With a three-year ready listing and a coterie of superstar clientele, tattoo artist Dr. Woo has bridged the hole between ink and high-fashion. Previously few years alone, he’s flown to Paris to take a seat within the entrance row at Style Weeks, had an intimate two-week residency on the Freehand Lodge, produced a capsule collection with Sacai, and opened Hideaway at Suite X, his secretive LA atelier. Recently, he’s been setting his sights on skincare.
Project Woo, touted as a “purveyor of high quality items from the curious thoughts of Dr. Woo,” and it is eponymous skincare line, Woo, is about taking good care of all sorts of pores and skin, tattooed or not. At the moment, he debuted an after/care kit, containing a cleaning soap and moisturizer combo, and gentle hand sanitizer, rounding out a lineup that features his mild cleansing soap set, which was launched in March, and moisturizing sun shield SPF 30, a sunscreen obtainable for preorder for November.
Launching a skincare line nearly two years within the making within the midst of a pandemic may deter probably the most seasoned entrepreneurs, and even the world’s most notorious single needle artist is feeling the adjustments of lockdown. However as a substitute of shying away from the pandemic, Woo has confronted it—and it’s results—head-on. The model pivoted it’s preliminary launch again in March right into a giveback product that raised $276,000 for the non-profit Baby2Baby, proving philanthropy is within the model’s DNA and can proceed to be so with a rotating forged of initiatives.
“The pandemic modified my work in an enormous manner. Earlier than this, I used to be on a aircraft touring round at the very least twice a month. That was a giant a part of the model, and who I used to be, and what sort of work I did.” The work he has managed to do up to now few months has been significant—a tattoo for Kid Cudi of his daughter Vada, and extra lately, a tattoo of the late Nick Cordero, who misplaced his months lengthy battle with Coronavirus this July, on Cordero’s buddy Zack Braff.
Right here, Woo discusses the inspiration behind his line and the challenges of launching a enterprise throughout a pandemic—plus, he shares his recommendation for whether or not you need to get that tattoo you’ve been interested by.
First off, what impressed you to create a skincare line?
All the various years I spent tattooing, I have been in such shut proximity working with the pores and skin. Being a child that grew up with delicate pores and skin, I used to be all the time conscious of skincare and self care at an early age. To me, it was an ideal time to create one thing that was an answer for serving to deal with model new tattoos, however extra importantly additionally present superior skincare for everybody, whether or not you have got a tattoo or not.
Would you say there are distinctive challenges to formulating a skincare line particularly for a tattoo care?
I did not wish to create merchandise particularly for tattoos. I needed to create merchandise that had been particularly for enhancing pores and skin normally, maintaining the pores and skin nourished, and taking good care of and defending it. In case your pores and skin is at the very best it may be, the tattoos that dwell in your pores and skin may also be portrayed on the very best canvas. After I was getting tattooed and attempting to determine one of the simplest ways to heal my work, it will get infected and contaminated. I used to be actually nervous about getting a tattoo each time I received one. Utilizing merchandise that had been simply actually easy, minimal, fragrance-free ended up working for me. With my very own thoughts, I needed to take it to the following step and simply create a complete line that adopted that code, but additionally make it for everybody. This line is tremendous protected for everybody as a result of there’s nothing in it that might set off something. And on prime of that, in case you do have tattoos, it is excellent for that due to the road of elements that we observe.
Are you able to converse a bit of bit about the way you landed on these specific merchandise on your line?
The primary merchandise in our line, the after/care equipment, are the primary iterations of crucial features of taking good care of a brand new tattoo. All through the years, I’ve discovered that a number of these antibacterial soaps carry pointless elements. When you have delicate pores and skin, they’ll irritate it, make it extra infected, and trigger extra danger of an infection. So, we formulated a cleaning soap that is as easy and as clear as we presumably may, utilizing the least quantity of elements. That was really actually arduous for me and the product improvement staff, as a result of we went backwards and forwards, and I used to be placing out any elements that they’d that I did not really feel had been wanted.
And the after/care moisturizer is for the second stage of therapeutic to maintain a tattoo moisturized and clear for the primary 14 days. Each different product that now we have are important skincare gadgets—I journey so much and I’ve a household, and I simply attempt to knock these all off the listing of issues that I’ve personally.
So really, I wrote about Venture Woo in a roundup just a few months in the past after you determined to pivot the launch of your cleaning soap to boost cash for Baby2Baby. What made you select to associate with Baby2Baby?
