Let me say one thing about South Jersey: there are a lot of tattoo shops down here! So, I was driving to work one morning when my eyes caught the word ‘tattoo.’ My first thought was, I’m late for work, so I need to remember where this place was, so I can come back after work. The shop was located on The White Horse Pike, like many businesses in this South Jersey region. After work, I stopped in. The shop was called Body Art Tattoo And Piercings, and it was located in Stratford, NJ.
I walked into what seemed to be a very clean shop, where the first thing to catch my eye was this huge glass counter that encased body jewelry and other aftercare merchandise. To the right of the casing are those big flash art binders for customers to get an idea what kind of tattoo they want.
I was greeted by owner and custom tattoo artist, Jeff Miller, who informed me that Body Art houses three artists, each with their own private tattoo rooms, and a body piercer, who also has his own room for piercing. Jeff, who enjoys working in realism tattoos, is joined by Bobby Chezz, a fifteen-year tattoo vet who specializes in all styles of tattooing, and shop newcomer, MJ Bonnano, who is an amazing artist from what I could tell. The body piercer is a guy named Mark Raffensperger, who shares his 10 plus years of experience with Body Art Tattoo And Piercings.
Jeff told me that Body Art has been tattooing South Jersey for close to 20 years, where they’ve grown quite a following through word of mouth. Their artwork speaks volumes, and keeps customers coming back for more. He urges any customer shopping for a place to get their next tattoo to stop in and look at their work because he guarantees that they will win them over. He said that he runs a clean, safe and friendly shop. He has his machines autoclave sterilized daily. Jeff also boasted that the shop has been inspected and approved by the Camden County Board of Health.
It seemed the artists at Body Art were extremely supportive of their customers. I witnessed custom artist, MJ consulting a prospective customer on something they wanted. In the time that I was looking around the shop, I saw MJ design the customer’s tattoo to their specification and modify the artwork with the client. To me, this proved that Body Art really does care about customer satisfaction. When I asked if walk-ins were welcomed, Jeff told me that they were, but they do prefer appointments, especially if there is a specific artist that a customer wants to book because they might be busy. If a walk-in does occur and one of the three artists has availability, then of course, they will be accepted.
I love asking owners about their prices because they almost never know how to answer. Jeff was no different. He gave no direct rate for their tattoo work except that it depended on the size of the artwork. He also said that tattoos could range anywhere from $100 and up, which is on par with all shops in the area.
One unique thing that I found in Body Art Tattoo And Piercings was that, as a shop, they seemed to be extremely fundraiser-driven. For instance, last May they ran a campaign called ‘Tattoos for Cancer’ where they and their customers donated their time and money for the American Cancer Society. Body Art did free cancer ribbon tattoos all day for a donation. Their fundraising didn’t stop at cancer, though. Most recently, I noticed that Body Art was also taking part in the Almost Home Pet Adoption Annual toy drive, where they accepted donations for the organization. I just thought that it was very cool to see a bunch of tattoo artists, who are supposed to be a bunch of rebels and bad asses, doing their best to give back to their community and to me it was an unusual thing to see.
If you’re ever in the Stratford, NJ area or are simply driving down one of the longest roads in NJ, the White Horse Pike, then you need to stop in at Body Art Tattoo And Piercings, which is located at 205 South White Horse Pike, Stratford, NJ. If you’d like to make an appointment, you can call the shop at 856 -782 – 8866 or by contacting them through their website, bodyartnj.com. By the way, I went to this shop as a visitor. I never told them that I was a journalist.
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 email@example.com.