Office Ink & Inspiration

A picture is worth a thousand words… and a tattoo, a thousand more.

We are so lucky to work in an office that is a never-ending source of inspiration. From the minds in their heads to the clothes on their bodies, and of course the permanent works of art on their skin, every person that graces this office seems to have such a unique story to tell. This week, Jana and I went around the office to document some Free People girls and their tattoos, along with the inspiration or meaning behind each one. I swear, we are blown away by the uniqueness and creativity of the people in the office more and more each day!

girl with ttattoo

Tattoo inspiration

“This is my 1st and only tattoo. I traveled out west a lot growing up, and lived in Colorado one summer about 3 years ago. I’m from Florida, so being surrounded by mountains every day was something that was so refreshing. I took a road trip that summer from Boulder down to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Driving down the open road, with vast land on both sides and music playing, I didn’t want that car to stop. Those views are forever engraved in my mind, and that road trip was the perfect ending to one of the best summers I’ve ever had. Whenever I think back to that time, I get a feeling I can’t exactly explain. It’s a mixture of nostalgia, happiness, and pure joy. I wanted to design a tattoo that represented that feeling and that road trip, and it took me quite some time to figure out exactly what I wanted. A few full sketch books later and I finally figured it out.” -Jana, Blog Writer

Horse tattoos

Horse figurine

“Horses remind me of my parents and what free spirits they are, especially when no one is looking! I aim to be more like them– wild and free!” -Monica, Assistant Graphic Designer

Back tattoo, pineapple

My whole life like a picture on a sunny day

“This is my most recent tattoo, and it wasn’t exactly planned. I was going through a rough patch and one day while out walking I just stopped into a tattoo parlor and these lyrics were stuck in my head. It’s originally from a Sleater-Kinney song but I was introduced to the line by Pearl Jam. They tag one of their songs with a beautiful rendition.. it’s just the simple lines ‘my whole life like a picture on a sunny day’ and some dreamy guitar, and before you know it it’s over. For me, it’s meant to be a positive reinforcement – a constant reminder of how lucky I am and all the amazing things around me, instead of focusing on the negative.” -Julia, Editorial Manager

pam tattpo


“Every Friday night for the last 30 years or more, my entire family, 6 aunts, 4 uncles, 11 cousins; would pile into 4125, my grandparent’s house, where we would share a huge meal, stories, laughs, and memories. Myself and a few of my cousins have matching tattoos, all subliminally reading ‘4125.’ It’s a reminder of who we really are, those who raised and protected us, those who are no longer with us, and where we came from. Our bloodline.” -Pam, Designer

ali tattoo

Vintage cowgirl images

“I never felt the cowgirl received enough attention.  The only cowgirl I heard about growing up was Annie Oakley.  It was always the cowboy.  The cowgirls spirit and images of bravery and confidence always inspired me.” -Ali, Vintage Buyer

Forearm tattoo

“My ‘tattoo’ is of the little ‘chapeau’ from the French Book Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I grew up reading that book in English, and then studied it all throughout college because of my French major. The ‘hat’ is actually a drawing that the Little Prince makes of a boa constrictor who has swallowed an elephant, but every adult who sees his drawing thinks that it is a hat. He is discouraged by the lack of creativity and imagination of the adults who see the drawing. It will be a reminder to stay creative and keep a good imagination. :)” -Calley, Wholesale Buying Assistant

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo but aren’t quite sure of the placement or something like that, one thing you can do is test it out by drawing it onto different spots of your body. If you find yourself falling more and more in love with it each day, you’ll know it’s right! That’s exactly what Calley (shown directly above) is in the process of doing! Calley’s “tattoo” is actually just drawn on with pen at the moment, but she’s hoping to make the jump in the next few weeks. :)

What were your tattoos inspired by? We’d love to hear!

More tattoo inspiration posts!

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  1. My most recent tattoo is three words. I spent years trying to figure out how to place and style it on my body and one day inspiration just struck when looking at temporary tattoo designs. So now i have three delicate bands on my outer upper arm and on the inside in script is says Curiouser (alice in wonderland and a reminder to always stay inquisitive), Halcyon (part of the name of my all time favorite song since i was a kid), Petrichor (the smell of rain on dry earth, it’s originally from Dr Who but also reminds me of summer storms in CA and my fav hero Storm). It’s the only visible tattoo i have but i am so in love with it.

  2. I adore the tattoo posts!! They are so beautiful and I love hearing the stories behind them.
    I have a half sleeve of garden flowers.. each flower has a meaning, and each flower represents a family member. I also have a mandala on my left forearm, to help remind me to stay centered and focused.


  3. I just got the reprint of the 80s tattoo magazine Tattootime in the mail and it is seriously inspiring. Creepy, weird, beautiful… super into the work of Percy Waters.

  4. Ashley, that sounds amazing. This summer, I really, really want to experiment with henna tattoos. Ancient alchemy symbols, here I come. Once I find the perfect symbol and spot on my body, it will become permanent. :)

  5. I always wanted a wave as a tattoo.. but as you already mentioned I’m not sure where to place it.. The drawing thing is a good idea =) And the tattoos above are fabulous.

  6. I love this post because I a completely obsessed with tattoos and I enjoy hearing the stories behind them. I have two tattoos. My first is on my right wrist, the word love. It was a birthday tattoo that helped me through heartbreak and was to remind me that true love does exist and my heart wouldn’t break forever. The second is on my left wrist, which is a bird to symbolize my mothers maiden name (Byrd). She’s my best friend and I am grateful to have a mother that truly loves me unconditionally even at my worst.

  7. isn’t it the narrator in Le Petit Prince who draws the “chapeau”? The little prince doesn’t draw it, it’s a flashback to the narrator’s childhood.

  8. I love that every one of these tattoos has a special meaning behind it. I’m still waiting to find something that really resonates with me. It’ll probably end up being a line from a book, because I love to read and to me, books are magical.

    xo Katie

  9. Mine is on my inner bicep and says “fall down seven times stand up eight” (which is a Chinese proverb) plus the roman numerals IX.XXIII.MMXII (09.23.2012) underneath. I had depression and a horrible cutting addiction for most of high school and Sept. 23rd 2012 was when I quit self harming for good so I got it tattooed exactly one year later for the anniversary. It reminds me to always get back up no matter how hard things get. I’m happy to say I’m a much more positive person these days!
    Love this post, it’s so creative (:

  10. Jana’s tattoo is so beautiful! I wish I had the skills to design my own tattoo. I have 5 tattoos, one of which is a quote in my own handwriting, but I really want something like Jana’s!

  11. When I was 16 I got a tattoo of the Ramones eagle on my lower right back. I had been struggling for years, and the Ramones were like a family to me and their music introduced me to a lot of friends that I’ve been lucky to have in my life for years now. Although punk music isn’t as much a part of my life as it used to be, it shaped me into who I am and I love how it represents the path I’ve taken.

  12. These stories and tattoos are absolutely amazing! I am so inspired by all the stories behind each piece. :) I have one tattoo on my right forearm of an Inuit Owl. While I have one fully related brother, we also have two half sisters that share the same mom as us. They are both half Inuit Eskimo. Growing up I always looked up to them and as I got older, I really became fascinated by the American Indian and Eskimo culture. My tattoo not only represents my interest in the culture, but it is a reminder of how lucky I am to have such an insanely diverse family filled with awesome people who all have different stories. :)

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