Okay, I’m not sure how we landed in Phoenixville, PA, but my fiancée and I attended some sort of Travel Expo at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks about a month ago. On our way home, we took a wrong turn and ended up getting lost in downtown Phoenixville. I know; where the hell is Phoenixville, right? It’s actually right outside of Philly, but the point is, as we were driving through this quaint little town in the Philly suburbs, we came across Grace Tattoo, which I have to say was kind of hidden between some other businesses on Main Street. If you blink, you’ll miss this amazing shop. Luckily, my fiancée was paying attention and pointed the shop out to me. So, obviously, we stopped and went in.
We walked into the waiting room of the shop, which was adorned with some framed artwork by some of the area’s best local artists and other merch like t-shirts that the shop had for sale. Behind the reception desk was where the magic happened. The area was sectioned off into tattooing stations and these walls were also adorned with framed artwork, but this artwork was the flash art that you normally see in the wall portfolios in most tattoo shops. We were greeted by Grace Tattoo owner Dan Mrusko, who was in between clients at the time of our impulsive arrival.
Dan told us that he opened Grace Tattoo back in May of 2010 after he closed the doors of his old shop, Royal Tattoo Company. He just wanted a fresh start and has since been working hard to expand the reputation of his new shop. Dan says he’s been tattooing for 17 years, learning from some of tattoo’s greats. He told us that he’s been working in the Philly area most of his career, but loves traveling around the country to work at various tattoo conventions. Dan says that over the years, he’s developed a fondness for the classic American and Japanese style of tattooing and artwork.
Joining Dan Mrusko at Grace Tattoo are two other artists. One of them is Alex Pereira, who has a strong art background but turned to the dark side of tattooing back in 2007. Alex, who’s been with the shop since it opened, specializes in photo-realism and portrait style of tattooing. After looking at some of his portfolio work, Alex is pretty amazing! The other artist is Billy Ferrier, who is more of the newcomer to the tattoo industry. He also has a strong background in drawing, but didn’t start tattooing until 2010, where he did his apprenticeship under Dan, but is now a full-time tattoo artist at Grace Tattoo.
I asked Dan, “What would make me want to choose Grace Tattoo as my shop for my next tattoo?” He told me that besides having a clean and friendly shop, that his shop is committed to providing some of the best custom tattoo work in the Greater Philly area. He says that his shop is still relatively new and designed for the best possible tattoo experience. He, Alex and Billy strive to provide their customers with a friendly, clean, comfortable atmosphere along with strict hospital type of sterilization techniques including all three of them being certified by the Red Cross in Bloodborne Pathogens and Infection Control to prevent cross-contamination of any kind and provide the safest environment for their customers. Looking around the shop, I have to admit that Dan has kept his promise to keep Grace Tattoo’s reputation.
As far as prices, Dan said that since they are a custom shop, they charge by the size of the piece, but they don’t usually quote prices until they see the artwork, the size and the location of the tattoo, which makes sense. When it comes to who Grace Tattoo will tattoo, they will only tattoo clients who are 18 and over with a signed parental consent form. They will also stay away for anyone who is inebriated, which is a common practice within all shops that I’ve visited. Walk-ins are always welcome, but appointments will only guarantee you some time with an artist. Dan does urge prospective clients to come down with their artwork or ideas for a free consultation to allow he and his artists to transform the idea into an amazing tattoo for you.
If you ever find yourself in the Phoenixville area or already live near there, I urge you to just stop in at Grace Tattoo. It really is a friendly atmosphere! They’re located in downtown Phoenixville at 14 South Main Street. They’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. and available on Sundays and Mondays by appointment only. If you’d like to contact Dan, Alex or Billy, you can call them at (610) 935-1230 or email them at email@example.com. You can also check their artwork out on the internet by logging onto gracetattoo.com or facebook.com/gracetattoo. I almost forgot to mention that Grace Tattoo also makes their own tattooing machines for those of you in the industry. You can take a look at those on the website as well. Also, Grace Tattoo has a sister shop called Black Sails Tattoo in Tempe, AZ. If you’d like to check that shop out, log onto blacksailstattooaz.com.
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.