Deb Yarian

New shop opening in my small town

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I can't help obsessing over it and my husband/ tattoo partner is tired of hearing about it I'm sure but I need to vent.

Some background----

In 2000 my husband and I moved to Alaska and tattooed at a shop in Anchorage.

We bought a house in a small suburb ( pop.30,000) about 20 miles from where we worked.

About 2 1/2 years ago we decided to leave the shop where we worked and with the blessing of our boss and coworkers, opened our own shop.

Our town, Eagle River has a business district just a couple of miles long.4 stop lights.

We are off the main drag and fit in with our neighbors, a church, our children's school and a realtor.

We keep a low profile but have a good clientele and a good reputation.

Well it has come to my attention that a new shop is in the process of opening .

A guy and his apprentice. Neither of them live in our town.

My issues---- yes, everyone is entitled to make a living but they don't even live here, to my knowledge they've never been in to our shop.

They don't care that I have 4 kids or the hard work and $ we've put in to our business .He has a terrible personal history and I can't help but feel like the good rep that we have is now endangered, merely by association.

I ve been following his progress through his posts on facebook.

I'm not happy

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This definitely sucks for you and your husband. However, this is the reality of the tattoo business, today. What can we do? You guys just need to keep doing solid work and your reputation will hopefully carry you through. Good luck and keep your head up. Ultimately, it doesn't change what you and your husband have to do.

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It's amazing when I go back down to Orlando to visit my folks how bad it is down there! I thought New York City was bad, but down there it is seriously EVERY STRIP MALL now has one, EVERY SINGLE ONE!! When i was a kid there were like 3, Deanna's, Altered States and Devotion, now there's HUNDREDS! All with sandwich boards outside advertising $20 tattoos. Makes me fucking sick.

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Well it has come to my attention that a new shop is in the process of opening .

A guy and his apprentice. Neither of them live in our town.

My issues---- yes, everyone is entitled to make a living but they don't even live here, to my knowledge they've never been in to our shop.

Why your town if they don't live there?

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It's amazing when I go back down to Orlando to visit my folks how bad it is down there! I thought New York City was bad, but down there it is seriously EVERY STRIP MALL now has one, EVERY SINGLE ONE!! When i was a kid there were like 3, Deanna's, Altered States and Devotion, now there's HUNDREDS! All with sandwich boards outside advertising $20 tattoos. Makes me fucking sick.

every time I go to Vegas I notice the same thing about a tattoo ship in every strip mall. ridiculous

PS - sorry to hear about that Deb- no respect at all there and it's a shame.

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Yup, yup.... "Never seen so many rats looking to jump on a sinking ship", Richard has always said...

In 35 years of Tattooing Richard only had 2 apprentices, population control is out of hand, and I wish that babies weren't still making babies, but there is an upside.

You guys will get to do lots of sweet cover ups...(if they suck) ...probably... cause oh so many people do nowadays.

More people will be inclined to price shop, so that'll get a foot or two in the door. (hopefully new faces)

And you will have a new outlet for aggression: You get to fuck with the new guys down the street...

Prank Calls, Faux Pizza Delivery, Stink Bombs, and then don't forget to call the HELLTH department, or whatnot, cause those guys rock...

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reminds me of that superbowl commercial...

6haircut.png

a competing shop opened offering $6 haircuts....of course they were horrible so the reputable salon posted this sign.

fix6haircut.png

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It's amazing when I go back down to Orlando to visit my folks how bad it is down there! I thought New York City was bad, but down there it is seriously EVERY STRIP MALL now has one, EVERY SINGLE ONE!! When i was a kid there were like 3, Deanna's, Altered States and Devotion, now there's HUNDREDS! All with sandwich boards outside advertising $20 tattoos. Makes me fucking sick.

