Meet Olivia-Fayne Lamb: tattoo artist, owner of anthologie and Leeds resident


As she expands her business into next door, Absolutely Yorkshire chats to tattoo artist Olivia-Fayne Lamb about her background in ink and being Leeds born and bred

When did you first develop an interest in tattoos?

In all honesty I never wanted any growing up. But I got my first one when I was 17 over in Spain on a holiday after some persuasion, and safe to say it’s one I definitely regret! But since getting that one, I wanted another I could love so I designed my next one and it grew from there. I would share them on Instagram, and people would ask me to do one for them. So when it started I just saw it as a hobby. I was about 20 at the time and my dad suggested I start charging, so that’s what I did. I never studied business so it was definitely a learning curve. I’m still learning now almost 12 years on. 

I don’t think I ever thought being a tattoo artist was achievable for me. But it was the next logical step. I struggle to concentrate and take in information, especially the first time and am dyslexic, so when I first started learning, I nearly ran a mile! 

How did this evolve into a business?

I was designing tattoos at the time, and customers would ask when they could come and get them done, so I had to explain that I didn’t tattoo and they would have to find an artist happy to do another artist’s work. It just made sense for me to start learning! I struggled to get a position as an artist because every parlour seemed to be full. So I decided to take it into my own hands and open my own space, anthologie.

Olivia At Work
Olivia at work

Do you do anything that you feel is quite unique?

I like to think my tattoos have an air of femininity to them, yet powerful at the same time. A mix of divine feminine, and warrior woman combined. 

How would you sum up the design and look of anthologie?

It is designed to make our clients feel welcome and calm. A tattoo is a special and personal experience. I personally don’t like getting tattooed and the anxiety is always worse in a heavily built up and bustling studio. I like my clients to feel like we are having a one on one and their experience is one of quality, and where that is reflected in the tattoo. 

Why have you decided to expand into next door and what’s the plans for Sonder?

Lots of reasons really! Mainly as it’s been a dream of mine for such a long time to merge my love of interiors with relaxation and good food, so I needed to make it happen. Most of my sessions tend to need some sort of break part way through, so it’s super convenient to have my new space just next door. The energy and feel of the space will also complement anthologie, I’m excited to see how they will look next to each other. It will also allow me to turn the waiting area in anthologie into spaces for other artists that like a more chilled out environment. The plans are to serve coffee and light plates, alongside retro and Japanese style homeware and interiors. All being well we can open a bar area in the evening further down the road. I’m excited for this one!

Were you always planning on branching out?

This has been a dream for at least 10 years, I’ve just had to save up the money to afford it and make it a reality. I have a little one to provide for now and, after covid, I realised that I needed another avenue of income that isn’t reliant on me physically being there to earn each penny, something that can be run by lovely staff. This, in turn, will give me more time with my little girl, whilst also helping me feed my interior decorating addiction! 

How does family life fit in with the businesses?

In all honesty, it’s a struggle. My husband and I are both self employed and that life can be a pressurising one. However, I’m hoping my daughter will grow up to see that you can do whatever you want in life, if you put the time and work in that’s required to get there. And, you can also be there for your family as much as possible. I try to be as present in the moments we do get together, but I’ve always got a million and one things racing around in my head! We’re lucky that we both have our parents close by and two nurseries a short drive away, so our little one is surrounded by loved ones and a great learning environment. 

Are you Leeds born and bred?

Yes! I’m a Leeds lass. I was born at Jimmy’s and grew up in Roundhay. I’ve lived in Liverpool and London, but returned back to my roots to bring up our family. 

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Inside anthologie, Leeds

What do you love about being based in Leeds?

Leeds is great and has so much to offer. Leeds folk are some of the friendliest there are in my opinion! There’s the perfect mix of countryside and city life. We also host a lot of creative businesses in Leeds, which is something that I love about the city. 

Where are your favourite spots in the area?

Roundhay Park as it’s on our doorstep, so nice and close, and Alba loves the swans! I feel like a walk in fresh air can really do your mental health wonders.

Secondly, Home, one of my favourite restaurants in Leeds for their creativity. 

And lastly, our own home. It’s been a forever project getting it to the cosy space it is and it’s perfect for our little family. Don’t get me wrong, there are a million and one things to do still on it, but it’s where we grew out little one so lots of sentiment here. 

As that last one is a bit of a cop out, I would have to say the grounds of Harewood House. Again, the fresh air is much needed, and the views are a reminder of how mega Yorkshire actually is.  

What’s your ideal summer day out in Leeds?

I would say a lie in if possible, a walk with our little one and Darwin (our dog), maybe to Golden Acre Park or Roundhay Park. Brunch outside at home in the sun, and a visit with family. If I’m child free and not working, I’d have to say a long bath whilst I can get a second! Then, likely to meet the girls and stereotypically have a little bottomless brunch and some food. It really is the simple things sometimes!



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