Diversifying your business portfolio is the best way to describe Paul “Puma” Robinson.  Star of VH1’s “Black Ink Crew”, Puma is an accomplished entrepreneur, music producer, tastemaker, New York socialite and proud father. The young phenom’s portfolio consist of his own tattoo shop called INK124 as well as IUFONY, a street wear and lifestyle clothing line  and co-founder of Black Ink Gallery. He also has ties in the music industry with production credit for Cam’ron’s hit single “Speaking in Tungs”. Known for a laid back charismatic personality, Puma is quietly developing an ideal brand while be in an inspiration to others. The famed actor sat down with Industry Rules magazine for the January 2020 issue to discuss his career and ambitions.  

AF: How did you first get involved in the tattoo industry?

Puma: Growing up I didn’t always make the best decisions, hence the phrase “you live and you learn”. Bottom line I got into some trouble, I needed an out and ended up in a tattoo shop. It started out with me just kicking it with the guys, to enlisting public relations/marketing services and before I knew it ”Black Ink”.

AF: What was the inspiration for opening Art2ink in Harlem?

Puma: I was thinking about creating a foundation for my family and a safe space for young creatives in Harlem. The business model made sense since I already had years in the industry. I’m happy to share, and we recently celebrated our 4th anniversary. 

AF: What have you learned from owning your own tattoo shop?

Puma: That being a business owner is hard as hell and patience is key. Again, you “live and you learn”. Things will come to you, with time you just gotta stay focused and have a lot of patience. 

AF: You are one of the most noticeable personalities on VH1’s hit reality show “Black Ink Crew”.  How has the show changed your life?

Puma: It’s a gift and curse because everybody knows your name and that can go either way. However, I enjoy using my influence to spread positivity and help people become better human beings. I think it’s cool that I can meet someone and instantly brighten their mood or day.

AF: What are some misconceptions people have of you from being on the show?

Puma: That I’m some crazy violent chicken dropping person when I’m far from that. I’m actually a pretty awesome guy with a light hearted personality.  

AF: You are also a music producer and entrenched within the New York City culture.  How has being multi-faceted in music and entertainment prepared you for entrepreneurship?

Puma: Crossing different platforms you start to get a real understanding of what people actually want from all demographics. In turn, that gives me a creative edge in business.

AF: Being a new father, how are you able to manage family, your tattoo shop, acting and a music career?

Puma: Team No Sleep lol. I drop my daughter off to school everyday before work and this is something I actually enjoy doing in the mornings. Sometimes even if I have a full day of filming I’ll pick her up and spend time before scenes so my kids know they’re important and my job is still getting done. It’s about making time and time management. I forgot to mention I’m super on time! Anyone that knows me knows I’m never late! Lol

AF: What is next for Puma?

Puma: I want to do some voice over acting…open up some more shops and raise these babies to be super awesome.

You can follow Puma via Instagram (@Puma213) and watch the actor’s career and business unfold in real time.

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