David Flores

Is there any etiqutte left when it comes to where you can open a shop?

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From time to time people toss around the idea of moving their shop to a different location. The most recent version of this was a friend who's lease was going to triple downtown so was looking to move to different spot, but didn't want to open up right next to anyone he respects or any other shop for that matter. I think he got different advice from everyone, but the way I saw it was he has been in town for longer and when he opened up his shop there wasn't a million shops and everyone carved up big territories for themselves and was careful not to infringe on turf, but now that everyone has carved those territories up and opened up on top of each other, I wouldn't be as concerned with where you open up as long as it's not across the street from another good shop. Incidentally a lot of places I have lived and visited all the tattoo shops were on one side of town and usually on the same drag, but that was another time i suppose.

I guess what I am asking is does it really matter anymore where you open up? Does the fact that your business is established or that you have been tattooing in town for longer carry any weight? What if your shop is just plain better? Don't get me wrong every once in awhile we toy with the idea of moving the shop and there is always a couple people we respect to much to open anywhere near them, but I guess I am wondering is that just leftover mentality of a time past or does this courtesy really exist?

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I can't really comment on the tattooer side of the question but as a customer I can drop this opinion. If a shop is good, established and decide to move, I would still go to that shop. I also do come from a place with a million good shops within a stone throw of each other (NYC). I could see the respect thing causing a problem in places with much less shops.

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Guess not. I feel like people don't have as much respect for each other as they should. There was a guy who used to tattoo at our shop and he left for a year. Now we find out that he's renting a tattoo shop a few stores down from us. I'll be honest I was kind of hoping he wouldn't pass inspection, but he did. It's not the fact that I fear of competition, I simply think that it is an asshole move.

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I don't think it's disrespectful if you don't have many options in a city. Especially since tattooing is growing, and it's not like there's a decline with people wanting them. Seems as though even the crappy shops get tons of business.

It's not easy opening a shop if rent is high in a particular area.

I mean don't get me wrong, I won't be opening my own right next the my mentor....but then again I live in a city where there's still potential spots...

I can't imagine would be easy in places like Vegas or NYC where competition there is intense for anything really.

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If you are in an urban area where space is scarce and there are many shops, it's inevitable that if you have a vacant shop next you, your next neighbor could be doing what you do.

It was mentioned that many shops have popped up in NYC after the ban was lifted. Go to Venice Beach in LA, wall to wall tat shops all along the strip.

I just wouldn't try snarky shit like drastically undercutting the other guys.

Rob

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I don't tattoo but I'm going to give my opinion on things that I know very little about because it's the Internet and I have a right to make my voice heard, damnit!

I guess that's how people learn from each other right?

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David, What a great number of questions! It seems there are many variables involved. Professional respect, ethics, as well as a keen business sense and the lack of' can all be taken into account. I once visited a friend and older tattooer in the Modesto Ca. area, He has been there for years, and I mean years. As we were walking to get some dinner up the street I noticed another shop just across the way. they had just opened a few months prior to my visit. My friend had said to me, 'They never even came by to say hello'. we quickly dropped the subject and continued on our way.

First come' first served', on a location is my opinion. If one is looking to relocate or open a shop One should investigate who else is in a close proximity, take in account a respect for that persons shop and that they were there before them. If it were me, I would honor my decision on my current location, hold on to it, and renegotiate the lease, with the help of a good lawyer. Through this, continue to investigate alternatives without making any rash decisions. You seem like you have everything under control, great Questions!! cant wait to hear from others about this.

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I think that if people still act with courtesy in mind, it exists. My own personal opinion is that it is a low blow and incredibly rude to swipe business from people that you look up to.

I think that's what it boils down to is courtesy. I don't think you only have to respect and not open up next to people that having been tattooing longer than you in a city, but the younger people with newer shops have to respect the old guard if they expect that courtesy to be extended to them. There is a group of shops that haven't been around as long, but their is a two way professional respect for the work they put out, their business and general attitude about tattooing that would definitely have to be considered. It's not that we don't feel we could open up next to those people ethically, we just wouldn't cause of personal respect. What I was trying to say though is at this point, there have been so many people that have been around for a few years and have some level of respect in town, and they just move into all these neighborhoods with established tattoo shops and everyone acts like it's okay, and they are all best friends, so clearly they couldn't be pissed unless their idea of professional courtesy only exisits when it's someone opening up on top of them and not the other way around. Then there is about 30 shops that are the product of tattoo school graduates who couldn't get hired at exisiting shops and people who moved up from California thinking business would be cheaper, that have no leg to stand on in my opinion and all of them at some point moved in on someone else that has been tattooing there longer and deserve to have the same done to them, whether that will be us remains to be seen ( not likely) but I think they should have to work a little harder to make a living and really earn the right to be in a high profile spot , or leave.

My friend opened up his shop closer to where he lives, and pretty close to a lot of shops, but far enough to not be opening up next door.

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@David Flores Hear hear! What I don't understand is why everyone has to have their own damn shop. Why not go work for the qualified people already in town? Aside from how much more a tattooer could learn with that opportunity, running a shop is stupid hard work and a ton of responsibility. I honestly cannot imagine wanting to open a shop any time before my 15 years. Perhaps too many people in tattooing for the wrong reasons...

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@David Flores Hear hear! What I don't understand is why everyone has to have their own damn shop. Why not go work for the qualified people already in town? Aside from how much more a tattooer could learn with that opportunity, running a shop is stupid hard work and a ton of responsibility. I honestly cannot imagine wanting to open a shop any time before my 15 years. Perhaps too many people in tattooing for the wrong reasons...

I heard some guy the other day talking about wanting to leave and open a shop, and all I could think was "you don't even have a bank account, you pay your rent in money orders!" but I kept quiet and knew he was just talking shit. He found another fit that was better for him as he should.

Shops are all different and I think everyone has their own idea about how one should run and I think it's always a balance between doing it your own way vs just having to come to work and put on tattoos. Their are variables about what shop you work at, but to work for someone or have your own place seems to come down to that.

Then there are the people who just aren't good enough to be hired at a shop, so they start their own.

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David, What a great number of questions! It seems there are many variables involved. Professional respect, ethics, as well as a keen business sense and the lack of' can all be taken into account. I once visited a friend and older tattooer in the Modesto Ca. area, He has been there for years, and I mean years. As we were walking to get some dinner up the street I noticed another shop just across the way. they had just opened a few months prior to my visit. My friend had said to me, 'They never even came by to say hello'. we quickly dropped the subject and continued on our way.

First come' first served', on a location is my opinion. If one is looking to relocate or open a shop One should investigate who else is in a close proximity, take in account a respect for that persons shop and that they were there before them. If it were me, I would honor my decision on my current location, hold on to it, and renegotiate the lease, with the help of a good lawyer. Through this, continue to investigate alternatives without making any rash decisions. You seem like you have everything under control, great Questions!! cant wait to hear from others about this.

I'll assume you're referring to GTC....When I started with him in 89 he was thee only game in town .....now its saturated...so F#ckin sad.

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I heard some guy the other day talking about wanting to leave and open a shop, and all I could think was "you don't even have a bank account, you pay your rent in money orders!" but I kept quiet and knew he was just talking shit. He found another fit that was better for him as he should.

Shops are all different and I think everyone has their own idea about how one should run and I think it's always a balance between doing it your own way vs just having to come to work and put on tattoos. Their are variables about what shop you work at, but to work for someone or have your own place seems to come down to that.

Then there are the people who just aren't good enough to be hired at a shop, so they start their own.

Actually, never mind. I am not the most qualified person to speak on this topic

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