Our launch was set in April and we had been tremendous enthusiastic about it. We spent nearly two years engaged on this undertaking, and after we all received hit with the shutdown we had been like, “Okay, now we have to push the launch again as a result of we’re all sitting stagnant.” That first week, there was a number of worry, there was a number of nervousness. We had been all collectively on this bizarre time that was unprecedented. So, the main target for me wasn’t actually interested by any enterprise issues. It wasn’t interested by how we may hold our careers going, it was extra about: How can we deal with one another? And the staff introduced up an concept. We’ve all this cleaning soap that we had been going to promote and proper now it is extra necessary that we’re instructing our children and we’re instructing folks in our neighborhood that now we have to remain clear, and wash our palms, and cease the unfold.
So, we thought, “Hey, why do not we promote all of the cleaning soap, it is wonderful cleaning soap, and push the initiative of watching your palms, staying residence, staying clear. And let’s donate all of the proceeds to a charity or a company that is serving to those who want it probably the most presently.” That is how we began the concept of pivoting it to working with Baby2Baby. We selected Baby2Baby as a result of I needed to work with a staff that was in my very own yard. Baby2Baby is a tremendous group out of Los Angeles and so they’re serving to so many children and households that had been hit very arduous. As a household man, that struck a chord with me.
I additionally learn that going ahead, 100% of the online earnings of the mild cleaning soap set will profit summaeverything.org. How precisely did you decide that group to align with?
I believe a giant a part of what our message is taking good care of ourselves and taking good care of these round us. And me personally in all my tasks and endeavors, I attempt to give again or unfold consciousness of how we will all assist and be higher. SummaEverything is a tremendous meals financial institution in South Central LA, and so they deliver natural produce, and greens, and more healthy meals choices that some folks haven’t got entry to. I assumed that was a tremendous method to educate folks, not solely about what our phrases and actions can do, however how a few of these communities are affected by easy issues corresponding to meals—that may make or break a number of development.
You’ve got spoken so much about how the pandemic has affected your neighborhood, however are you able to converse to how the pandemic has modified your work?
I have been at residence, which has been a blessing in disguise. I received to re-meet my household in a manner. Clearly, I like them and we’re shut, however now that we’re all collectively beneath the identical roof 24/7, it has been good to re-get to know my children, and my spouse, and we’re taking part in issues that we might usually not have sufficient time to. In order that’s been a very cool factor to see and develop. I have been honing my different crafts, portray and performing some extra work with my palms that I do not get an opportunity to, and focusing extra on my different entrepreneurial tasks that require my consideration.
Have you ever been in a position to do any tattoo work in quarantine?
I positively slowed down. For me, tattooing has been very selective. And like I stated earlier than, I’ve had so many different tasks looming that I attempted to find time for it. So now I work with trusted shoppers and buddies that I’ve identified for a very long time. I positively depend my blessings as a result of I have been in a position to make it work on this time, however I believe for the tattoo neighborhood, it has been fairly powerful, the identical manner it has been with our buddies within the restaurant companies and a number of independently-owned small companies.
I’ve observed lots of people wish to get tattoos post-coronavirus, do you have got any strategies on not make a critical mistake once they’re moving into?
I believe now it depends upon what metropolis you are in. I by no means noticed the issue when the coronavirus hit as a result of trusted, respected outlets had been all the time very on prime of cleanliness and maintaining the store sanitary and sterile. So, I consider that tattoo outlets had been the cleanest locations that anybody can go to. That being stated, there are outlets open round those who need tattoos. Undergo the method of researching and ensuring they seem to be a respected store. Likelihood is they’re most likely very clear and so they’re taking the pandemic very critically, however I’d simply dig a bit of bit deeper than you usually would and check your consolation stage with these artists.
You are additionally teasing a sunscreen which is not going to come back out till later this fall, however are you able to share every other plans you have got for Venture Woo?
We’ll have many facet tasks and possibly totally different residence items and issues that relate to our important wants and day by day life. The Solar Defend is coming in November—that is going to be a tremendous, fragrance-free product with clear, easy elements. And we’ll have many facet tasks, possibly totally different residence items and issues that relate to our important wants and day by day life developing. Something that you could be consider that you simply attain into your pocket or your purse, and you are like, “Oh, I’ve this,” we’ll most likely be making that bridge.
I imply, you stated you had been portray in quarantine. Is it potential there’d be Venture Woo advantageous arts?
We may make Venture Woo brushes, and pallets, and possibly some enjoyable easels, and issues like that. Something to assist encourage and assist create and encourage others.