Seattle >Laughing Buddha Tattoo & Body
Basically: if you want high quality, go here.
I've been here for absolutely spectacular tattoos and piercings, and their brilliance has ruined me for other parlors. I would highly recommend Ruben for piercings-- of the sixteen I've had done, his work was far the best. He was very relaxing and mellow while still being engaged with me, which is rad and new. As far as tats go, for detail work I've never had better work than what I've gotten done here.
Basically: if you want high quality, go here
Worst tattoo experience ever... simple as that!.
Rarely do I feel compelled to write a review about a business (whether good or bad) but after leaving Laughing Buddha, I was so annoyed and frustrated that I had to say something to help people avoid this horrible shop in the future.
To say this place is unprofessional would be an understatement. After coming in to the shop for a mandatory consult, I arrived on the scheduled day for my tattoo appointment. My tattoo artist had no recollection of me or tattoo design. She finally pulled out her file and found my paperwork and said "oh yeah, I didn't even bother to prepare for this. What do you want again?" Awesome. We are off to a great start.
During the initial drawing phase, my tattoo artist completely left me and my friend for over 20 minutes while she ate cupcakes, shopped for jewelry around the store, told drunken stories from the night before, and even had other employees jiggle her breasts. Again, we are just standing and waiting for her to draw something... anything. Finally I ask her to work on the tattoo and she told me to give it a shot and draw it myself. Awesome customer service.
As time progressed, my friend gave up completely and told our artist she no longer even wanted to get a tattoo because of the horrible impression. The artist mocked her and told her she was a waste of the shops time. I had already put a deposit down and decided to go ahead since my tattoo was so simple and straightforward.
Yes, my tattoo turned out nicely. Yes, the tattoo shop was clean as other reviews have stated. But it was by far the worst tattoo experience I have ever had and will never go back.
It took us over four hours to get one small tattoo done and when we finally left to check out, not one person in the shop could run the register. Seriously. The shop asked me to figure out the price and to calculate any change back. The whole experience was horrible and made the shop look very unprofessional.
I am surprised their egos even fit in their stupid shop. One artist sat the entire four hours while I got my tattoo done and refused to take any walk-ins (even though he was completely free) because he is an "elitist" and "refuses to bother with stupid ugly tattoos."
Anyone ever contemplating this place - I say run the other way and head to Slave to the Needle. I have been to Slave to the Needle for all my other tattoos and piercings; I should have never tried another shop.
UPDATE: Michelle, the owner of Laughing Buddha, contacted me to apologize for my poor experience at the shop. I appreciated her effort and do feel more valued as a client now. Thank you Michelle for the gesture.
Pay an elitist sod to tell you how uncool you are!.
(cut down to 2k chars from 5k. check yelp for complete review)
So I want to get my lobes scalpeled up to 00-gauge (which I had been wanting for about a year or so).
I spoke to the artist who was on-staff (filling in for John D.) at the time who explained that the piercing I wanted done was an easy one to do and that he had 7+ years of doing scalpeling / body mods alone and more total experience than John D., **but** John D. wouldn't allow him to do it for some reason. The artist I spoke to was expressly annoyed by this.
2 weeks later met with John D. and the counter staff explain that John needs to do a consult for me for the work I want to have done. John then proceeds to wander off aimlessly ignoring me for the next 10 minutes.
I asked him again about doing that consult for me. He immediately told me "No." and seemed somewhat hostile and offered no further explanation, then went about ignoring me again.
me: "Errrr.... what exactly is the problem?"
John: "The problem is that I'm not going to do that for you."
me: "ok... and why is that? Wouldn't you want to examine the tissue or anything first?"
John: "Because you don't have enough work done. If you came in here with full sleeves and and lots of facial piercings I would."
me: "Wait.... are you telling me i'm not f---ing hardcore enough to have my ears pierced?"
John: "Well, yes if you want to see it that way."
To preface this, I'm sitting here across from him, I have a green mohawk, Ive got a chain hanging off of me that could suspend a effing truck engine. I also have a few tatts, some visible, some covered. No effing butterflies or stupid meaningless ones either. I wait a year before I get a tatt idea inked to make sure it stands the test of time. Also I have one visible piercing.
Me: "how do you expect me to see it?"
John: "Well it's permanent. You're not committed enough at this point - it wont heal up so you cant get rid of it. If you had a lot of work done then there's already no going back."
Me: "Should I be led to believe that the only reason that I can't get this piercing done is because you think I could still go live a white-collar life if I cleaned up a little?"
John: "It's safe. I CAN do it, but I refuse to in your case"
Don't go to Fernando at Laughing Buddha.
In these days of recession, you'd think a service oriented business would pay extra attention to customers who are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for their service. Imagine my surprise when, after waiting 2 weeks for my appointment, I am told Fernando is running an hour behind schedule. Ok, I get it,things happen. So I waste an a little over an hour until its time to get 'er done.
Fernando shows up almost 1 1/2 hours late from a previous client and no apologies, no be right with you, nothing. Is it too much to expect someone to acknowledge the fact that maybe they should have either: 1. told the current client they need to reschedule for finishing because they have another client waiting OR 2. tell the waiting client they need to reschedule so the first client can have their work finished?
