MASSENA - After spending most of the past three years at downtowns Sunrise Mall, tattoo parlor Mojo Rising has found a new home across the street from its old one.
Owner Morgan A. St. Louis said the move is a good one.
It was kind of a forced move, but its a better move, she said. We needed a new place anyway, one that we could take pride in.
When the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce moved its offices out of the mall earlier this year, tenants were faced with coming up with a $3,000 fee to keep electric service on in the building or relocating. Each of the buildings other three tenants all chose relocation.
It should have been done a long time ago, but this was kind of a swift kick in the butt for us, Ms. St. Louis said.
Prior to opening Mojo Rising, Ms. St. Louis worked as a tattoo artist at Victory Lane, but when the owner of that business decided to move into his own home, she decided to go into business for herself and keep the downtown shop open.
I wanted to keep the walk-in traffic, she said, adding that business has been great since opening her new location in November.
Business has been crazy, and this is usually our slow time, she said, adding their typical busy season is approaching. Tax time is right around the corner.
The early success of her new location hasnt left much time for Ms. St. Louis to set up and decorate the new shop the way she would like, but she said piece by piece things are coming together.
Ive got some painting to do, but little by little its coming together, she said.
While most tattoo parlors have their walls covered in flash, Ms. St. Louis said she takes a custom approach to each and every tattoo.
A lot of tattoo shops have flash all over their walls, so you walk in and pick out something a lot of people already have. We dont do that, she said. Its on you forever. You dont want something that a million other people have.
Their customization even goes one step further.
If you come in with a picture off the Internet, well change something on it to make it different and make it your own, she said.
While Ms. St. Louis is Mojo Risings only artist at this point, she does have an apprentice, Krista I. Ward, who will be tattooing there in the near future.
I sought her out because her art was phenomenal, Ms. St. Louis said. She is a phenomenal artist and helps me with my drawings when Im overwhelmed, but shes learning to tattoo, so shell be doing that here soon.
Ms. Ward said when she was asked by Ms. St. Louis to work in her shop, it was an opportunity that she jumped at.
Ive always been into it, she said, Ive always loved art.
Ms. St. Louis said she initially went to college to become an English teacher, but now that shes a tattoo artist she couldnt be happier.
I went to college for two-and-a-half years to be an English teacher and now Im doing this, she said. But now that I am doing this, I couldnt imagine doing anything else.
Ms. Ward agreed, There are very few people in the world who get to go to work doing what they love to do.
Mojo Rising can be found on Facebook and is open from 12:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. While walk-ins are accepted, appointments are recommended and can be made by calling 705-0969.