Outside the ring, she’s overcome some major obstacles, like battling an eating disorder and wrangling the heavy weight of anxiety and depression.
It’s something she’s really proud of, so much so, she got gentle reminders of her courage and determination tattooed on her.
I have the word “believe” tattooed on my ribs. It was my first tattoo, super painful, but I love it.
She got it when she moved to Orlando and started eating properly again, feeling better, stronger.
We were at Disney, which is my happy place, so it’s a nod to that moment where I felt like myself again. That if you can believe it, you can achieve it. It’s actually a Tinkerbell quote.
It’s tattooed into her skin using white ink, a more discreet choice in consideration of her line of work.
I went that route because I personally love how it looks like a scar. Like it’s part of your skin instead of on your skin like traditional color tattoos. I know it’s there, but other people can only see it in the sunlight or when they get up close. It’s a conversation piece.
She got another white-ink tattoo a few years later, but that one ended up being botched. But H&H tattoo artist Stephanie James is going to cover it up for her with a custom piece in a couple of months or so.
It’s going to be lace with the eating disorder recovery symbol in it along with a hidden Mickey. I can’t wait to have a tattoo there that I’m happy to show off and not cover up with Dermablend.
Stephanie has been taking pictures of flowers and collecting inspiration for the piece.
It’s so awesome to work with a tattoo artist who shares that part of the process with you. How they draw inspiration from the outside world. I’m so excited to see what she comes up with!
That’s one of the reasons why Lexi loves working with Stephanie.
She never stops reminding me that this is a fluid piece, that whatever I don’t like about her sketches we can change. Her patience and dedication to making this a great piece is really reassuring.
It’s not something Lexi’s experienced when getting tattoos in the past. Other tattoo artists were cold and unwelcoming.
At other tattoo shops, I’d ask questions and the tattoo artist would be offended, like I was insulting their process. That’s why I was so surprised by the experience I had at Hart & Huntington.
It was way better than any other tattoo experience she’s had.
Even just walking into the shop, everyone was so friendly, welcoming and informative. And they’re super focused on cleanliness—everything is disposable—which is really important to me.
Any questions Lexi had were answered in a cool and calm manner by the H&H crew.
They’d reinforce how H&H is about the experience just as much as the finished tattoo, that they want you to have a good time while you’re there. Other places aren’t friendly, aren’t talkative. They’d tell me that pain is part of the tattoo process, but at H&H, they make you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Lexi’s first tattoo by Stephanie was also in white ink and reads “You Can.”
I’ve dealt with my fair share of depression and anxiety, when your brain tells you that you can’t go on. That tattoo was a reminder of my strength, my ability to tell myself I can do whatever I put my mind to.
It meant a lot to hear that Stephanie could translate something so powerful, so meaningful into a beautiful finished piece of art.
Stephanie took everything I had in mind and was so thoughtful about placement, spent ages trying out different areas with me until I found the right spot on my body. She kept saying “whatever I do, I want you to love it because it’s on your body forever.” It was just as important to her as it was to me that it turns out perfectly.
Lexi wasn’t just another tattoo, or another person.
Stephanie went above and beyond to make sure I was happy the whole way through. And we had a great time chatting in the process. I had a blast!
Turns out that both Stephanie and Lexi are Disney nuts.
We bonded instantly. She was wearing a shirt designed by my friend. And I was already following her twin sister on Instagram, who makes these awesome custom Disney ears that I love. It was so crazy.
Lexi’s gotten so many compliments on the tattoos Stephanie has done for her. Beyond being incredible works of art, they—and the person who wears them—are an inspiring reminder of perseverance, determination and strength for anyone battling their own demons.
I’d encourage anyone to go to H&H for a tattoo. I love mine and I’ll definitely be going back for more.