Celebrating a decade of Looking Glass Tattoo & Gallery

TATTED UP: Looking Glass Crew – Klayton Edwards, Danny White, Judith White and Chris Lyon prepare for the Looking Glass Tattoo’s 10 year anniversary. Judith opened the business after traveling abroad and studying fine art at Washburn University. The celebration will be Oct. 10 at the 6th Avenue Ballroom.

Looking Glass Tattoo of Topeka Kansas has reached ten years of business and in celebration is throwing a party to let their hair down.

Local Topeka tattoo shop Looking Glass first opened it’s doors Oct. 13, 2004.  Judith White owner and tattoo artist graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts through Washburn in 2002. After a canceled art trip to Italy the summer after graduating, White decided to try her hand at a new medium, tattoo. That summer, White traveled to Spokane, Washington where she was professionally trained by Kristi Kilbourne at Lady Luck Tattoo.

White returned to Topeka and opened Looking Glass Tattoo in 2004.  She ran the shop on her own for the first three years until her husband, Danny White, quit his job to become the Looking Glass manager.  After five years licensed as a tattoo artist in Kansas, White was able to receive a trainer’s license. Since she has hired and trained two artists, Chris Lyon and Klayton Edwards.

Chris Lyon was White’s first addition to the company after getting her training license and has been with Looking Glass for the past five years.  Originally trained at Lady Luck Tattoo the same time as White, Lyon decided to move to Kansas and work with Looking Glass.

The third tattoo artist of Looking Glass Tattoo is Klayton Edwards. Hired in June 2013 after graduating from Topeka West, Klayton completed his full tattoo apprenticeship through Looking Glass.

“My work seems to be more elegant and beautiful, I like that aesthetic. So he helps to add that edge,” said White. “Chris really has a good grip on that classic tattoo style.  He does a lot of old school stuff; military insignia and lettering and stuff like that. Each one of us have our own little niche, which allows us to offer a little bit of something for everyone.”

When Looking Glass decided to add to their artists, they kept customer care as a priority along with the quality of work provided.  “We try to be as gentle as possible and give free touch ups and things like that,” White said.

“I learned in a woman-owned shop with a little bit of a different attitude toward customer service and trying to keep make tattoo[ing] something that’s more respectable. I really wanted everyone that came to Looking Glass as an artist to have a similar philosophy so it was important to me to train my own people. I’ve always said if your going to hurt someone, mark someone, and take their money, then you need to respect them and treat them well.”

Kristin Matthewson, a student at Washburn, has spent a lot of time at Looking Glass since first starting her tattoos through White in 2007.

“I have developed a friendship with the staff at Looking Glass, as most people do. It’s an excellent place to be. I am positive that without the existence of Looking Glass, I would not be as tattooed as I am. In a way, LG helped me discover a part of me that I never knew existed.”

To celebrate their 10 years Looking Glass is throwing a party Oct. 10 at the 6th Avenue Ballroom in Topeka. There will be music and a performance by burlesque group Foxy By Proxy Revue, party favors, and snacks and drinks.

“It’s a big thank you to everyone for 10 awesome years.” said White. “This is my dream come true. To be my own boss, I work harder than I would at any other job and it’s so rewarding. I’ve met so many amazing people throughout the years. By throwing these parties, it gives us a chance to hang out with the clients when they’re not hurting.”

The party is all ages but there may be some adult themes. Tickets are being sold in advance for the event and can be purchased at the Looking Glass Tattoo and Gallery shop located 2110 SW Brandywine Ln Suite 140 in Topeka.