It’s easy to happen. A tattoo can last forever in its beauty and attachment to the person it’s on. But then another… maybe not so much. Maybe the experience around the day wasn’t good, maybe there was a mistake, maybe, simply, you just don’t feel attached to it anymore.
The reason can be your own, and at Fade Fast, there’s the utmost intention of making the experience of tattoo removal a good one.
“What differentiated us from other removal companies is that we we’re very pro-body modification, pro-tattoos, and so we understood that people don’t just remove tattoos because they don’t like them or want them,” says Audrey Fernández, who has been working with Allen Falkner (Fade Fast, The Nines) for years. “We evolve, we change, sometimes something doesn’t represent us anymore. Our goal is to make sure people are happy in their own skin.”
Years ago, Fernández worked at Suffer City Tattoos in Dallas, from where Falkner was operating the tattoo removal business. She quickly learned from him, and in 2015 when the business opened its storefront in Deep Ellum, she came with him.
For the past three years, it has just been the two of them as technicians, which can be a tremendous benefit: Seeing a familiar face and getting a similar experience for something that requires multiple visits can be so much better than not knowing what you’re going to get each time.
“I want to do a great job, but I’m also working on making them comfortable,” Fernández says. “People come in, and they’re unsure of what to expect, they’re afraid, anticipating discomfort. I do my best to make them comfortable in the environment with how I treat them.”
Walking in, it doesn’t seem like a space where lasers are at work.
“It’s all very clinical, of course you want the laser room to be very clinical, but as far as when you walk in the space, people say, ‘Oh, this feels like a tattoo shop,'” Fernández says. “Our personalities are definitely on the wall.”
And that will continue as the business moves into 2023, but one big change is that Fernández herself will be the sole owner of the business.
“I have a lot of respect for Allen, as a friend and as a member of the Dallas community, he has done a lot of great things and continues to do a lot of great things,” she says, “I want to honor him and his trust he has had in me.”
Fade Fast gets recommendations from Deep Ellum tattoo shops, whether it’s because a client wants a tattoo removed before being covered or there’s something to correct, for instance. Both Falkner and Fernández have relationships with their clients and tattoo artists, of course: Something you’re not going to find at any tattoo removal business, but that’s Deep Ellum.
As the neighborhood celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2023, Fernández will move from manager to full owner of the business, which she’s more than ready for.
“I just want to be a positive presence,” she says. “I am very proud to be a female and a Latina. I have a lot of friends who are small business owners in Deep Ellum, and I’m super excited to be part of that.”
Fade Fast is located at 2928 Main St., #100 and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday by appointment.