I felt like I’ve visited an Eternal Ink before, but then as I looked around once I entered this shop, I realized I’ve never been in this place! I happened to stumble across Eternal Ink on my way home from work one day driving through Williamstown, NJ, so, once again, I decided to spontaneously stop in and check out this South Jersey body art gem.
I walked into a forest green waiting room with a reception desk to my left. My first impression of this shop was that it was so clean that I felt I was walking into a doctor’s office—only it was a doctor’s office that had the smell of rebellion, if that makes any sense whatsoever. I was greeted by Eternal Ink’s owner and tattoo artist, a guy who only went by the name Shadow. He was behind the desk with his fiancée Virginia, who manages all digital aspects of the shop. I tried the same tactic as I did with Brooklyn Tattoo by not telling Shadow that I was a tattoo columnist because I did not want a dog and pony show and wanted the true shop from the eyes of a prospective client.
So, I walked in and was quickly greeted by Shadow and Virginia. Shadow had been working on a drawing for a customer and asked if I needed any help. I told him that I was just there to take a look because I was trying to find a place to get my next tattoo. He assured me that Eternal Ink was the place for that job. He told me the shop’s been there for 12 years and has not had an unsatisfied customer. They are a custom shop, but they do flash work when requested. If I was in the market for a piercing, he said that they do that as well. I told him that “piercings were so 1998.” Shadow says that his shop is laid back and friendly, which is the key to his constantly growing client base. He said that Eternal Ink was known in the South Jersey area as a very accommodating shop, where at least 90 percent of their work is custom and created for each customer and brought to life by himself or one of the other talented artists that surround him like Eric Sharpley or Billy The Kidd Biello.
Shadow did not have to tell me how serious they take cleanliness in his studio. You can literally eat off the floors here. The shop is kept sanitary for a reason and according the Shadow, they keep their health standards at Eternal Ink very high. He also told me that he and his staff consider tattooing their passion in life and they will stop at nothing to create vivid skin art straight from the minds of their customers. The one thing Shadow and Virginia seemed to keep mentioning was their piercer, Immortal, who’s been with Shadow since 2002. They say that this is a guy who just doesn’t pierce for fun; he considers body modification an art form as well and takes his piercing very seriously. Now that is something that you don’t hear every day at a tattoo shop, nor did I think that piercing was still in, but apparently it’s still all the rage.
I asked about their age policy to see if it measured up to other shops and I was surprised to hear that their customers have to be at least 15 years of age to get tattooed with parental consent. At most of the shops I’ve been to, they say 16, but I guess if there is a parental consent form, all is covered, right? They say all customers are required to present a form of photo ID that shows a birthdate to validate a client’s age. They said that they were pretty strict about having a written consent form handed to them in person by the parent or legal guardian of the minor being tattooed. My next question was obviously about prices and they told me that they like to quote prices by the piece in person, but their minimum cost is $60 and for piercing it depended on the location of the piercing.
When I asked if I needed an appointment, they told me that they recommended calling ahead or booking an appointment so I wouldn’t have to wait, but they would take me as a walk-in if they had any artists available. I would suggest making an appointment, though, because you can work with the artist on the piece that you want done. Obviously, there will be a deposit needed to make an appointment that will be put toward your final payment of the tattoo. No appointment is needed for a piercing, however.
I have to admit that I was pretty impressed with Eternal Ink here in Williamstown, NJ. It’s located at 621 South Main Street. If you’d like to call ahead and make an appointment, you can call (856) 740-3311 or check out eternalinktattoo.com. They are closed on Sundays, but are open Monday through Wednesday from 2 p.m. till 8 p.m., Thursday from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. till 10 p.m. If you are in the Williamstown area, you need to stop in at Eternal Ink.
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.