Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Samantha Hayes inks a tattoo on customer Misty Stowell's leg at Ink Works Tattoo Studio in Kenai on Nov. 8..

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Samantha Hayes inks a tattoo on customer Misty Stowell's leg at Ink Works Tattoo Studio in Kenai on Nov. 8..

Pet project: Tattoo studio raises money for Kenai Animal Shelter

In October, the Hayes family’s dog Opie went missing. Mina Hayes said that she found Opie later in the Kenai Animal Shelter — after he had been hit by a vehicle.

“Luckily some nice people who had hit him, up by Tesoro, picked him up and took him to the pound. We didn’t find out until later that night, but Cora over there was just wonderful,” said Mina Hayes, referring to Cora Chambers, Kenai’s Chief Animal Control Officer.

“She got a hold of me about 7 or 8 that night, to let me know he was OK, and met us there at 6 in the morning so we could pick him up and take him to the vet. There’s some really nice people over there. That’s what gave us the idea to try and help them out,” Mina Hayes said.

The Hayes family — Mina, her husband Joe, and their daughter Samantha, or Sam — own and operate Kenai’s Ink Works Tattoo Studio, 11887 Kenai Spur Highway. This month they are soliciting donations for the Kenai animal shelter through a promotion: customers who make donations to the shelter will have twice the amount of their donation taken off the price of their tattoo. The deduction is given as a gift certificate, which Mina said allows it to be transferred between customers. In addition to cash, Ink Works is accepting donations of pet supplies as well. The amount spent on supplies, as shown by a receipt, is used as the amount of the donation. So far, four customers have contributed bags of cat and dog food, litter, and blankets.

Ink Works has offered previous deals of this kind. In September, they sent their customer’s donations to the Salvation Army to buy school supplies for local students. They raised around $200, Mina said, which “is a lot of notebooks.”

Mina plans to make the donation deal a monthly event. In December, she wants to raise money for the Salvation Army again, this time for toys.

At the Ink Works shop, Joe and Sam both work in studios upstairs while Mina sits behind the reception desk or in the office downstairs. Mina fills the management and bookkeeping roles of the business, while Joe and Sam are the artists. The family has had their shop in Kenai for the past two years, although Joe worked as a tattoo artist for 10 years at the family’s previous shop in Seward.

“I used to be a builder, working on residential houses,” said Joe. “I did tattooing as a hobby. When I hit 40, I switched. Now I build on my own terms, and tattoo professionally.”

Joe said he currently has 55 tattoos, including the first tattoo that Sam did when she was 14. She learned the craft from her father, finishing 380 hours of formal apprenticeship under his instruction to earn her tattoo artist’s license two years ago. During her apprenticeship, she took some time off from tattooing to earn a degree in illustration from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Now she is back in the family business.

“It’s definitely on its own, as far as a medium goes,” said Joe of tattooing. “Every skin type is different. Everyone takes ink differently. I have four drawers of different needle groupings that I use. Each one has its special purpose. It’s like having 500 brushes when you’re painting.”

The family’s dog Opie is one of five. The Hayeses currently own a malamute and her three puppies, which are collie/malamute mixes, and a beagle/Lab. Mina said that she loves dogs.

“I want to go to the shelter and volunteer, but when I see their dogs I just want to adopt them all,” said Mina. “I’ve already got five dogs. So I thought we’d help out through this fundraiser.”

For Chambers at the Kenai Animal Shelter, the incoming donations came as a surprise. Chambers said that the shelter, which receives its normal funds from the City of Kenai, currently has no special plans for the donated money.

“We’ll see what we need most,” said Chambers. “It could be general operating supplies. We might do a purchase of food or litter. Or there might be a special project that we need here at the shelter. Since we weren’t planning on having these funds, we weren’t planning on doing a special project. But it’s definitely a great opportunity, since we have such great support from the community and from Ink Works.”

As of Nov. 6, the Kenai shelter contained 10 dogs and 20 cats.

