When someone has artwork dancing on their skin, there’s always a story behind how it got there. Whether it was an “on the whim” decision or a long, thought-out plan, tattoos tell a tale of who we are as human beings. In honor of Tattoo Story Day, our Spencer’s employees shared the meaning behind their favorite tattoos.

Gianna Tattoo Story

“I got this tattoo when I was at a crossroads in life, about to make a major change. I wanted a tattoo of my intuition and whichever direction I went in, I’d be able to navigate. I wanted the triple goddess at the center of the compass as a connection to self in every stage of life. This sigil reminds me to keep moving forward.” – Giana, Ecommerce Paid Media Manager

Shawnee Tattoo Story

“After being diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I needed a reminder that nothing in life is certain, except for the uncertain. I got this tattoo to continue to remind myself to embrace uncertainty. The DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders) code is just another reminder that my OCD is real even though others may not be able to see it.” – Shawnee, Ecommerce Content Supervisor

Dave Tattoo Story

“The octopus represents flexibility in life and the ability to change and adapt. The diving helmet has multiple windows to represent all the different ways to look at life, and the skull represents a person who only views life through one window or viewpoint. If you can’t change your point of view, you inevitably die.” – Dave, Sr. Director, Ecommerce Marketing

Kaylah Tattoo Story

“I’ve always had a love of cherry blossom trees and making impulsive decisions. So, naturally, when I accompanied my best friend to go get her tattoo during our first week of college, I found myself to be the one on the table within ten minutes of being inside. The artist drew the design freehand directly onto my skin with a permanent marker and got to work, taking frequent breaks to attend to his side hustle: selling weed right out of the shop to former clients. Do I still love the tattoo ten years later? Not so much. But do I still love the story? Absolutely.” – Kaylah, Ecommerce Category Merchandiser

Missy Tattoo Story

“I have a tattoo of a hand gesturing toward a crescent moon and some stars. When my now 2-year-old daughter was born, my world suddenly felt very small. I went from an active lifestyle to long days spent feeding the baby on the couch. I was terrified that something bad would happen to her if I took her out outside.

Before my daughter could speak, she’d often point to lamps, windows, and other light sources and look at me with wide-eyed delight as if to say, “LOOK at that!” It renewed my appreciation for what we take for granted as adults – a rabbit in the garden, a raincloud, or a man wearing a funny hat. She points, and I look.

When I finally started taking her outside, I noticed how much she loved to look for the moon and point toward it. And as she started talking, she’d point and shout, “THE MOON!”

This tattoo reminds me of all the beauty that surrounds us. We see huge oak trees and oceans all the time, but at some point, they fail to make us dance and shout with excitement. I hope she never loses that pure fervor.” – Missy, Ecommerce Senior Copywriter

Alex Tattoo Story

“When I first read Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) in high school French, I was instantly drawn to the idea behind the story of the little boy traveling the universe. The book’s message is best illustrated by one of its most famous lines, “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” The reminder that important matters are perceived best by the heart instead of the eyes is something that has always stuck with me.

That’s why when I decided to get my first tattoo while studying abroad in Paris 15 years ago, I knew exactly what I wanted. While the quote has certainly seen its share of wear over the years, it remains my favorite tattoo. At the end of the month I return to Paris and will be getting another tattoo at the same shop where I got my first one. This time it will be an oyster, inspired by the late Anthony Bourdain as well as what my husband of almost eight years and I enjoyed on our very first date in the same fateful city.” – Alex, Sr. Ecommerce Content Manager

Victoria Tattoo Story

“These four were/are BFF tattoos.  Technically, I’m still best friends with the other Blue Bird person but, sadly, no longer connected to the other people. Not all for bad blood reasons.  Just life takes us in different directions.

Top left is a wisdom tooth.  We wanted them on our fingers, but the tattoo artist talked us out of it.  There are three of us with this tattoo and we don’t have any deep meaning behind it other than we all thought we were such wise women and love the image of a tooth.

Top right is a bird.  Again, three of us have this matching tattoo.  Since I was living in Portland, Oregon and my friends were visiting, we decided to get tattoos together.  At the time, Portlandia was a viral show and they had a skit about ‘just put a bird on it and it’s cool,’ so we thought it was fitting to get bird tattoos in Portland.

Bottom left is a coda symbol. Another BFF trio tattoo.  We all met in a secret society and before I moved away we wanted a symbol to commemorate how and where we met. I miss those ladies.

Bottom right is a cliché tattoo.  This matching tattoo is with an ex-boyfriend.  Too bad it’s so poorly done because I actually like it.  Zero meaning behind it other than he and I had a dark sense of humor.

Moral of the story: don’t get BFF tattoos.  It’s the kiss of death!” – Victoria, Ecommerce Category Merchandiser

Lexi Tattoo Story

I chose to get this tattoo because I’ve always loved the look of tattoos when I was younger and knew I wanted to eventually get a bigger piece. After my first couple of tattoos, I decided I wanted a sleeve that would come together as a representation of my family. Each one of the flowers represents the birth month of a family member. Lily of the Valley for May, Roses for June, Gladiolus for August, and Asters for September. Because I only have a half sleeve done right now, I plan to finish my sleeve with additional flowers moving down my wrist as I get older and expand my family. – Lexi, Ecommerce Digital Marketing Admin

Do you have a story behind your tattoos? Tag us @spencers and show us your ink!