Everybody dreams about owning their own business. In the dream, you see yourself doing the day-to-day work and being a massive success. What you don't consider is the immense amount of work that goes into building that business. The hundreds of hours spent planning every little detail, the late nights getting things ready while still holding on to a day job, all of it done weeks or months before a single dollar will ever come in. It's enough to discourage most folks from ever attempting it.
But what if you could skip all of that drudgery and take over an already successful tattoo shop in Las Vegas? And what if I told you that you don't even have to come up with a huge sum of money to buy out a couple partners, all you need is $45 and a little bit of luck.
Caleb Cashew, the owner of Las Vegas' Black Omen Tattoo, has decided to raffle off the tattoo shop he built from the ground up. When Cashew and his wife welcomed a baby into the world they new they wanted to relocate to be closer to family, but this meant that they had to figure out what to do with the tattoo shop. "I thought about selling it but with how much of myself I've given to this place I couldn't put a price on it," Cashew says of the shop. "I also love the idea of helping someone come up in life."
By raffling the shop off, Cashew is giving a lot of people who may have not had an opportunity to open their own business a chance to do so. Plus, honestly, it's a lot of fun to even consider the possibility of owning a tattoo shop, right? We spoke with Cashew about the raffle and more, check out our interview down below.
Why are you raffling off your tattoo shop?
My wife and I had a baby boy on October 18. This is our first child, but also my mom's first grandchild, my grandma's first great grandchild and my wife's dad's first grandchild. Family is important to me and my wife so we want to move closer to everyone as they're all on the East Coast.
How did you come up with the idea to do this? Is there a reason you haven't considered simply selling the shop?
When we decided we wanted to move closer to family so our little one could grow up with grandparents I knew I had to do something with the shop. We've been open since September 2016 and have put a lot of work into this place as well as building the business, so I didn't want to just shut it down to move. I thought about selling it but with how much of myself I've given to this place I couldn't put a price on it. I also love the idea of helping someone come up in life. So I had to figure out a way to raise a decent amount of money while simultaneously not putting someone into thousands of dollars of debt if they were to get a business loan, or helping someone who is already rich get richer. That's when it hit me, a raffle!
What better way to raise money while keeping everyone's investment low. I decided to sell prints instead of just selling raffle tickets this way everyone gets something for their money. Also, every raffle ticket has a gift certificate attached. The raffle is the perfect way to level the playing field where even the little guy can get in, an equal opportunity!
Are you planning on retiring as a tattooer/pursuing something different?
Nope. Once we move I will feel out the area we are in and decide what direction in the tattoo industry to go. I also plan to visit Vegas at least once a year to tattoo my clients so this is another bonus to whoever wins Black Omen because what better place for me to work on my clients than in my old home.
How has the interest been so far?
Things were a little slow at first. I get it, there's a lot of scams out there. After getting in the Las Vegas Review-Journal though things have picked up a little. I know it's gonna take work to build momentum so that's what I'm trying to do. Every magazine article, news article, podcast interview is more validation and proof to the public this is legit.
Has anybody tried to stop you from doing this? Along the same vein, has anybody tried to swoop in and just buy the shop outright since you made your intentions known?
I've had a few nay-sayers who are convinced I'm going to fail, otherwise no. So far I've had four flat-out offers. I have faith in the raffle, plus as I've stated before, I want to create an amazing opportunity for everyone.
I'm sure you've thought about this a little, but what kind of person do you hope ends up winning the raffle?
They don't have to be a tattoo artist but I hope it is someone with a passion for art and tattoos. Someone who has their head on decently straight and will keep pushing Black Omen forward. Someone who treats their artists and clients with respect.
You went kind of crazy with the number 21 on the date you're going to choose a winner, any reason for that? Is that a lucky number?
21 is a good number! But mainly I just like the continuity. 2021 prints by July 21, 2021 looks pleasing.
Have you had any second thoughts?
HA! Absolutely. First off, Black Omen is my baby. It's changed me so much and helped me grow. Also the concern of someone not doing the shop justice. But I'm in it now. I've been receiving orders so there's no turning back!
What are you going to miss the most about Black Omen once it's been passed off?
Walking into a shop with tons of character that I built with my own hands that has allowed me to live my life on my own terms. Knowing I have an awesome spot in Vegas that leaves an impression on people. And the family, not just the artists, but the clients as well. They've all been amazing (mostly lol) but that's why it's important for me to get back here after the move and keep my relationship with them.