Flower Tattoo Design Tattoo Girl Concept Sketches


WHILE SOME BRANDS aim to please everyone, others aren’t afraid to take a point of view. William Weaver’s Washington State–based Tattoo Girl Wines is very much of the latter ilk. The name came after a lot of research: Weaver and his wife, Jean, pored over news about brands making a splash in the marketplace with a succinct message, knowing that their own first impression needed to be instantly clear and compelling. Finally, they settled on a brand identity that would put the spotlight on millennials and younger consumers, particularly women with tattoos. After all, target marketing can be wildly effective: If you really know your model audience, chances are good you can sell them something. In the case of Tattoo Girl, that something is wine that punches well above its weight for the price.

“We have found great joy traveling in the wine regions of Italy and France,” says Weaver of the couple’s foray into the industry. “We love the history, diversity, and style of wines for each particular region we visit. But for the most part, it was the story and inner beauty inherent in [the] wines that kept us coming back for more.”

Tattoo Girl’s own story began with its launch a few years ago. Early on, sourcing consistent wine was a bit of an issue; fortunately, however, the Weavers soon found Ancient Lake Wine Company director of winemaking Brandon Rice and his crew in Quincy. Here, the wines are assembled with grapes from five vineyard sites in the Wahluke Slope and Ancient Lakes AVAs.

The brand aesthetic is, of course, tattoo-inspired, centered around labels adorned with pen-and-ink illustrations by Adam Isaac Jackson, a Tacoma-based artist and designer who’s worked with an impressive list of clients such as Nike and Ray-Ban. Featuring different women flexing their many tattoos, the bottles appeal especially to those with their own expressive body canvases, according to Weaver.

“We found an audience that really had not been given a voice in the wine world,”

he says, as even today’s more open-minded and diversity-oriented marketplace is prone to fixating on the same milquetoast slice of the societal pie.

Tattoo Girl, by contrast, celebrates its namesake community. Weaver says that as they devised the labels, there was some psychology at play—namely frequency illusion theory, or the tendency to see something seemingly everywhere after seeing it for the first time; in this case, target consumers could see themselves represented in a market segment that typically doesn’t cater to them. But there’s more to it than the labels: On social media, the company features “Tattoo Girls of the Month,” selected from their followers. “As a result, we have had truly great feedback . . . and are often receiving beautiful stories and sentiments from our fans about the meaning behind their tattoos,” Weaver says.

Of course the wines themselves are crafted to be as boldly expressive and individualistic as their audience. Presently, the Tattoo Girl portfolio includes five wines ranging from $13 to $16: a Washington Riesling, a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Red Blend as well as a Columbia Valley Rosé, all notable for their vibrant fruit and relatively low alcohol. The most recent vintage of the Chardonnay was just featured on the “Top 14 U.S. White Wines Under $15” list by Wine Enthusiast.

Weaver cites several mentors as big reasons why the brand continues to thrive—people like Marcus Miller, president of fellow Washington winery Airfield Estates, who helped him locate prime vineyard sites, and distribution vet Bob Falvo, “who refined our approach and directed our momentum as we began building to become a national brand.” In addition, he says, “We are fortunate to have a fantastic team,” including national sales manager Bob Falvo and Bob Paulinski, Master of Wine, who works with Brandon Rice (Wahluke Slope & Ancient Lakes Winery) in crafting the wines. No wonder Tattoo Girl is on schedule to be positioned in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, by the end of this year. That’s an incredible feat for a brand so young.

Needless to say, the ink on the wall suggests more good things to come. “We are excited for the future of our brand and will continue to cultivate our wine industry relationships along the way and always provide a product we are proud of,” Weaver says.

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