So, finally, at long last, an update and a new blog. Its not like I haven’t wanted to do this, its just that Ive been that busy since the big shop move into our fancy new space. Additionally when I write, I need to be alone, free from distractions, and that’s not going to happen at the shop, and the only way it happens at the house , is generally when my twin daughters are in school. However , I’m not going to lie, Ive been procrastinating , not sure where to take this blog/update and what to write about.
So, the shop was finally, FINALLY done in late August of 2018. As soon as the floors were done, and the sealer was dry, we began moving. We had no time to fuck around, we had to get done and open. We couldn’t afford to be down & closed for extended periods of time. Unlike when I first opened in 2006, when I took 7 weeks off from tattooing in order to help build out the shop, we had to get cranking & open. In 2006 I didn’t have 7-year-old twin daughters, a twelve-year-customer-base, and tons of bills, both personal and business. To say that my finances got a bit wrecked during the purchase, remodel, and move would be a gross understatement. The shit killed me financially, but we absolutely had to move. I couldn’t keep the shop in the old location any longer. My landlord was killing me on the rent, and the only way I was ever going to make that work, is if I hired 15 dudes, and turned the place into a tattoo factory. Fuck that. I have NEVER had the greedy, I need ALL the money, mentality of some shop owners. I work, myself, 5 days a week, Ive never wanted to be all about the money, all about the profit, instead, with 71 Tattoo AND my old shop in Seattle, Chrome Ohm, its been all about tattooing, and artwork. I never was going to sacrifice my integrity and my beliefs , in order to make more money. Id rather have 3-4 stellar artists than 10 mediocre-to-shitty tattooers, all so I could make more money.
That being said, it was time to go. I didn’t want to wind up in another rental situation, where I had some greedy landlord constantly raising my rent, hence I did everything I could to purchase my building, therefore, I’m at no ones mercy.
Anyway, we moved on August 22nd, and were open for business August 24th. We busted ass. The guys were, as always, invaluable to me, they all really showed up. The four of us cranked out the move in basically one day, we set up, as best as we could, and were tattooing the following day. So, we moved and were open in three days. Unbelievable in retrospect, but as I said, we couldn’t afford top be down too long.
Danny V and Rabbit really helped me with the construction/set up part, as in, I had no idea the best way to mount my counters and cabinets into cinder block walls. So, they both REALLY helped me with all that. I cant overstate how much I appreciate their help.. In the meantime, Devo set up all the computer/electronic stuff. I cant stress enough how awesome, patient, and committed the three of them were/are. I’m incredibly lucky to have three guys who are great artists, great tattooers, but are committed to the shop enough that they all went above and beyond. I try my best to express my gratitude to them, but sometimes I don’t know if my words are enough. So, Danny, Devo and Rabbit : thanks again for everything you guys do, I’m very fortunate, and I cant thank you guys enough for all the help and all the support, and the fact the three of you are such awesome artists and friends.
So, by that Tuesday, we were flowing. Art was on the walls, and we were cranking. In retrospect its crazy. I had SO. MUCH.FUCKING.BULLSHIT to deal with, on top of tattooing, running the business, and trying to be preset for my family. I had tenant issues, tons of them, contractor issues, tons of them, construction issues, tons of them, as well as crazy money issues. Its like no matter how much I tried to budget, there was always some unexpected shit come up, that cost money. The sheer amount of money that I had to beg and borrow is stunning. I mean, I literally killed myself financially, but at the end of the day, it’ll all be worth it. The building is ours, and I’m not going to be having to cough up money to some greedy landlord. The money I put in is to upgrade MY place, not to fatten someone else’s wallet. Additionally it gives me long-term security for the business. So, despite all the bullshit, and the wheelbarrows full of money I had to beg & borrow, its done, were moved, and its been awesome.
Its crazy, because we haven’t skipped a beat business-wise. If anything, we’re as busy as we’ve ever been. Literally stacked, almost to the point of being TOO busy. However, I got rid of all the dead space we had at the old shop, I wont be hiring anyone else, so its just the four of us to handle all the tattoos. It can be overwhelming, but I always truly to find gratitude. I’m so fortunate that 71 Tattoo has the reputation and the client base that we do. I never, ever take that for granted. Our clients make it all happen, and we owe it to them, no matter if we’re slammed or overwhelmed, to execute the best tattoo we can, regardless of design, to the best of our abilities, and to do it in a friendly manner. Ive always said : If one does nice tattoos, at a reasonable price, and inst a total dick, people will come back, and that mantra has worked well for me for the past two-plus-decades.
So, to all our clients : Thank you so very much for your patronage, and continuing to trust us with your tattoo ideas. We, as always, will continue to do our best to make your tattoo something you can be proud of now, and ten, twenty years down the road. We wouldn’t be able to do ANY of this without you, and we owe it to you to provide the best tattoos, and customer service possible.
We’re planning an open house/art purge tentatively set for the beginning of May or thereabouts. Been meaning to do it, just been so busy , and Ive also , as the owner, been trying to get caught up financially from the move. Sometimes we get so busy tattooing and preparing artwork for people, things get put on the back burner, than, poof, six months have flown by.
We’re hoping for May fourth, a Saturday, the shop will be open to the public, and everybody is welcome to come check out the new spot. We’re also doing an ” art purge’. The new space is smaller, so we’re running out of wall space, and we have tons of un-framed paintings that need to go up, so we’ll be selling some of our older stuff to make room for new stuff. Ill post more updates as we move forward. Im actually trying to finish a painting for the flyers/promo stuff.
Also, we, well, I really want to bring back some 90’s tattoos. So we’re doing ” Taz Tuesdays” ( its kind of an ironic joke, but then again its not!) so on Tuesdays we’ll be cranking out any and all variations of every macho 90’s dudes favorite cartoon character. Taz smoking a joint, Taz with a guitar, Taz ripping ot, ect ect ect. We’re also encouraging Wizards, Barbed Wire, Kanjis, and lower back tribal-y stuff ! I cut my teeth on all that and miss doing it sometimes!
I’m also going to make a habit of writing a blog/posting an update once or twice a month moving forward. Its just a question of getting in the habit of doing it on a regular basis.
Thanks for reading, thanks for your continued support, and Ill post regular updates about our Open House/Art Purge both here and on social media .