The Sage & Serpent Story
Tattoo shops are plentiful in Nashville these days. In recent years especially, the city’s tattoo scene, while long beloved by locals, has grown in both size and reputation, with new shops and high-profile artists popping up all over town and wait lists growing ever longer.
Even with the influx of new shops and new artists, there are still plenty of lifers in town — folks who set up shop in Nashville years back, amassing dedicated client followings and helping to provide a sturdy foundation for the growing tattoo community. Shannon Wages is one of those lifers.
Wages currently calls Sage and Serpent Tattoo, a shop on Gallatin Pike in the heart of Inglewood, her artistic home. Over a decade into her career as a tattoo artist, Wages laughs when she recalls that, in some senses, she fell into the career by accident.
“I started working in a tattoo shop in Murfreesboro when I was in school to be an audio engineer,” she says. “I’m like everybody else in Nashville, and I didn’t come here for anything but music.”