Stigma Tattoo Bar compiles a trifecta of signifiers of lighthearted vice in its combination tattoo and piercing parlor, bar, and pole-dancing studio. Red vinyl couches line brick walls, and poles reach from floor to ceiling for classes scheduled along with lap-dance and burlesque lessons. Flat-screen TVs entertain customers as they're inked or studded, and a dramatic metal cage in the center of the room contributes to an edgy club atmosphere where you never know if a lion might appear from behind the bar.
Co-founders Spooks "Spooky" Joya and Legion Avegno preside over a chorus of humming needles at Fallen Sparrow Tattoos, where a team of talented, professional artists customizes bodies with unique tattoos and piercings. After serving in apprenticeships under some of New York City’s most renowned inkers and pulling his first tattoo needle from an immovable stone, Spooky continues to decorate skin with pristine line work and elegant scripts. Co-artist Legion sits beside Spooky in the hygienic studio as he converts clients’ half-formed ideas into colorful sleeves or black-ink tuxedo jackets. Piercers Billy and Tyler work alongside their tattooing counterparts, busily bedecking bodies with custom surface and deep-tissue piercings.
Billed as "a modern art studio for modern art enthusiasts," A Pirate's Isle Tattoo Studio's artists create the kinds of masterpieces that belong on a canvas. And, in a way, they end up on one, if you consider the body to be a blank canvas, as they do. Will Arney and JT Webster use vivid colors to make body art pop, from a spray of pink flowers blooming along the top of a client's foot to a cluster of menacing skulls. In addition to the tattooing services, they also perform body piercings and apply permanent makeup.
Mirrors line the walls of La Coupe Hair Salon’s sleek, modern styling room. At a long row of minimalist stations, stylists create classic and trendy hairstyles to complement clients’ unique faces. A flat-screen television presides over the snipping and curling action from above, which is also the direction most likely to harbor a glob of hair gel drooping from the ceiling.
Enrique Zayas is the mastermind behind Divine Affliction, where he channels his 15 years of experience to create indelible body art. His customized work includes portraiture, tribal prints, and colorful sleeves—including an artistic rendering of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Whether pulling inspiration from his sketchbook or brought-in ideas, Enrique tailors each piece to fit clients’ body and style.
Hustle Harder Inc.'s name is also its mantra, as the staff pledges to meet all of its clients' needs. That's no small task, considering that it boasts more than a dozen enterprises in its wheelhouse, and manages to underscore every service with a thread of positive messages. A team of in-house tattoo artists use subjects as their canvas, while a house crew of cinematographers and set-builders work with an in-house planning team to create live events.
Hustle Harder's in-house apparel lines, meanwhile, create a more permanent image. Logo apparel for men and women, customizable watches, and fitted hats are emblazoned with edgy, tribal designs and motivational words. The company also encourages an active lifestyle with energy drinks and gear for extreme sports. These products are also intended to serve a noble goal: helping under-served kids out of dangerous lifestyles and into sports.