Charmaine Johnise has been a regular on “Black Ink: Chicago” since the series premiered in 2015. Although Charmaine was an integral part of the show, which focuses on Nine Mag a tattoo shop owned by tattoo artist Ryan Henry, she stayed in her lane. Over the years, her job responsibilities fluctuated between administrative assistant to office manager since the series premiered. Although she wasn’t one of the ink stars on the show, viewers knew Johnise was loyal to Nine Mag.
Season six of “Black Ink: Chicago” premiered on Dec. 4 and viewers were shocked to learn that after Henry fired her, Johnise opened her own tattoo shop called Second City Ink. She recruited London-based tattoo diva Jess Simpson to partner with her on a girl power-driven tattoo shop. The two decided to open the shop and run it much differently than the way Nine Mag was run during Johnise’s time there.
Rolling out talked to the tatted-up divas about their new shop and why it was time to boss up:
Why did you decide to leave Nine Mag, after being there so long?
After so long of being disrespected and not valued, I realized it was time for me to do something on my own. I didn’t feel appreciated after everything I’d done for the guys at Nine Mag. I wanted to be somewhere where people appreciated each other.
How did you find your partner Jess Simpson and the rest of your staff?
I got on Instagram and started looking for the hottest tattoo artists around the world. Anyone that knows tattoo artists knows that Jess is that b____ when it comes to tattoos. She is so dope. I knew that since I am not a tattoo artist I needed a partner that not only could do tattoos, but also could make sure the rest of the staff was on her game. Jess decided to re-locate to Chicago and be my partner and we are ready to take over.
What is the biggest difference in your management and Ryan’s management style?
Second City Ink is different first of all because it’s run by women. We are going to celebrate the entire team’s effort. It’s about making everyone feel welcome and supported. I don’t want someone to feel like I did before, so Jess and I are really promoting an environment that’s fun and everyone feels included.