At this point I fairly irritated. Now, Fernando starts working on the sketch for my tattoo. I find this a bit hap hazard and unprofessional as I had hoped more consideration and time would have been put into a piece of work I am going to be paying a lot of money for. So, now it's coming on being 2 hours behind my scheduled appointment start time and Fernando starts to eat his dinner. No, hey, I am dying. I haven't eaten all day. I would have understood.
We get to the ink room and I ask does running 2 hours behind normally happen? Fernando replies with he's uncomfortable doing the work now and wants to give my deposit back.
I am a pretty understanding person as my job often has appointments that run over the time I thought they would last. But, you know what? I call my next client and APOLOGIZE and let them know when I will be there. Then, I APOLOGIZE again and promise it won't happen again. That is called being professional and making sure you keep someone's business.
Again I say, in these tough times, you better be on your game in the customer service arena if you want to survive. Sooner or later the word is going to get out that you don't care about your clients and then you'll be sitting in your ink room wondering why no one is scheduling appointments with you anymore.
Fernando, I am not perfect and I make mistakes, but I do expect you to understand an apology is needed, not lame excuses about why you can't simply tell someone you're running behind and maybe it would be better to re-schedule. I understand you're eating for the first time today, but tell someone you need to eat before you fall on your face from hunger. When someone has already waited almost 2 hours, you should probably offer a little something like a discount or extra work or adding color to a tattoo. It goes a really long way and costs you almost nothing.
Now, it's cost you a few hundred dollars at least; not counting tip.
The only place I'd ever go....
I made an Appt with Laughing Buddha based on a personal recommendation and also based on George Long?s portfolio. This was my first Tattoo and I searched and searched for a shop that wasn?t just plastered with books of ?point and ink me? tats. I wanted something intricate and custom; something that would require the artist to have a complete understanding and vision on the anatomy of a rare species of fish. George took my pictures and asked a multitude of questions to ensure my vision was accomplished.
He did his research and took his time to come up with something beyond imagination. Not only was George gentle and accommodating, but the entire process was done in a private room. The outcome was better than I could have ever hoped for. I will be back, and I will recommend it with gusto. There?s a reason it took a month to get in with George; he is that good.
friendly atmosphere, good customer service.. I just got my philtrum (aka medusa) pierced at Laughing Buddha and I thought the piercer (John) was very friendly. I would recommend anyone to get a piercing there.
Great Piercers, Good but rude Tattoo artists.
I had my belly button ring done here a while ago, and the piercers were all extremely friendly and professional. I even called a year later to ask a question and they were very kind and knew what they were doing. I highly recommend the piercing artists.
Sadly it's a different story with my tattoo I got there. The man who did it was extremely rude, and pretended to give the other man fellatio in front of my 14 year old brother! In addition at the time of the actual piercing I couldn't stop twitching, and when I asked to take a break to stop the twitching he wouldn't let me. As a result there is now a small line coming off my tattoo, which he yelled at ME for! My friend got a tattoo there a few months later with the female tattoo artist, and she was quiet but did an excellent job.
HORRIBLE Customer Service.
I have used Laughing Buddha a few times; my first experience was to get my eyebrow pierced with my BFF, who got her Monroe pierced. Luis did me and he did a good job, but he was very rude and snobby to my friend. He did not do a good job of explaining how to clean or take care of new piercing.
Next time we went, my BFF got a tattoo on her foot. (her first tattoo) he did a crappy job of drawing it out with markers on her skin and then said it would look fine when he was done. He was pretty rude to her and the tattoo (thankfully) came out ok but not very confidant during the fact....
I forgot about the fact that both times we went, the people at the front desk were yelling and arguing at each other. One girl kept grabbing a dudes nipples and he's like "look stop" and she wouldn't, she just thought it was funny. They're just playing around and making a joke out of this beautiful art. I would never go back.
poor customer service.
my girlfriend and i did a walk-in for tattoos and the people seemed friendly enough at first and the portfolios were impressive, but when we came back for our actual tats, there must have been a shift change because the new people were total jerks.
our artist, Dag, was AWESOME. very personable and nice, but everyone else was terrible!
i do not recommend it.
Full Service, Highly Skilled, problems with stock on hand.
I have a few tattoos and have had several piercings.
The artists and technicians at Laughing Buddha are uniformly highly skilled, easy to talk to, put you at ease without babying you, and truly just know what they are doing.
George Long has been working on my latest tattoo - he created new, beautiful, and unique art for the ship's anchor on the my arm. He doesn't kid me about it hurting and just encourages me to relax and get through it. I plan to work with him for the next decade on the large piece of which the anchor is just a start.
Luis is my piercer. He did my labret (under bottom lip) and Prince Albert (wang, look it up elsewhere). He's awesome and relates directly to the experience. His advice is awesome.
One complaint: Luis even agrees, they do not stock a wide enough range of piercing jewelry. Say, a 6ga curved barbell for a PA, or even the 8ga ring... etc. I don't know how common these things are, but I would expect them to keep 1 or 2 in stock at all times. Sometimes getting a new piercing is something you REALLY WANT, but you have to be in the right frame of mind. Having to wait kinda puts a damper on that sense of personal urgency. I suspect they've lost business to competitors for this reason alone.
That said, they do have a wide selection of truly beautiful piercing jewelry for more common places like ears and nipples and what-not.
Go to them for their expert skills - plan ahead for abnormal or large piercings.
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