Michelle Haley - From Design to Reality - New Merch Sneak Peek!

One of my favorite things about Dick’s Drive-In is how often we collaborate and work with other local artists and businesses. If it also happens to be a small, woman-owned and run business, then all the better! So when our Marketing team got the idea to do retro, Sailor Jerry-inspired tattoo merchandise, the best place to look was Sacred Soul Tattoo. Michelle Haley, owner and head artist at Sacred Soul Tattoo and Seattle area native has been tattooing for almost 20 years, so she knows a thing or two about the PNW and tattoos. Keep reading for a chance to find out how our dream turned into her stunning design.

The most important question: what is your go-to Dick’s Drive-In order?

This is gonna shock all the Dick’s Deluxe fans but… Cheeseburger, fries, and a large vanilla shake. I’m a purest when it comes to my burgers. The flavor of a Dick’s patty with the cheese is one of a kind. I prefer to experience it purely without other toppings. And I looove dipping my fries in my shake.

What’s your favorite Dick’s Drive-In memory?

We moved to Kansas for a few years when I was really young because of my dad’s job. Every Summer we’d fly back to Seattle to see family. When visiting my grandparents in Skyway we always had at least one adventure to Seattle, usually to Pike Place Market followed by an early evening dinner at Dick’s Drive-In up on Capitol Hill. My mom would give me money and let me order at the window and I remember feeling like I was so grown up. I loved running around the parking lot with my little brother and sister at sunset feeding the seagulls and birds our fries. But just as important as these childhood memories, are the new memories I’ve made with my own family at Dick’s Drive-In. My husband used to have band practice every Friday night at the old JamBox in lower Queen Anne. My daughter, just 6 years old at the time, and I would come along and go on little mother-daughter adventures in Seattle that always ended with a walk to the Queen Anne location for dinner. We also have matching Dick’s Drive-In orders.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, I’m a Libra who likes cheeseburgers, sunsets, and long walks on the beach lol. I’m  Seattle born & raised, I’ve been an artist my whole life and tattooing for 18 years this April. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UW (Go Huskies!) as I’m fascinated by the mind and motivation. I planned to apply to the FBI academy after graduating, but in the end my passion for art won. I’m a mother to my beautiful daughter, a cellist and phenomenal artist who far surpassed my talents. And my husband is an incredibly talented musician who also owns and operates Redact Records. So the creative energy in our household is always flowing, and one of us is always drawing, painting, or creating music. We also have 2 big fur babies, Floki and Björn. When I’m not tattooing I’m painting with oils and watercolors, or creating fun digital fan art. When I’m not creating art I enjoy spending time with family, helping others, exploring nature, rollerblading, and yoga. I’m obsessed with crystals, pickles, and Indian food.

What was your reaction when we reached out to you to collaborate? 

I believe my heart stopped, and I looked at the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day. It’s been a dream of mine to create art for others beyond tattooing so the opportunity to work with one of the most historical businesses in Seattle felt too good to be true. Being the first tattoo artist to work with you, and being a woman as well, I feel humbled and blessed. It’s a true honor. 

How did you come up with your design?

When I met with your team I was asked to create a design inspired by Sailor Jerry’s traditional tattoo style fused with my artistic style. As soon as they presented me with their ideas I instantly envisioned it. I wanted to pay homage to the history of Dick’s Drive-In, tattooing, and Seattle by creating a design nostalgic of eating at Dick’s on the hill in the 50’s before all the high rises were built, while ALSO merging previous subject matter historically reflected in Dick’s merchandise. I told them my layout idea and the feeling I hoped to portray, drew a super fast rough sketch, & they loved it. A few drafts later we had a pretty epic collaboration including Seattle/PNW icons like a Sasquatch, UFO, Mt. Rainer, the Space Needle, Puget Sound, orcas, evergreen trees, and a rhododendron flower. With many Dick’s Drive-In icons like the Dick’s Deluxe, Chip (the unofficial mascot) flying around with a fry in his mouth, and the Dick’s steer. And by maintaining the essential rules of traditional tattoo art with the line work and heavy black shading, and then coloring it with my bright colors, adding the soft blends and gradients reflected in my style, I was able to combine the 2 artistic styles beautifully. Also, shout out to my co-worker, Aaron, for suggesting the cow be caught in the beam. 

Sailor Jerry is not your typical tattoo style, was it fun to work on something outside of the box?

Absolutely! I had a blast revisiting my tattoo roots. People really like my hyper-realism, illustrative, and watercolor tattoo styles so naturally over the years my schedules become booked out with these kinds of tattoos. Completing this project actually inspired me to create a new flash sheet of fun designs I’d love to tattoo. They also fuse the two styles. I have a deep respect and appreciation for traditional tattoo art as modern day tattooing is founded on it. Traditional tattoo artists paved the way for every tattoo artist today and none of us would be here without the great pioneers like Sailor Jerry. While my design is a collaboration of traditional and my style, it was an honor to pay homage to the history of tattooing and I hope I did right by them.

What is your favorite part of the design?

It’s a toss up between Chip, the UFO beaming up the steer, and the orcas.  Orca whales represent me at my core and I’ve worn an orca necklace given to me by grandma every day since I was 12. As a child I’d carry around a binder filled with newspaper clippings of sightings, and pages of info I had photocopied from magazines and encyclopedias on orcas. I wanted to know everything about them and thought I’d grow up to be a marine biologist. So I feel it’s a little of my soul in the design. I also love how yummy the Dick’s Deluxe looks. Makes me want to run to the nearest Dick’s Drive-In every time I see it Lol Hopefully it has the same effect on others. 

Which merch item are you most excited about?

I’m excited about all of it! But I’m most excited about the hoodies for sure. I live in them as much as I can. And there’s tote bags too?!

What is your best advice for anyone thinking about getting a tattoo?

Do your research. Make sure the studio and artist are safe, clean and licensed on the WA state DOL website. Study the artist’s tattoo portfolio to ensure they demonstrate good tattoo technique and specialize in the style of tattoo you desire. And I can’t stress this enough… schedule a consultation to meet the artist and see the studio. It’s important to vibe with your tattoo artist and feel safe. If something feels off it probably is. The act of tattooing is sacred and intimate as you’re expressing your soul onto your exterior, forever altering it. There’s an exchange of energy between the client and the artist. You want that energy to feel good and your experience to be one you feel great about for a lifetime. Oh and one last thing… just SAY NO to micro-tattoos!

Keep an eye on our email newsletter and our social media so you can be one of the first people to get your hands on our new tattoo inspired merch!


  • Thanks Laina & Emma for the love, support, & kind words! What a cool memory Rich!

    Michelle Haley
  • Haley is so special. Dick’s well done on picking a great local artist!

    Kristin L.
  • Dicks drive inn… you are so lucky to have this gal in your corner! She is absolutely one of the most talented, genuine humans on the planet that just oozes Seattle! Congrats Michelle, and continue be a Boss! Inspiration to us all! Xo Laina

  • Amazing!!! Cannot wait to see the final result of this genius collaboration! Michelle is incredible!

  • My favorite memory is stopping at Dick’s Drive-in coming off the Riverside strip in the early 80’s the place was packed! Biggest pile, of the best French fries on earth and the triple burger was the best thing ever.

    Rich Hester

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