Montrose Tattooist Turns Her Hand to Embroidery

Montrose artist and tattooist Judi Milne started her tattoo business two decades ago but has recently entered the world of embroidery.

Judi, from the Angus town, started as a graphic designer in the late 1980s.

Her love of design led her to set up a tattoo studio under the name of Inx Minx on Lower Hall Street in 2002.

People travel from far and wide to get a tattoo and guest tattoo artists from Belgium have visited the studio to work.

“It was crazy busy for years and that’s taken a toll on my hands,” Judi said.

She decided to put her time into making masks during the Covid lockdown.

This soon grew into a business and she started making her own clothing and even animal dolls.

The passion for stitching continued as Judi sadly lost a family friend, Helen Adam, in 2020, whom she had known all her life and was great supporter of Judi’s art.

Judi inherited Helen’s sewing machine which allowed her to scale up the new side of her business.  Judi operates Bob Tree Embroidery from the Ink Minx studio.

She said: “I adopted a late friend’s sewing kit and embroidery machine and started playing around with it.

“Then I ended up doing a whole course learning how to digitalise design and now I’ve gone down the road more as an embroidery artist.

“So just a different set of needles from what I’m used to.

“At the moment I still have my studio in Montrose.  I tattoo once a week and I have artists now that rent the chairs from me.

“As well as this I am trying to build my embroidery business.”

Judi is currently working on a collaboration with outdoor bag maker Camel Chops.

The firm, which launched in Aberdeen in 2020, creates bespoke bags.

Judi has lots of ideas to expand Bob Tree in the future and hopes people will walk in with bespoke projects.

She said: “I’ve found something a bit different.

“I don’t just embroider workwear.  I’m trying to be more creative, it’s very similar to tattooing.

“In my tattooing business, I used to do Saturday walk-ins where people could come in and get a wee tattoo.

“I’m hoping to create that with my embroidery business, by letting people come in and pick designs to go on their jackets and make it personal to them.

“I called it ‘rebobulating’ denim at the Bob Tree.

“I redesign old denim into funky new designs.

“It’s been an amazing journey so far, rebranding my tattoo studio the Bob Tree.

“Although I am still tattooing once a week, I can still take myself on new creative, stitchy paths.”

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