The open sign on The InkSpot Tattoos and Body Piercing was turned on Tuesday, welcoming its first customers into the freshly completed tattoo and piercing space. InkSpot is the brainchild of its sole owner, Kristen Inks, and promises to add a vibrant splash of color and energy to the business stretch of West Road between Fort Street and Edsel.
To kick off its opening, the fully licensed shop is holding a three-day grand opening celebration for the entire community Friday and Saturday from noon until 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. Tattooing and piercing will be going on all weekend (walk-ins welcome) while live local bands play and karaoke host DJ Jimmy entertains.
Tents are set up behind the building, prizes are being doled out and attendees can enjoy free food, pop and keg beer for those over 21. Parking is open in front of the building and along the side streets near the business.
Numerous specials are available including the “Tattoo Virgin Special” which will discount tattoo work by 20% for those getting “inked” for the first time. If the single-tattooed customers return within six months for another tattoo, 50% will be taken off the total price.
Those who are nervous about getting their first tattoo need to remember that everyone's pain tolerance is different. Inks adds that newbies should “prepare for the worst and the experience will be [less pain] than expected.”
The grand opening is the perfect opportunity to check out the freshly decorated space that accommodates seven, private work stations including one reserved for guest spot artists and another for apprentices. Inks currently employs four full-time artists, including herself. All are certified in blood borne pathogens and infectious disease control as required by the State of Michigan.
Pricing for each tattoo varies greatly depending on the artist who does the work, the type of work that is done and how long it will take to apply. Because the pricing is so specialized, quotes for work will only be given in person. Piercing prices will be quoted over the phone or online.
Customers are given the unique opportunity to record their session with one of the seasoned artists and have it burned to DVD as a keepsake. T-shirts, hats and tanks are also available for purchase and may be free to customers depending on the price of the work done.
While tattoos are being created, an employee runs the front and apprentice(s) learn the trade as well as help to maintain cleanliness and order in the shop. Apprentices at Inkspot are unpaid but receive extensive training including proper tool cleaning and learning safety standards and universal health precautions.
Currently, there are two part-time opportunities available and those interested in working with the crew are encouraged to come by the shop with artwork portfolio in hand and at least three years experience behind them. Inks stresses that “all of the people doing tattoos here are artists.”
Inks herself is a life-long artist who studied fine arts at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. The majority of the artwork is drawn by hand with computer generated graphic programs being reserved for pieces that include font work.
Inks path to becoming a tattoo artist was first paved by inspiration garnered by watching her stepfather do tattoos and her love of artistic expression in various forms. After winning a kit off of eBay, Inks began practicing the craft on herself and willing friends. Approximately three months later, she landed a job at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Taylor and eventually worked at Johnson's Tattooing and Baby Dolls in Taylor.
Inks left Baby Dolls in December of 2010 and began dedicating her time to preparing a business plan for her own shop. After completing her research into health department and State of Michigan requirements, finishing her business plan and finding very willing investors, she knew that the Trenton location was the perfect place for her dream business.
“I love this city. I like the schools and love the businesses. Finding this building was exactly what I was looking for.”
When not working, Inks is dedicated to raising her four sons, ages 13, 12, 5 and 3 in the city of Taylor.
Visit www.TheInkSpotBodyArt.com for detailed information about daily specials, artists, upcoming events and projects like Body Art 4 Autism and Body Art 4 Addiction and Alcoholism.
The InkSpot Tattoos and Body Piercing is located at 2330 West Road, Trenton.