There’s nothing more powerful than a woman who rounds up all her skills and experience, and then uses it to make the world a better place. Meet Aleisha Gannon, a 34-year-old Adelady who works to make women feel body confident again after a mastectomy by replicating their nipples through permanent and temporary tattoos. You’re an incredible soul, Aleisha.
My name is Aleisha Gannon, I am 34 years of age and a mother of two small children. I own Ink Haus Creative Studios with my partner in Hackney and have six artists working from the space. When I went on maternity leave with my second child, I created my second business called Pink Lotus Australia.
Ten years ago, I studied at ‘Paint Makeup School’ to learn makeup artistry. I then went on to study a Diploma of Cinemagraphic Makeup, where I worked on the Goldcoast at Movie World, Brisbane and Gold Coast Casino, Melbourne and Sydney Fashion weeks.
After settling back into Adelaide, I decided to make a career change into the tattooing world where I have utilised all of my skills in my past careers. I tattoo 3D realistic nipples for women post mastectomy and also for Transgender LGBT post top surgery. I also created products for these communities for temporary options while recovering from surgery — 3D Temporary nipple tattoos.
I am whole, I am creative, and I am capable of change.
With the clients I come across every day, I’m so fulfilled and blessed to have been touched by their souls and their stories. This is what fulfils me every day and I try to focus on how I can help make people feel better about themselves. Self-love and self-care is so important.
3. What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
My mother always told me to follow my dreams and not to get married too young. “Don’t do what I did, please. Create a career, go travelling and discover yourself.” I took her advice and have fulfilled my life with so much to get to this point.
Another piece of advice from her was to trust myself and my intuition because this will help to guide you through life. A woman’s intuition is strong and must be trusted in every aspect of your life — I haven’t always trusted myself, but I have learnt how to along the way and now understand fully what she meant by this. Happiness is not a destination, it’s a method of life.
4. Who’s the person that you look up to?
My mum. She has always been there to guide me, offer support and just listen to me. Another woman who I admire on a friendship/ mentor role would be my Makeup Artist Extraordinaire Becca Gilmartin. She is an award-winning Makeup and Body Artist, Author/ Educator and now resides in NYC. She was my mentor throughout my career, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of her influence, knowledge and love.
5. What’s your favourite place in SA?
I grew up in the Adelaide Hills, so probably up on my parent’s hobby farm in Oakbank — it’s magical & peaceful. But if I was to go somewhere for a picnic, I would definitely choose the Botanic Gardens or Plain Tree Drive grasslands. It reminds me of being a kid — we take our children through there and pretend to go on dinosaur adventures. People often forget that the simple things to do are right on our doorstep. We live in such a beautiful state.
6. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a creative artist in some way of form. I was always building and making things in my dad’s shed. I call it building, but I probably ruined a lot of my things by painting them and gluing stuff onto them. It was difficult to be guided when I was into so many different things.
My mother always told me to try focus on one thing, not everything, but if you know how my brain works, that’s impossible. My journey included many courses and all the skills I have learnt in each one has been important in developing who I am as a Creative Artist today.
7. We love to celebrate the little wins – what was one of your most celebrated moments in your business?
Opening up my new studio and being surrounded by so many incredibly talented artists. I feel like I am winning each day I come to work. 2019 has been an amazing year for my business, expanding on both the Ink Haus Crew, our Laser Removal addition and also being recommended by some of South Australia’s leading Breast Cancer Surgeons for post mastectomy 3D nipple tattooing. That has been my happiest achievement when my clients are referred from surgeons.
It makes me feel like everything I have worked hard for has been worth it. There is a stigma with the tattoo industry, but I feel its slowly shifting. People recognise the healing that comes with permanent tattoos like nipples or special quotes and imagery for other personal reasons. The trust and respect from my clients makes me feel blessed and secure in knowing I’m exactly where I need to be in this world.