GRACELAND TATTOO—Wappingers Falls, NY
I recently received an email about a shop that I visited back in 2009 up in Wappingers Falls, NY. The shop is called Graceland Tattoo, and owner Adam Lauricella emailed me to let me know that he’d recently bought the office space across the street from his old shop because it was more spacious for all of the recent business that’s been generated. Adam opened up the new shop on May 23, so I did something that I’ve never done since I started writing this column: I went and revisited an old shop to see what was new.
First let’s go back for a minute, and let me remind you a little bit about Graceland Tattoo. Owner Adam Lauricella first opened Graceland Tattoo back on Valentine’s Day in 2003 on Market Street in Wappingers Falls, NY. He noticed that his business was growing rapidly and after a few years of working his tail off, Adam decided to move Graceland Tattoo around the corner in 2009 to a bigger location on East Main Street. The last time that I visited the shop, Graceland housed three tattoo artists and two piercers. Adam said that the only change he’s made was that artist Keavan Rivers is no longer with him, and that he’s replaced him with a new artist named Joe “Pepper” Maher, who just recently joined Graceland on a full-time basis. He’s also added a new piercer in Dave Kurlander.
So, why move to yet another new location in 2011? According to Adam, with lease negotiations coming up, he saw a great new opportunity across the street for two storefronts and he just went for it because the new spot was a lot more fitting for the vibe they’ve already created. Adam said that the new shop is bigger, at about 2,500 square feet with tin ceilings and tin moulding, brick walls and antique barn-style wood floors. He also added that the workspaces are much more open like a loft, though there are still rooms that will leave the option for privacy, especially for body piercing.
The sterilization rooms will be behind glass walls so that customers can see that they are getting the cleanest treatment. Adam seemed very excited about the new workshop-style environment for the shop because it allows everyone to be in the same room. He said he felt that this type of environment will help build relationships. Customers will be able to talk to the customer next to them while getting tattooed. It will kind of be like a barbershop or a hair salon.
The last time that I talked to Adam, Graceland was the first shop that I’ve ever heard of that used text messaging to communicate with its customers, so I had to ask Adam what he’s done to keep up technology. He quickly responded that Graceland Tattoo now has a mobile website, which means that whichever phone you have, whether it be a smartphone or an internet-enabled phone, and you log onto gracelandtattoo.com, it automatically formats to a scaled down version of the shop’s website.
What Adam was most excited about, though, was what he developed with Dave Ripley from TattooNow. They developed a multimedia touch-screen kiosk with a 27” screen that includes all of their portfolios, as well as, all of the flash art categorized. Not that they use flash, but it’s there for inspiration on custom work. Adam also said that the kiosk is user friendly and it’s also a way to get the customer involved in what they’re doing. Plus, it’s a fun thing to have in the studio to help make a client’s experience at Graceland Tattoo the best possible.
Another feature about the new Graceland Tattoo is that there is a bar in one of the storefronts because the shop was an old restaurant. Though he can’t serve alcohol, Adam kept the soda fountain for complimentary soda for his clients and he added a coffee machine. Also on that side of the store will be Sunnyside Specialty Shop, which will be run by Adam’s wife, Keely Lou, who will be selling her own line of handbags, Sailor Jerry swag, handmade necklaces, rings, handpicked earrings and clutches. I don’t think that Adam has left any stone unturned.
As always, the shop is open six days a week, Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. till 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. till 9 p.m. and is closed on Sundays. Adam threatened that eventually he would like to open the shop on Sundays. For the most part, all of the rules of the shop remained the same. The only thing that’s changed is the location.
I asked Adam how he planned on celebrating the opening of the new shop, and he said that they’re celebrating with a big party on June 18. He’s going to have a band called Astrograss from Brooklyn, NY performing the best of bluegrass and other fun tunes. This sounds like a blast! If you’re in Wappingers Falls, NY and you’re looking for a party, show up at 2648 East Main Street in Wappingers Falls, NY. If you’d like to take a look at some of Adam and his staff’s work, log onto gracelandtattoo.com or call 845 297 3001.
Well, I’m off to check out my next tattoo spot! Who knows what state it will be in! If you have a tattoo shop that you want to suggest, please e-mail me the name of the place and whom I should ask for at firstname.lastname@example.org.