Q and A: An Interview with Ms. Susan Church

The following is an interview of Ms. Susan Church conducted by Michelle Lauren.

Michelle Lauren: What is your favorite procedure to perform?


Susan Church: Areola Restoration. The combination of anatomy and art in this procedure is intriguing. Blending these two components to “re-manufacture” nipple and areola configurations, while producing life-like results, is fascinating for me and emotionally satisfying for the patient.

ML: What is the best part of your job?

SC: My greatest satisfaction comes from my work with children who suffer from Alopecia, Vitiligo, and Burn or Cancer scarring. I am pleased and willing to help the physical and emotional scaring that children have endured from their maladies.

I perform these procedures pro-bono. It’s my way of giving back to the community and to help repair a child’s self-esteem. Their smile is all the reward that I need.

ML: What is the worst part?

SC: The worst part is when I’m unable to help someone in need from crisis. It saddens me when I am not able to do a procedure due to an accelerated condition.

ML: You talk about Karma and giving back to society. Can you explain?

SC: Karma is a boomerang! The more good that I do, the more good comes back.

ML: Do you prefer to educate or do the actual procedures?

SC: I love performing the actual procedures; however, my procedural beginning brought me to the level of instruction. I have such great passion for this art form, and the industry, that society deserves to have the most informed and professional technicians available.

ML: I noticed that many schools have used part of your name, what do you think about this?

SC: Well, they say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Sometimes I feel as if people are stealing from me out-right. It would be comforting, at least, to be acknowledged by identification.

On numerous occasions my work has been copied right down to the grammatical and punctuation errors. Photos have shown up in lectures with my logo on them, or on the websites or class information of other technicians and educators. To not give credit where credit is due is unethical.

ML: Does that affect your attitude?

SC: It doesn’t have any bearing on my demeanor or my ethics. My work supports every one of my achievements. My pride supports my accomplishments. My protocol supports my ethics. I respect the rights of my clients.

ML: Can you name any celebrities you’ve had as clients?

SC: Excuse me. Didn’t you listen to my answer to your last question? (laughing) The children I perform procedures on are now my celebrities.

ML: Have your students worked on celebrities?

SC: Yes, I know many of them have worked on celebrities, as they’ve needed to ask me technical questions regarding the procedure.

Some celebrities tell the technician it is OK to tell me who they are working on. And no…I cannot tell you who they are! (laughing). But you see them in the magazines and tabloids every week.

ML: What prompted you to co-found a Society?

SC: It was the need for a level of competency among all technicians. Neophytes were trying to teach other neophytes. We also wanted a code of ethics that every member had to sign and live by. This would help to ensure that they would at least think about an answer before speaking.

Also, There were many companies selling inferior products and machines that caused cross contamination. We felt it was our responsibility to hold them accountable.

ML: Having invested your entire adult life to this industry, have you reached fulfillment?

SC: I have been in the direct beauty industry since high school. However, I used to help my two aunts in their salon when I was in grade school. I would take nail polish off of the client’s nails, take rollers out of their hair, sweep the hair off of the floor, and many other duties that I considered interesting. Their passion for their clients was amazing and I guess I received part of their family genes.

After so many years in the tattoo industry, every day still brings a new challenge to me. Whether it is helping the State Boards of Health, medical professionals, cancer patients, or the new or veteran technician that may have a question. In that respect, I suppose I feel fulfilled every day.

ML: If you weren’t’ performing permanent cosmetic procedures at IIPC what would you have liked to be doing?

SC: I am virtually doing exactly what I want to do on a daily basis. But, it would be nice to be able to write more.

ML: You have written several educational books and have produced many DVD’s as well. What’s next?

SC: When I can squeeze in the time I am also in the process of writing two other books that have nothing to do with permanent cosmetics. And no, I cannot divulge what they are about just yet, but they will be very entertaining!