Tattooing Is Serious Business In Williamsburg


The stereotype of the tattooed, office-averse Brooklyn dweller may still reign, but the stereotype of the person who gives said resident a tattoo? Well, that’s changing—at least, according to the Wall Street Journal it is.

The business-centric daily delved into the Williamsburg tattoo scene, revealing that despite the economic downturn tattoo shops in the area are doing better than ever—and owners couldn’t be happier. “[As] rents multiplied and luxury developers polished the once-scruffy neighborhood, the dozen local tattoo shops haven’t been pushed to the margins. The businesses have thrived in the more moneyed environment, with escalating prices matched by growing waiting lists,” contends writer Jackie Bischof.

Owners and artists from Tattoo Culture, Saved Tattoo, Three Kings, and Asylum Studios (which just relocated to the Bronx because of increasing rent) all weigh in, the general consensus seems to be that if you can charge more and still keep a waiting list, why complain?

Take Tattoo Culture, which bumped up its rate of $150 an hour (which had been in place for six years) to $200: According to the article, the shop’s “completely booked for the next three months.” As one of their artists, Gene Coffey, points out, “It’s one of the businesses that thrives […] bars, tattoo shops, and prostitution pretty much don’t take a dip during a recession.” So basically, the dude you know who is always talking about opening his own place might actually be a capitalist climber, rather than some artsy slacker.


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