Tattoo Parlor Finds New Home Near Campus

By John Stran

For those who have thought about getting a tattoo or are looking to add to their skin art collection, a tattoo parlor is relocating close to campus.

City council recently gave the go ahead for DNA Studios LLC, a Warren based tattoo shop and art gallery, to relocate their shop to 137 Lincoln Ave., near the campus Jimmy John’s.

Though this is a new concept for the YSU campus, colleges like Kent State University and Ohio University have multiple tattooing and piercing shops surrounding them.

Dennis Kirsch and Amber Slick are the married couple who do the tattooing at DNA Studios. They are accompanied by their manager, Roy Schmidt.

Schmidt is also the man in charge of handling the move. He found the business to be well received amongst a couple of their new neighbors.

“YSU and even the Catholic Diocese were on board,” Schmidt said. “So we felt pretty confident about getting the place.”

The business has been in Warren since August 2011 but began in Newton Falls in 2009. Though DNA studios has made improvements to their Warren location since moving in, they feel that the location in Youngstown has more to offer.

“Financially speaking, Warren can no longer support us,” Slick said. “YSU gets thousands of new kids every year, which will be great for business and personally will be an enjoyable experience.”

Slick grew up in Youngstown and said she is ready to be a part of the city she loves again.

“I miss the culture of Youngstown,” Slick said. “The city really grew on me and I have so much affection for it.”

The size of their new space is similar to their current one and the plan is to recreate the same environment that they currently have; the front room will hold the art gallery and the back will be for tattooing.

The art gallery is the visual attraction of the business while the tattoo parlor plays the role of backbone. Slick said the gallery only exists because of the money made from the tattoo parlor.

The types of tattoos they do varies – abstract works known as biomechanical tattoos, tattoos created by Kirsch and Slick and classic tattoos will all be done at the shop.

Slick and Kirsch say they always strive to remove any bad connotations that tattoos and tattoo artists receive. They want their tattoos to be perceived as art and not something that connotes bad decision making.

They want to be seen as artists and not as undisciplined tattooists who run their business unlawfully.

“Tattoo artists have to keep improving,” Schmidt said. “Their talent is judged by their most recent piece, so improvement is crucial.”

Slick said she understands the permanence of a tattoo and the pressure that comes with being a tattooer. Schmidt trusts Slick and Kirsch’s skill –  he only gets his work done at DNA.

The group doesn’t have a set date as to when they’ll open up the new place, but they plan to start closing up their Warren shop in weeks to come.