By Rachel Phillips
While Saratoga Springs has many tattoo studios, an experienced local tattoo artist Bridget Punsalang felt that Clifton Park offered a market waiting to be served.
Because it was close her home and where her children attended school, she felt Clifton Park was the place to stake her claim. She opened Bittersweet Blackbird in Parkwood Plaza at 1758 Route 9 in Clifton Park, after running the numbers and determining it was time to launch her own studio.
With seven years in the business, Punsalang has already enjoyed success and has a client base that books her services, sometimes months in adavance. They serve customers of all demographics from the Capitol area and Adirondacks.
Hers is a custom tattoo studio, where designs are drawn to each client’s specifications. “No picking things off of the walls like the old days,” she said.
Though her main focus is on tattoos, she hopes that the studio will be able to offer piercings in the future.
Between Punsalang and her two other artists, the studio offers a wide variety of styles. Bittersweet Blackbird’s artists offer the option of more feminine styles than are typically available in the traditionally masculine art form, she said. According to Punsalang, that is part of what makes her business so successful.
“More and more women are getting tattooed… yet female artists are still less common. That is changing quickly. We have a lot of amazing female artists in the area, and a lot of new ones just starting out that have enormous potential. A lot of women feel more comfortable with a female tattoo artist.”
Along with being a woman-owned business, all the artists working at Bittersweet Blackbird are women. “I’m not opposed to hiring men, but I’m not gonna lie, it’s kind of great just being us girls, in a trade dominated by men,” she noted.
Bittersweet Blackbird recently participated in an event benefitting the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. To raise money, businesses contributed gifts and products to be auctioned off, and attendees were encouraged to bring supplies and food. Punsalang hopes to continue engaging with the community as well as other local businesses and organizations.
Bittersweet Blackbird is open every day from noon to 6 p.m., though the studio’s hours are often flexible, and the artists are often on site until 8 p.m. They will accommodate walk-ins on occasion.
For more information, visit bittersweetblackbird.com.
By Rachel Phillips