Looking to get some new ink done? A new tattoo studio in Mossyrock, Rain Rock Ink, may be just the place you’re looking for.
Owner and tattoo artist Sarah Gootgeld, the daughter of an El Salvadoran immigrant, opened the studio as part of a career transition. Born in Morton and raised in Lewis County, she was a real estate agent before inking people up.
Tired of the “cutthroat” nature of the real estate industry and encouraged by her husband, Eli Gootgeld, Sarah Gootgeld decided to take up tattooing and started an apprenticeship at a studio in Chehalis about two years ago.
“Tattooing has always been something I’ve loved. I got my first tattoo when I was 14 actually. I had to hide it from my mom until I was 18, and she wasn’t happy at all when she did find out,” Sarah Gootgeld said.
Her father, who was from El Salvador, was OK with that tattoo, but her Dutch Catholic mother was a different story.
“My dad was the total opposite. He was open to everything because he lived a pretty rough life. My mom was raised a very strict Catholic. It was a totally opposite reaction,” said Sarah Gootgeld.
She has now given her mother her first tattoo.
“I just tattooed her yesterday actually. They’re really, really supportive of me now,” Sarah Gootgeld said.
Her apprenticeship was under Scott Carreras at Full Throttle Tattoo before he moved his studio from Chehalis to Olympia recently. Now 30 years old, Sarah Gootgeld opened Rain Rock Ink back in June. Despite being in a small town — at least compared to Centralia and Chehalis — Sarah Gootgeld has had no shortage of customers who have mostly been Lewis County residents.
“We’ve only tattooed a couple sets of tourists. We’ve been booked out about a month consistently, and it’s been all locals for the most part. We’ll get people from Packwood and people from Centralia and Chehalis,” Eli Gootgeld said.
Eli Gootgeld, who retired from being an electrician due to health concerns, now works as his wife’s receptionist at Rain Rock Ink and helps schedule appointments for her.
“It took me about two months to get my appointment so I feel like they’ve been pretty busy,” said Jen McKay, a resident of the Cispus area who was getting work done at the studio at the time of The Chronicle’s interview.
While there are female tattoo artists in the industry, there aren’t many who also own their own studios, according to Sarah Gootgeld, and she said her studio fits in the diverse community of Mossyrock.
“Here in Mossyrock, we’re more progressive than people think. We don’t have cops, we’re like 50% Hispanic, like 50% of our businesses are women-owned. People think we’re just all rednecks out here but we’re not,” Eli Gootgeld added.
Sarah Gootgeld also enjoys the freedom being a tattoo artist allows her, especially when compared to her last career in real estate.
“It’s one-on-one and it’s more genuine. Being a (real estate) agent, you have to be a salesman and I do not like being in that position and being a salesman. It’s not me. This is way more up my alley,” she said.
She now gets to spend her days in her studio, talking to her customers and actually getting to know them instead of just trying to sell them something. All while inking them up and getting to spend time with her husband who has to do his best to not make customers laugh while under the tattoo gun.
Rain Rock Ink is located in Mossyrock at 242 E. State St. and is open Wednesday through Saturday. Appointments must be scheduled.
To schedule an appointment, text Sarah Gootgeld at 360-523-8124 or Eli Gootgeld at 360-520-2312. Sara Gootgeld is booked through November right now but cancellations do occur.
To view some of Sarah Gootgeld’s work visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sarah.gootgeld.
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