Case Study

The Cloak & Dagger Collective

In the core of Antrim’s pulse, a remarkable business voyage has left an indelible inked legacy on the local canvas spanning a decade. Pioneering this vibrant journey is entrepreneur extraordinaire, Stefan Getty. His visionary artistry and unwavering commitment have not only revolutionized the tattoo industry but have also inked a network of enterprises that epitomize the art of professionalism, innovation, and an unswerving quest for excellence.

Stefan Getty’s journey into the world of tattoos was ignited during his formative years. His early memories of accompanying his father to tattoo shops ignited a passion that remained with him. However, before becoming a driving force in the tattoo industry, Stefan explored diverse paths. From part-time work at a local pizza place during his school years to gaining work experience at Underworld Ink, Stefan’s journey was a blend of unique experiences that ultimately led him to his true calling.

The fruition of Stefan’s vision came in the form of the Cloak & Dagger Collective, a venture that encompasses the flagship tattoo shop, Cloak & Dagger, a reputable brand of tattoo needles, and the distinct Uncommon Barbershop. This collective of businesses underpins Stefan’s commitment to innovation, quality, and a transformative customer experience. Stefan’s passion for excellence drove him to challenge the norms within the industry, culminating in a business that not only produces exceptional artistry but also fosters a culture of respect and care for both clients and employees.


“What inspired me to start my own business was this idea that a tattoo shop could be a place where professionalism was the focus throughout the entire service. This type of culture shift was not something every tattoo shop walks out, by my observation, but was one that I thought was vital to our business. To us, the client matters and deserves our best.”


Stefan’s pursuit of excellence has not been without its share of challenges. The Collective’s ability to weather the storm of the pandemic-induced lockdown stands as a testament to its resilience and robust operational foundation. Through a mixture of smart business decisions coupled with a real demand for Cloak & Dagger’s premium service, Stefan and the team were able to not just survive lockdown but thrive on the backend of it.

The Collective has garnered accolades through numerous awards and invitations to renowned tattoo conventions worldwide, solidifying its reputation as a global leader in the industry. Today, Cloak & Dagger are known for offering the very best to their clients and pride themselves with offering top of the line instruments and accessories to do their job well, from inks and needles to single use products.


“Our professionalism and duty of care to clients is what makes us stand out from our competitors. We treat our appointments with the utmost respect. We don’t necessarily go off a whim and we are really prepared and invest a lot of time and money into giving our clients a premium service from start to finish. “


A defining characteristic of Stefan’s journey is his emphasis on building meaningful relationships. He astutely recognizes the value of networks and their potential to unlock opportunities. Seeking advice from diverse sources, both within and outside the tattoo industry, underscores Stefan’s willingness to learn and grow, a trait that has undoubtedly contributed to his success.

“I have a few people that I really respect and go to for business questions. These are guys that are not directly involved in the tattoo industry, but have wisdom, insight, and experience from years of running businesses. These are the people that I go to for guidance on big business decisions, managing people, cash flow, etc.

I would also pull-on fellow tattoo artists that I know and appreciate. I’ve learned that those that operate at the highest level of our industry are willing to trade knowledge and advice rather than worry about fighting for more clients.”

Among the valuable lessons Stefan has gathered, he underscores the importance of meticulous team building, advocating for a culture fit within the business. In his own words, he has learned to “hire slow and fire fast”, understanding the fact that finding the right individuals who align with the collective’s ethos requires patience and discernment. Moreover, he also underscores the importance of controlling his own emotions and expectations of clients and staff, regardless of their attitude or frustrations.

“We owe it to our clients and customers to give them the best we have to offer, and we can only do that if we are under control of our reactions. I can’t control how someone may come in and act in my shop but I can strive to act professionally and courteously. It’s all part of being a premium service.”

Stefan also maintains the importance of a healthy work-life balance. Stefan understands that nurturing his well-being, both physically and mentally, is pivotal for sustaining his entrepreneurial journey. In the midst of his busy schedule, he finds solace in spending quality time with his family, playing football, and staying fit. Through his experiences, Stefan offers aspiring entrepreneurs not just a glimpse into his remarkable journey, but also a wealth of insights on how to navigate the complexities of business with courage, resilience, and a commitment to continuous growth.


“When you are thinking of starting out a business, you will not know it will work unless you make the jump. You need to be daring with the knowledge of what you walk into. I’m not talking about a blind gamble, rather you need to be courageous. You need to do your research and be prepared to an extent, but you’ll never fully know unless you take the jump.”

Stefan Getty

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