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Carmela Bustamante was born a New Orleanian in 1986.  Her inspiration was born when her mother came home with a navel piercing, from that day forward it would change her life forever. During family history research, she would find that her heritage comes from Guatemala and the Maya people who reside there. The traditions of the Mayan culture are  beautifully coloured with body modifications of all types and it would only be destiny that she have a passion for the art of body piercing to enhance ones physical and spiritual being. 

 

Getting Started In the Industry

 
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As with all exceptional people Carmela faced many hardships growing up in a time of misunderstanding. At the age of 16 facing a conservative society in Gulfport, Ms she was expelled from school were the school board there would enforce a rule choosing one's outward appearance over their already failing education system. Little did they know this was only a hiccup in her road to success. After being kicked out of school she would travel to Nevada to work as counter staff in her first studio. A calling to go home would force her to move and start all over. Living back in Mississippi was not in the plans at all but would serve a purpose for her to get professionally  licensed. Working as a head cashier for three years at Hobby Lobby she would save the money and get a small loan to attend Fakir Intensive, in San Francisco. World renowned, Fakir's Body Piercing Intensives are the only comprehensive courses of instruction available today for those who would prepare themselves to do skilled, safe, aesthetically pleasing, and sophisticated body piercing. These courses would help Carmela into a studio where her body piercing studies would continue..   

        Logically the next step was to get an apprenticeship and start working in a studio. Knowing people all ready in the industry she would have to travel to Alabama to acquire an apprenticeship. Working by day and apprentice by night in 9 months she showed a unique ability for the craft and was able to get her license. Her first studio gig would come from non other than the world renowned Sailor Moses' California Tattoo Studio in Biloxi, MS. Life was ruff to say the least. Twelve p.m. to Twelve a.m. seven days a week for two years. With all great artist the time must come to move on and expand your horizon. From here she would work in Gulfport, MS for a short time till a calling to come home to the Crescent City.  New Orleans, she would find out, had her own plans for her.

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The Crescent City

Greater opportunities came knocking in a city a little more up with the times. Wanting to push her abilities more and more New Orleans her birth city provided the perfect chance to hone her skills. Mastering what she did best came by continuing her education but this time not in the form of her craft but business. Investing all her time and resources in learning about the best quality jewelry and new techniques so she could offer only the best services available.  Working for anyone is hard especially when you want to continue to do better and strive for more so getting an llc and investing her own money with just a small order would prove to be a terrific option at that time. Not being able to grow her business with-in someone else's would prove to be the thing that would push her to open her own one day.


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After three and a half years of investing and growing her resources she would find that her current studio could no longer meet her demands for the future.