This year has shown us new employees as well as the loss of previous employees. Some who I really thought would be around for a long time and others not so much. Some were lost over really petty things that had nothing to do with them other than their reactions and others solely based on their personal actions. We had a handful of apprentices throw their hat in the ring this year. Out of the many that stepped up only 2 have finished out the year. One about to be completely done with his apprenticeship and has become a very valued employee and I am proud to say he is like family to us now. He holds the rank “Hand of the king” (you game of thrones fans should appreciate that). The other came on late in the year as a piercing apprentice. Its the second time I have ever approached someone about an apprenticeship and I am really glad I did. The next few months should see the end of her apprenticeship and the title of piercer. This year we also got a new website set up.
This year I learned the greed of humanity on a whole new level as well as a new awareness in the kindness of others. We saw the second annual July 4th event come and go. An event I feel was both success and failure in one. It wont happen again on the scale that it did the last two years. To many people in this world take advantage of peoples generosity in doing so they ruin it for those who just want to have a good time. Next year we will likely not see that event. Instead I have other things in mind.
Made some new friends this year. Lost some as well. This year I have learned to appreciate things a bit more. It seems that the older I get the more broad my vision gets on things and I have learned that some battles aren’t worth fighting regardless of the potential outcome. Sometimes the only way to truly win a battle is by letting go and removing toxic people and situations from your life.
I learned a lot about people and their loyalty or in some cases the lack their of. I have been reminded again this year that those who boast the most about having honor and being loyal are usually the ones quickest to stab you in the back, jump ship and swim away. Only to blame you for the wrongs in their lives.
I am grateful for these people. I think about them often. I use these people and their actions as a way to measure those who are truly loyal. It makes me value those I have in my life on a deeper level than most will ever understand. Here is a bit of advise. When you have people around you who are going through hardships help them stand their ground, be steadfast with them and be understanding. Helping these people is the right thing to do. It also creates a bond that is always appreciated and never forgotten. This will go a long way and will forge friendships. These people will be there for you when you are going through your own bullshit.
Enough about this though.
This year we adopted a family for Christmas for the first time. We got to experience the joy of truly helping someone out. Here is a video clip of her opening the bigger gifts we got her.
Next year will be a big year for Sacred Rites Tattoo. After months of planning and plotting. I am proud to announce that Sacred Rites Tattoo will have some new locations opening in 2015, 2016 and 2017 (if not sooner). I am doing some on my own and some with other people. People I have known for a long time and have stayed down are now getting a seat at the table with us. Big Dave will be the first person I bring into this thing we have created and he will be getting a store in Tampa. We have other plans for Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. I am excited to see how that all plays out. I have visions of my own for Bradenton and Cape Coral. I am tossing around the idea of taking on more apprentices (for tattooing and possibly piercing) as well as other business ideas (possible clothing line). Things are moving forward and these are exciting times for me. I see a lot of work ahead. However I also see the reward. I will work just as hard this year as I have for the past 4 years making the shop what it is. I wish nothing but the best for everyone moving forward.