We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Dowdell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
Atlas Shrugged By Ayn Rand This book absolutely molded my entrepreneur mindset into understanding that being a creator of a business and jobs is absolutely necessity for the free market. The “I” , is a fundamental ingredient in anything that you are doing and understanding this in addition to your “why” is all of the motivation you need as a business owner. Atlas Shrugged, changed the way I view socialism and the world at large. It helped me understand that many people in this world are charitable with others property/money and this concept at its core is the exact opposite of being altruistic or charitable. The true altruistic nature of a person is in the actions of sacrifice of giving to others without expecting anything in return and taking action within your means to help others simply for the sake of doing the right thing. This book truly changed my life.
What should our readers know about your business?
Our company Club Tattoo was founded in 1995 with a little more than $10,000. I had no business experience as an owner, however for what I lacked in experience I made up for in hard work and determination. I worked 10-12 hours a day for 6 days a week for the first 5 years of my company and took nearly every bit of profit for those years and reinvested back into my company so it could grow and be sustainable long term. I faced many challenges that were difficult to overcome such as the light rail system in Tempe that was constructed directly in front of our business. We fought that legislation and obviously lost. However we hedged our bets and opened a second location a few blocks away and eventually bought the commercial real estate as well. It turned out to be the best decision of our lives, just by understanding that we were most likely going to fail in the original location and planned accordingly. One of the largest lessons for us was understanding that since we were in the tattoo & piercing business that we were nearly always underestimated as business people and or looked down upon due to our industry. But; by elevating our business model and making our concept a luxury brand, our brand became sought after by some of the largest and most successful properties around the globe. We eventually created several global brand collaborations and now have 7 studios in Las Vegas and Arizona and are considered by many to have the most successful tattoo & piercing brand in the world.
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?
When our friends visit; where I take them depends entirely on the time of year. In the spring, we like to take guests to the Botanical gardens, the Phoenix Zoo, The Renaissance Festival, and outdoor activities like this. If it is in the summer we may take our guests to the JW Marriott in North Scottsdale, the Talking Stick Resort, maybe a spa day at the Aji Spa at Wild Horse Pass or something like this. Our favorite restaurants in the city are Maestros City Hall, and The Mission in Old Town.
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?
My shout out is dedicated to my Grandfather Russ, He made me believe in myself that I could accomplish anything in business if I was willing to do the work. Both my mother and father instilled a hard work ethic in me a young age and made it very clear that you have to work for everything in life, nothing will be given to you. Kerry Rose, was a manager and business mentor for me when I opened my first business and guided me for several years. My wife Thora. She wakes up everyday and gives me the encouragement to keep pushing forward. At times she makes fun of my determination but always makes me feel like she has my back and works as hard as I do to be successful at anything we undertake.
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Left: Thora Dowdell Right: Sean Dowdell