How did Chris Pruisner wind up with his three Lucky Gal tattoo and Piercing studios? When Pruisner began working as a graphic designer for Principal Financial Group in the year 2000, he didn’t see this coming. But as the years went by, he slowly realized he wasn’t a perfect fit for corporate America and left that life in 2008. After a brief stint as vice president at another company, he decided to do something much different.
“I had always wanted to start or own my own business,” he says. “And I felt this was the time in my life to take the chance to do so.” So that’s what he did. Pruisner took a chance, betting on himself and became an unpaid apprentice learning the art of tattooing. His bet paid off. Within two years, he purchased a building on Des Moines’ southside and opened the first of his Lucky Gals.
“It has been a great journey, and I can truly say, every day, that I love what I do for a living,” he says. In the ensuing years, Pruisner opened an East Des Moines location, and later, another in Ankeny. Pruisner says he owes the credit for his company’s creative name to a couple of others.
“My wife and I were married in 2000, and throughout our marriage I would often joke around with my wife, always coming up with off-the-wall ideas that I was going to do. Her response back was always “I’m such a lucky gal!” He enlisted his best friend, Ant Lucia, a local illustrator, to help him with the logo design. As the two worked on different options, Pruisner says he had his epiphany.
“It hit me that Lucky Gal would not only make a great name but also a fantastic logo,” he says. Six years later, the Lucky Gal name and logo is still going strong. He employs 16 tattoo artists and two full time piercers. Pruisner says it’s them, not the name, that makes the studios successful.
“I feel that our biggest strength, and what makes our business unique, is our people,” he says. “Many of our artists have been with us since we opened our first shop. We look to hire artists that want to stay with our shops for the long haul. Our people are our family. We truly believe that people do business with people, and we only look to hire the best people we can.”
Michele Pruisner joined the Lucky Gal family full time in May 2016. Born and raised in Des Moines, IA she attended Lincoln High School, graduated from Simpson College with a BA in Marketing and later obtained her MBA with an emphasis in Marketing. After graduating from college she worked in various positions for Principal Financial Group, Mercer and Wellmark.
In 2016 she left the large corporate world to help her husband focus on the growth and expansion of Lucky Gal. In 2017 they successfully opened their 3rd location in Ankeny and continue to explore new business opportunities. Michele is responsible for the financial, marketing and advertising as well as ensuring efficiencies in the day to day operations for the Lucky Gal locations. She currently resides in Ankeny, IA with her husband Chris and their two children.
Director of Sales, Marketing and Operations