It has officially been forever since I posted a an update/wrote a new blog. As per usual, time, and the day-to-day hectic-ness get in the way, as does the fact that I’ve acquired property, for the sole intention of MOVING THE SHOP. 71 tattoo as it is, has been in it’s current location for 11 years, going on 12 this year, and for a multitude of reasons, it’s time to move!
For one, my rent has grown to astronomical proportions, I mean it’s sky-high, with no signs of ever going down to anywhere near where it was when I opened up. We are a busy shop, yet I’m constantly struggling to keep up with bills ect, and god forbid I’m out of stickers or t-shirts, I’m fucked. I haven’t ordered hoodies in literally forever . Things like conventions, unless it’s here like the Duke City Tattoo Fiesta ,are out of the question.I can’t afford it, which is weird, because when I look at the numbers, we make plenty of dough, yet it’s gone instantaneously. Not to mention my 20-something-year-old HV/AC unit as well as the myriad of bills/supplies/taxes that I have to pay for on a monthly basis .
So in a nutshell, as busy and successful as 71 tattoo is and has been from the jump, as the owner, financially, I’ve been underwater most of the time. I always assumed : ” next year we’ll make more ” but as I’ve touched on before, the current state of tattooing doesn’t allow for that. There’s only so many dudes I’m packing into a shop. It’s hard enough finding 3-4 guys who don’t suck, can both tattoo AND draw/paint, don’t steal from me, aren’t flirting with every female that comes in the shop, aren’t strung out on narcotics, aren’t drunks, will show up on time, and generally be responsible. The pickins are slim. For the sheer volume of ” artists” out there, it sure is hard finding ones that fit the parameters I mentioned above. So, no, I’m not in this solely for profit, I’m not going to stuff the shop with 20 mediocre mother fuckers, in an attempt to make as much money as possible, I’ve seen that happen to some of the alleged ” good shops ” and it blew up in their faces.
Additionally , if I moved into another building, as a rental, I’d be faced with the same issues, albeit most likely not as extreme as I’m facing now. A landlord constantly raising my rent/reluctant to fix shit. After my last entry, post-the-last-guy-who-quit-blog, I decided I needed to buy a building. I began looking in early 2017 and found one pretty close to the current location. it’s basically a small rectangular strip-mall style building, I’ll actually have/I do have tenants, and the money spent on mortgages goes to something that I own, as opposed to a landlord, and it cuts my monthly expenses by almost 70% . It’s a no-brainer, that being said, it has become a monumental pain in the ass as far as money/capital go, construction, zoning, tenants, you name it, it’s been a pain in the ass, but at the end of the day, once the dust settles, it’ll all be worth it. that;s what keeps me focused on this project and getting it done, I know once the shop is moved, up and rolling, a huge weight, and a giant amount of stress and anxiety will be lifted.
The location is good, not great, 11100 Candelaria rd NE, that’s one block west of Juan Tabo on Candelaria, south side of the street. Right across from the Auto Zone, right across from the same center that houses Defined Fitness ect. It’s not as good or visible as my current spot, however, these days with the changes to the tattoo ” industry” location doesn’t matter as much as it used to. Used to be, in the 90’s you wanted to be as visible as possible : busy intersection, strip mall with a bar and or restaurant, people would randomly see a tattoo shop whilst eating ,and come get their tribal arm bands. That’s how it went. When I was apprenticing at Rt. 66 Tattoo in the early 90’s we got so much business form the Village Inn next door. People would be picking eggs and potatoes outta their teeth, see the shop, and walk in and get some work and/or book an appointment. It doesn’t work like that as much anymore. I’m visible as hell in my current location, we have Scarpa’s, Pelican’s Dirty Bourbon, Lime Vietnamese restaurant, A weed dispensary, and 90% of the people that come in, come in, because they got referred to us, read a review online, saw us on Instagram, whatever. It’s never ” Oh look a tattoo shop, lets go get infinity symbols ” situation anymore. Any new clients that come in, we always ask how they heard of the shop, and it’s never a random person straight off the street. Our clients will follow us the 5 minutes SE from our current location, and new ones will see us online. The phone number and website will be the same. I’m not worried about loosing business , that end of things should be fine. When we get closer to re-locating I’ll bombard social media and send out bulk emails to let all of our awesome, loyal clients and friends know that we’re moving.
It does suck, and it’s bittersweet that I’m moving out of that location, it’s been 12 years of my life. Myself, my brother, and a few guys built the current location by hand, from scratch. It was my baby, but, I cannot continue to tread water and be in the red all the time anymore. I have to make a move, and this is the best possible move.
So, that’s what’s been up for the most part. Business has been good, myself, Danny V, Devo and Rabbit have kept busy, as always our clients are awesome, and we’ve all been creating artwork when we have a chance. The building is not done yet, I’m getting close, I was hoping to be moved by March 1st. obviously that is not happening , but I’m hoping for June/July. Stay tuned, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and I’ll post updates as we get closer. I’m going to try to update the blog here on a monthly basis, minimum, so it won’t be another year.
Namaste, and Thanks as always
Marty Williams/71 Tattoo
NEW LOCATION : 1110 Candelaria rd NE , one block West of Juan Tabo, south side of the street