Never lie to your friends or your customers.

– Michael “Papillon” Nicholson


In the early 1950’s, Michael “Papillon” Nicholson would get his tattoo from Nick Picarro of Hartford, CT. A few years later Nick Picarro would open a tattoo parlor with Bill Jones. It is from this business that “Papillon” would acquire his first coil-winder (made by Doc Wagner & updated by Bill Jones), fiber punches, dyes, and tattoo machines. Throughout the years “Papillon” would pick up knowledge from many tattoo artist both local and abroad. He would also begin building tattoo machines with the assistance of Paul Rogers.

Both Papillon Studio Supply & Mfg and Starbrite Colors are the creations of Michael “Papillon” Nicholson. Michael “Papillon” Nicholson, was a well known tattoo artist who owned studios in three locations including: Connecticut, Vermont, and Florida. Michael also held a Masters Degree in Art. It was this passion for art that would later become a successful business, quality inks, tattoo machines, and other tattoo supplies.

In 1994, Mike Nicholson hired a woman Carol Landry as a Needle Manufacturer. A year later he would hire another woman named Cindy Cote as an Office Manager. It was with her collaborative effort that the name, Starbrite Colors, and the inks began production. Mike would soon after pass away in 1998.

Because of Michael’s hard work, and the loyalty of his employees, Papillon Studio Supply & Mfg is still striving today. Starbrite Colors are still in production and are ever expanding with new colors.