I used to go to Ancient Art in the early 90s. Devotion was like.... 3rd wave. But yeah, I get what you're saying- Orlando and Tampa have one of the biggest WFT tattoo shop infestations I've ever seen. I'm ABSOLUTELY not saying this to be offensive, so pardon me if it comes off crass, but I remember that Orlando had so many tattoo shops that TWO SHOPS on one street were opened by non-tattooer paraplegics. How f'ing specific is that?

That there's one shop owned by a non-tattooer paraplegic is interesting enough, but two on ONE street? Jesus.

And Deb- Sorry to hear. Hope it all works out in your favor.

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The original Devotion was more second wave since Lance was taught by George At A.S. but yeah When I was really young there was Ancient Art and Deanna's Skin Art Studio and that was IT! But I suppose that was coming up on 20 years ago.

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This isn't just a problem that tattoo shop owners experience- any small to medium business trying to grow can find itself facing the same problem. A guy I know opened a small industrial type gym (aimed at old-school training methods, straightforward working out with barbells, dumbells etc) in a location in Dublin two years ago with about 1000 square feet of space. Four months later two guys opened up literally five minutes walk from him with a bigger facility offering exactly the same sort of service.

I think if you provide the better service the market will reward you.

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Scott's experiencing something similar right now, someone from Vacaville opening up a shop up the street. I don't get it, I've been to Vacaville and seen the tattoo there, seems like if the guy was any good, he'd make a million bucks fixing all those bad tattoos in Vacaville!

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Scott's experiencing something similar right now, someone from Vacaville opening up a shop up the street. I don't get it, I've been to Vacaville and seen the tattoo there, seems like if the guy was any good, he'd make a million bucks fixing all those bad tattoos in Vacaville!

well i don't like that this is happening to Scott, but i do agree about the vacaville sentiment.

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This is why I feel I am a semi-old timer, even though I have only been tattooing since 1991. I started in a small city of 100,000 and it was the only tattoo shop, and 1 of 2 in a county of about 1/4 million. Saw a wave of shops opening in the mid 90's then again in the early 2000's, and this was before the damn reality shows captured everyones interest.

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My town is a town of about 25-30 thousand people just outside of the chicago metropolitan area in Indiana. There are over 5 shops just in my town alone and if you go 10 miles over there is another 7 shops in the next town. Yeah it sucks but if you do good solid tattooing you won't have any issues. Hell, one of the shops that opened two blocks from where I work has a lady working there who is a photographer for Skin and Ink and goes around taking pictures of huge name artists and it still doesn't help their business one bit because my shop has been here for over a decade and quality will always beat quantity. People spread rumors, get into price wars, yet we keep our heads down and stay tattooing and things work. We tattoo every day all day and just added a 4th artist to the shop so as long as you keep on staying positive good things will come your way! The greedy may temporarily be rewarded but it never lasts. Case in point, another shop that opened up two blocks from us in the other direction is closing down and moving locations because they can't seem to make any money.

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You know, this may not be what you want to hear, but it may actually be good for business. You have been there for long enough to have earned a decent reputation.

The opening of the new shop will generate industry in tattooing, but when it comes down to it, they will go to the one who is established every time.

The new guy might get some glory, but it will be a while before he gets any real custom, as he is unknown.

It does suck that you have to go through this but competition is good for business. I would stop thinking about him and think about how you can up your game, your marketing, your business.

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Sorry to hear this, Deb. Unfortunately though, it doesn't sound too uncommon. There are now about 10 tattoo studios in my city centre. Only one I'd consider any good. The worst thing about it is the fact some are WAY too close to my friend's studio. When he opened up, he was the only guy tattooing in that part of town- now there are two other studios on the same street. Both terrible. Both stealing his work, too. People are wankers.

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The opening of the new shop will generate industry in tattooing, but when it comes down to it, they will go to the one who is established every time.

actually the general customer will go to whoever is cheapest or whoever their friend/cousin/random on the street guy goes to.

I say this from experience wokring in a town that has at least 20 shops

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