Dames a Dozen
Chicago’s tattooed women band together for homeless animals
by The Urbaness | Photography by Jazmin Corona
What do you get when you mix together two Chicago creatives, a love for animals, and a whole lot of tattooed women? The first annual Dames a Dozen calendar to benefit the Trio Animal Foundation.
“I wanted to do something productive in the community,” says Dames a Dozen founder Jeanna Vent. “I thought a calendar would be a great way to represent our love for Chicago, tattoos, and passion for our pets, all the while bringing in a network of Chicago artists to help.”
So, Jeanna teamed up with local artisan bag maker Alexz Sandavol (you’ll recognize her from one of our favorite city brands, Bird Trouble) to concoct a plan for creating a unique calendar that would attract enough sales to benefit a Chicago animal foundation.
It wasn’t long before the idea struck: Jeanna and Alexz would produce a retro, pin-up style calendar featuring Chicago’s tattooed women and their beloved pets. A sight yet unseen in the Windy City.
With three animals—two cats and a dog—and several tattoos between them, finding likeminded women to model for the calendar proved to be a cinch. They put out the call to friends and acquaintances and soon enough, local women were lining up to participate.
What’s more, community artists and local businesses were eager to lend their services and open their doors to the Dames a Dozen team. Each crew member, from the calendar’s talented photographer Stephanie Bassos, to the makeup artists, hairstylists, and wardrobe stylists (two favorites of The Urbaness, The Paraders and Rose Vintage), donated their time and talents to bring the Dames’ dream to fruition.
Now, what stands between the Dames a Dozen team and their fully finished calendar is a few hundred bucks left on their Kickstarter campaign
. After a summer of photo shoots, wardrobe fittings, and treks about the city with pets in-tow, the Dames are almost ready to unleash their creative project on the city.
“Trio Animal Foundation is a great organization that gives back to homeless animals in the city,” says Jeanna. “They were my number one pick for where the proceeds from the calendar would go.”
To see how the calendar would unfold, we stopped by one of the summer’s biggest shoots. We crammed ourselves into the makeup room for a first peek at the models, flipped through the racks of beautiful vintage clothing, and stood by as the Dames preened and posed with their four-legged friends.
Come along with us as we give you a behind-the-scenes look of how the Dames a Dozen calendar came together.