Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

Artists at Minneapolis Tattoo Shop are giving their time and talents to help women reclaim both their bodies and their lives.

Owners Nikki and Jodie Time opened up their shop on Sunday to partner with the national organization Personal Ink, or Tattoo artists around the country help empower breast cancer survivors through art after mastectomies.

“It’s way more than just art. There’s meaning behind it. There is a part of their body they’ve had to transform and it’s not what it used to be,” Nikki Time said. “And by us putting art on it, it transforms their inner self and their personal self because they no longer see the scars of their battles they’ve been through.”

The shop is owned and run by women, which is why when they first heard about the movement, they knew they wanted to be a part of helping other Minnesota women.

“We love to give back to our community because we feel it’s really important when you have a strong community that you live in, to be able to show people that everyone really cares,” Nikki Time said.

Christine Hartert is one of those survivors. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 and says she is one of the lucky ones. Doctors caught her cancer early and after a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, she is cancer-free, but she still lives with the scars.

“I’m going to get emotional. … It’s a healing process today and I’m really excited because it’s a way to take something that’s been really kind of hard … and it’s going to be a way to make something beautiful out of all the scars and things like that,” Hartert said.

She drove up from Wabasha to be part of the day and said her new tattoo is a part of her healing process.

“I’m hopeful this is going to be a good day for me to just be able to put this behind me and move on,” Hartert said. “It’s going to be a beautiful piece of artwork that’s going to show me everything I’ve accomplished over the last year and a half and to be maybe able to share that message and beauty with people.”

Hartert is one of four women who were tattooed on Sunday. Since 2013, has helped more than 60 women across Minnesota.

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