, hoping for a chance. That studio, (Imperial Tattoo Company) I have been at for 6 years now.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh man, I have a few favorite spots. I’m born and raised in Houston TX so I know most of this city like that back of my hand. First off I want to start with Minute Maid Park, getting a ticket to see the Astros is a must Houston experience. The downtown area has several fantastic holes in the wall that are extremely amazing. Places such as Neil’s bar, this amazing place has an amazing stuff they also have amazing food angry dinner tainment. Entertainment from all sorts of video games karaoke comic books and so much more. There’s also a really groovy place #’s nightclub. This place has amazing music from the 80s and 90s and amazing atmosphere. Some of the staff there has been around for a while and everybody makes you feel at home. Right down the way from this club is a groovy little bar called love Buzz that sells Amazing Pizza. And one of my favorite sushi places in Houston is just a little further down from love Buzz called Osaka. I ran the little place that I discovered during one of my Adventures downtown has refurbished art supplies call the art Asylum.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shout out to my OG family at Imperial Tattoo Company. Jon West, Aaron Bates, Geoff Ellis, Sarah Wayne, and especially Tony Wayne for taking a chance with me and letting me be apart of this industry. A shout out to Kristen Edwards and Christopher Edwards (Frog) for teaching me so much about body piercings. A shout out to all of my wonderful clients that keep coming back for more of my work and for all the referrals they send my way. And especially a big shout out to my mom, Kimberly Tripp and dad, Monico Villalpando for ALWAYS supporting me in the things I do.

Website: http://www.imperialtattoocompany.com/kendall-villalpando/

Instagram: @kendallvillalpando

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/kendall.villalpando

Yelp: https://m.yelp.com/biz/imperial-tattoo-company-sugar-land?osq=Imperial+Tattoo

Other: Kendall@Imperialtattoocompany.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.