Kate Hellenbrand is the founder and owner of Shanghai Kate's Tattoos. She began tattooing in 1972 and has managed or owned shops in California, Hawaii, Utah, Philadelphia and New York City. She has worked alongside the most notable names in the business; Sailor Jerry Collins, Hawaii; Ed Hardy, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles; Jack Rudy, Los Angeles.
Kate studied at the Art Center School of Design and Chouinards School of Fine Arts in Los Angeles. She completed two years of nursing training and is a government appointed Tattoo Shop/Health Inspector.
Kate has appeared on the Today Show, Prime Time Access, numerous documentaries on the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and TBS. In 1972 she co-produced the contemporary section of the Museum of American Folk Art's "Tattoo!" exhibition in New York City,
Her award-winning work has appeared in all major tattoo magazines, she is a writer for Tattoo Planet, Skin and Ink and International Tattoo Art magazine. She has lectured before MENSA, the Rotary Club, many civic organizations, and was a featured panelist at the International Women's Leadership Conference at Columbia University.
Kate was the first female American tattoo artist to travel and work solo in Europe (for the year of 1979). She is invited to high profile conventions around the world and regularly can be seen at the Mad Hatters, New York Tattoo Convention, National Tattoo Conventions and others. Kate has been a member of the National Tattoo Association since 1994.
What's in a name? She calls herself K8. Her last name is Dutch, Hellenbrand, which translates to Hell (Hellen) and Fire (Brand).