Pink wicker furniture stands in wait outside All Creations Salon, ready to cradle patrons who want to revel in their new hairstyles or freshly tanned limbs. The whimsical shade continues inside, traipsing across the sea-foam walls in the form of polka dots, and splashed artistically across the floor. It’s the perfect setting for dramatic transformations as a cadre of aestheticians dole out spa pedicures, tattoos, or sweeping updos beneath the approving gaze of unicorns and fairies.
Most people don’t think of tattoo parlors as an appropriate place to bring the kids to. The staff at A Fu Kein Good Tattoo and Piercing, however, want to change that perception, believing that there’s no reason why kids shouldn’t be there to see where Mom and Pop get their ink done. They maintain a kid-friendly policy, allowing supervised children to play video games, watch TV, or give their dolls Crayola-drawn tribal tattoos while the artists and piercers outfit the grownups with new body art in the shop’s private rooms. The artists in residence specialize in a range of styles, sketching out everything from intricate lettering to realistic portraits and designs with psychedelic coloring. Additionally, the team can use pre-drawn designs or custom, hand-sketched designs of the boat anchor you’ve sworn undying love to. The staff also creates intricate designs for boys and girls’ names, which customers can purchase if they already have a go-to tattoo guy.
Black Hive Tattoo, one of Jacksonville’s premier tattoo parlors, opened in the Riverside neighborhood in 2009. Unassumingly located in a former one-story home, the shop is an emporium of artistry, etiquette and talent. Shop hours are infrequent: Tuesday through Friday, 5 to 8 p.m., but appointments can be made weeks in advance with any of the four on-staff artists via email. Walk-ins are not strictly a no-no, but most of the artists on staff are fully booked already, so don’t plan on being seen the same day. The professional, clean space caters to an intelligent tattoo crowd, and rules about intoxication or showing up with a large posse to cheer you on are strictly adhered to. If you’re just looking for a consultation, Black Hive’s amenable staff will be happy to answer questions regarding cost, time involved and location logistics for each tattoo.
At their studio in historic Riverside, the artists of Old School Electric Tattoos adorn bodies with both ink and piercings. Helmed by a master tattooist, body-art professionals possess experience in an array of styles, such as East Coast, West Coast, portraits, and illustrations. They also apply their experience in custom designs, helping guests develop original images or dynamic renderings of their social security number. Beside the tattoo team, piercers work under the direction of several master practitioners who studied with renowned body-modification artists such as Fakir Musafar and Steve Haworth. Each member of Old School Electric Tattoos' staff complies with certified sterilization standards and biohazard practices.
Although East Coast Worldwide staffs a core team of experienced artists, its personnel is constantly changing. That’s because East Coast likes to switch things up, regularly inviting guest artists to join its team and bring their own artistic stylings to the custom studio.
Upon completing simple or intricate designs, the artists detail thorough aftercare instructions such as singing lullabies to it as it drifts to sleep. Three weeks later, the team invites guests back to the studio to ensure that they have healed and to tweak any designs that need adjustments.
Along with tattoos, East Coast’s crew pierces body parts ranging from bellies and lobes to noses and eyebrows before adorning piercings with jewelry such as flesh tunnels and plugs.
Attraction Salon's experienced stylists, aestheticians, and nail technicians make a point of welcoming their visitors with open arms and plush salon chairs. Perhaps due to this uncommon hospitality, the salon has developed a reputation for serving a multicultural base of clientele that includes women and men alike. Stylists invoke a chorus of clips and snips with their shears, forming flattering shapes or enhancing the look and health of hair with highlights, deep conditioning, and texturizing treatments. Nail technicians busy themselves with the other kind of keratin, whittling nails into elegant shapes during manicures and pedicures or applying full sets of glittery acrylics. Faces likewise sparkle after one of five facials that cater to dry and acne-prone skin, rejuvenating complexions with cleansing and exfoliating techniques. On the other side of the salon, spray-tanning and waxing treatments prepare bodies for lounging on beaches or napping inconspicuously in bronze-sculpture gardens.