When I first moved to South Jersey, I would take my girlfriend to work and pass this old candle shop that was constantly for sale. We would drive by this place and think that maybe we should buy it and run a business out of there. Well, last week when I drove by that shop again, I had to do a double take when I saw the words “custom tattoo!” In fact, I almost got into an accident out of pure excitement that there was another tattoo shop in our area. The name of the shop was Moerder Tattoos, named after its owner and artist, Sue Moerder. I needed to stop in and check this new place out. Once again, the always-prepared journalist that I am brought no devices to record any type of interview with anyone in this new shop, so please bear with me on this shop review.
So, I walked into this brand new yet rustic looking shop that still had that new car smell, meaning that the shop was so new that you can still smell the freshness of the mustard-colored walls. To my right was a small waiting room, or waiting nook, and a reception desk. Against the left wall were antique display cabinets filled with some amazing tribal looking artwork, and straight back were a few private rooms where all tattooing and piercing is done. This shop was set up very nicely. I was impressed so far.
I was greeted by shop owner and tattoo artist, Sue Moerder, who was very nice. After introducing myself, we talked about the shop for quite some time and I learned that Sue has quite an interesting background when it comes to art. She told me that her mother was an art teacher and her father was a photographer, so naturally, she just grew up loving to draw and creating things. Sue also told me that because of her passion to draw, she ended up getting her bachelor’s degree in illustration at the Philadelphia College Of Art. After college, she continued a career in graphic design and art direction for well over 15 years. Sue’s been tattooing for nine years now and says that she’s finally doing what she really wants to do. She opened Moerder Tattoos in early 2012 and says she’s been busy from the moment she opened her doors.
Sue is surrounded by two other artists in Dennis Santana, who comes to Jersey from Orlando, Florida, and native South Jersey girl Holly Gill. There is another artist who comes in by appointment only and every third Thursday of the month. His name is Jay Paranich and the reason why he is on a special schedule is because he specializes in Tebori tattooing, the traditional Japanese tattooing method done by hand with no machines. I have to be honest, this is the first time that I’ve ever seen or heard of a non-Japanese artist specializing in this style, so I’m pretty curious to see his work. I, personally, would never have it done because I’ve heard that it hurts so much! In any case, I’ll post some pics of his work. By the way, just having Jay available to do Tebori once a month already sets Moerder Tattoos apart from every other shop in the game.
To keep up with their immaculate environment, Moerder uses only single-use needles and all machines are sterilized on a nightly basis. They’re mainly a custom shop and all artists will sit with you to help create the best tattoo possible for your body. Walk-ins are always welcome, but appointments are preferred since the shop has been getting busier by word-of-mouth promotions. According to Sue, their work just speaks volumes and I have to say, she’s not kidding! You obviously have to be 18 or older with an ID to be tattooed in this shop, but they recently started accepting 16 year olds for piercings with parental consent and state issued IDs. As for the cost, Moerder’s prices are similar to most shops in general, but are also based on the size of the piece. The bigger the piece, the more you will pay and the smaller the piece, the less you will pay. It’s that simple! As for piercing, prices go from $30 and up, and that’s just for the earlobe. You have to see what else they’re willing to pierce for more money!
One other thing that I felt really set Moerder Tattoos apart from other shops is that they’re willing to host tattoo parties right in their own shop. I’ve never heard of this and I think it’s a brilliant marketing idea! How do you drive these scratcher parties out of business? You join them and throw parties in your own shop! Brilliant! Moerder books parties with a minimum of 10 people looking for small to medium-sized tattoos with a $100 deposit put down, which is returned after all 10 tattoos are completed. Each partygoer is given a $150 Moerder Tattoos gift certificate to use on another visit, and they urge the party throwers to bring food and drink to enjoy in a clean tattoo environment while they receive amazing tattoos at a discounted price. I love this idea!
If you’re ever around the Hammonton, NJ area, you need to check this place out. It’s a great little place hidden in the “Blueberry Capital of the World.” It’s located at 320 12th Street in Hammonton. If you would like more info on Moerder Tattoos, log onto moerdertattoos.com or call them at (609) 704-TATS (8287). Even their phone number is cool! And don’t forget to “Like” them on Facebook at facebook.com/moerdertattoos.
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.