"I felt a need to create something more accommodating for women and anyone else that didn't want to feel like they were entering a shady establishment," she said.
In her shop, there are no photos of nude girls. Instead, there are colorful paintings of wildflowers, abstract shapes, and warped skulls, it's reminiscent of Creole artwork hanging in the French Quarter of New Orleans, a place where Booth says she draws artistic inspiration.
Although experts usually advise against tapping into your 401(k), Booth cashed hers out, using $12,000 to buy the tattoo shop and new equipment.
So far, she says, the bet has paid off. Booth says she has seen steady success since launching her shop in 2008. She hasn't replenished her 401(k), but it's among next year's goals.
"My clientele ranges from 80-year-old women to leaders of churches and doctors and lawyers," she said. "I wanted to create a shop where anyone would feel safe and like family."
It's that kind feel of that drew customers like Beth Cirami, who now refers others to the shop.
"It's a very cherished thing," Cirami said. "Malissa really takes the time to produce something that is as special as the reason why you are getting it."
Booth says she's on track to grow the business, and happier now than when she worked her corporate job.
"It was very hard going from being in careers where you are at the top of your game, winning awards of excellence, being the expert at things, to being a nobody that knew nothing," she said.
"(Tattooing) is not a job. It's an adventure. I have no idea what each day brings and I like helping people, giving them beautiful works of art that they can be proud of."