“They should eat good this month, anyway,” said Joe Hayes.

 

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion  Samantha Hayes inks a tattoo at Ink Works Tattoo Studio in Kenai on Nov. 8.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Samantha Hayes inks a tattoo at Ink Works Tattoo Studio in Kenai on Nov. 8.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Joe Hayes inks a tattoo on customer Ami Stowell's leg at Ink Works Tattoo Studio in Kenai on Nov. 8.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Joe Hayes inks a tattoo on customer Ami Stowell’s leg at Ink Works Tattoo Studio in Kenai on Nov. 8.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Joe Hayes inks a tattoo on Ami Stowell's leg  at Ink Works Tattoo Studio in Kenai on Nov. 8.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Joe Hayes inks a tattoo on Ami Stowell’s leg at Ink Works Tattoo Studio in Kenai on Nov. 8.

More in Life

Central Peninsula General Hospital as it appeared in its first year of operation, 1971. (Photo provided by Peninsula General Hospital)
A hospital is born, slowly (Part 6)

By Clark Fair For the Peninsula Clarion Author’s note: This is the… Continue reading

File
Minister’s Message: Seeing God’s light on the longest day

In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.”

Homer artist Jenna Gerrety straightens paintings currently being shown at Sustainable Wares. (Photo by McKibben Jackinsky)
Regeneration of art and man: Gerrety finds inspiration in nature

Put nature and man together and what do you get? For starters,… Continue reading

Cheddar biscuits go hand in hand with summer seafood catch. Photographed on Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Tressa Dale)
On the strawberry patch: Cheddar biscuits for your fresh catch

For a lot of the country, cheddar biscuits go hand in hand with seafood because of the popularity of a certain chain seafood restaurant.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Lost cause?

My particular peeve right now is the politicians and media personalities who are negatively brandishing the fact that you may need another corona shot in a year.

Cheechako News file photo from KPC’s Kenai Peninsula Historical Photo Repository
Joe Faa, who in 1965 sold 10 acres of his Soldotna homestead as a construction site for a new hospital, poses here in about 1961 with his prize horse Danny. Faa’s horse corral and hay fields are the reason for the name Corral Street in Soldotna.
A hospital is born, slowly (Part 5)

It had been almost five full years since the start of a project to establish a hospital for the central Kenai Peninsula.

File
Minister’s Message: Love, not efficiency, defines success

Becoming so wrapped up in looking good and even in being good causes us to sacrifice relationships.

Photos by Michael Armstrong / Homer News
Mary Beth Leigh, director of the Microbial Worlds project, stands next to the exhibit on June 4 at the Pratt Museum & Park in Homer. The exhibit shows through the summer of 2021. Left, “Emergence,” by Nancy Hausle-Johnson.
‘Microbial World’ blends science, art

Exhibit postponed by the pandemic opens at Pratt Museum & Park in Homer.

Tressa Dale / Peninsula Clarion
Feta and Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, carrot, yellow bell pepper, asparagus, purple potatoes, beets and white button mushrooms form into a rainbow with a cheesy heart on focaccia bread.
On the strawberry patch: Colorful food for a colorful world

Rainbow vegetables adorn this colorful focaccia canvas.

This is an early promotional photo of Merrill Mael, an enthusiastic Anchorage radio personality with a Hollywood background. Mael was hired by the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Association as its hospital project manager in the fall of 1963. (Photo from www.theradiohistorian.org)
A hospital is born, slowly (Part 4)

Dr. Paul Isaak, Soldotna physician and a founder of the hospital project, believed that centrality of location was crucial.

Nick Varney (file)
Unhinged Alaska: Pondering a new car

I’m a 6-foot-2 hunk of meat who barely fits into the passenger side of her rig unless I fold up like an accordion.

A fried egg, crushed seaweed paper, green onions and sesame seeds top this classic Korean kimchi dish. (Photo by Tress Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A meal to change your life

Kimchi fried rice a taste features the most iconic of Korean staples.