We caught up with Mike owner of H&H Niagara recently to see how things are going and whats in store for 2015.
Tell us how became a member of the H&H family and what year your shop opened?
It all started in 2008 with a few random trips to las vegas and staying at the former H&H locations hotel. After watching the traffic that visited the shop and talking with management as well as a tattoo collector and entrepreneur it really sparked my interest. From there it was pretty much game on. Chased down Carey and the Tattoo division manger at the time and scheduled a sit down. What really impressed me was the fact how welcoming Carey was with the location concept and just us as potential business associates along with becoming part of the growth of the H&H family. Fast forward to spring/summer 2010 and it was finally the day…June 1 we opened and haven’t looked back since.
What’s your take on all these tattoo related reality shows? Do you think it’s been helping your business?
The shows have changed a lot since the inception of our show INKED, that being said I believe they are helping. The current shows really show the difference between a poorly done tattoo and one done by a reputable tattooer. They also let people know that if they have a less than desirable piece, the possibility of covering it up is there with many options , once again with a skilled artist. All in all I think its just furthering the acceptance of tattoos and more so heavily tattooed men and women.
Do you think corporate America will ever change the way they look at people with tattoos? And how executives have to wear long sleeve shirts at work to hide there tats.
It will probably change slightly but a sector of middle America will never totally accept how we are as a tattooed community. To be honest though its never held myself back or the successful tattooed people I know. People can look, management can try to hold you back but I believe if your intelligent , articulate, have drive and do your job better than the next person than its a moot point. We are just a little more fun to look at Naked!!
It seems like nowadays there’s a tattoo shop on every corner, how can you differ ante your shop from other shops and show people that your specialty shop?
That’s pretty simple. Quality, in every facet of the business. From the moment you enter the shop your greeted by a open concept clean space. Counter staff that A are friendly and B knowledgeable. We don’t have any flash designs meaning regardless wether its a 1 hour tattoo or 6 hour piece we treat each one as a 1 off custom piece. All of are staff run the same program, its about the customer and making their ideas into a reality. It never gets old when people walk into our location and the first 2 things out of their mouths are ” wow its so clean” & “I cant believe how friendly you all area”. I’m very proud that we constantly break the traditional thinking of what a tattoo shop is. We offer a service that I feel no one can touch in our area. I also feel that our H&H clothing and accessory line lets people that are maybe on the fence about getting tattooed still take home some H&H with them as well as opening the door to the action sports industry we are so closely tied with. All in all we as a brand are on point covering so many angles that I really feel like we just raise the bar!!
What can we look for from your shop in 2015? Will you guys be doing any surprise guest tattooing?
Well 2015 is a landmark year for us!! its our 5th anniversary which we are all super pumped on. Expect to see a huge event along with some super special friends and guest from all factions of the H&H family…look for that late summer. As far as tattooers we are in the midst of putting together a solid line up of well known artists from around north America and as far as the UK and Australia. you’ll recognize a few of them from current and past Tattoo TV shows and some of the biggest tattoo magazine features.
Well said.. Thanks buddy Looking for big things from you guys in 2015.