PATRICK TATTOO—West Collingswood Heights, NJ
I was actually contacted via email about the tattoo shop I went to visit this month. Yes, I do read those emails too! Anyway, the name of the shop is Patrick Tattoo and it’s located in West Collingswood Heights, NJ. It’s on the Black Horse Pike, and if you’re not looking for the shop, you’ll drive right by it, which might mean bad location for the shop, but they don’t seem to be doing so bad. The shop is located right next to an electronics store and has ample parking to the left of it. The reason why you may pass it is because all the storefront says is “Patrick” above the awning.
As I walked into Patrick Tattoo, I noticed right away that it was so clean that, if I really wanted to, I really could’ve eaten off the floor. Now, here’s what make’s Patrick Tattoo unique: the shop is a one-man show. It’s run by owner Patrick Levins, who is a Camden County native, which is where the shop is located. Patrick was originally a graphic artist by trade. He told me that he opened Patrick Tattoo in the mid-1990s, but before he opened his shop, he used to provide his custom design and graphic art services to South Jersey merchants by creating signs for them. He also created the vehicle graphics for the police and fire department, as well as, the municipal emergency service vehicles. Some of Patrick’s other graphic art clientele included boat dealers, individual vessel owners, motorcycle owners, commercial trucks, auto detailing, hot rods and specialty promotional vehicle graphics in the traditional hand-painted manner. Patrick decided to take on tattooing because of his love for art and body art.
Another thing that separates Patrick Tattoo from the other shops is that every week Patrick splits his time between his open-to-the-public hours and personal private tattooing sessions. Meaning, he opens his studio to the public the first half of the week, so that he can meet prospective customers to answer their questions and discuss their plans for their next tattoo. No tattoo work is done at that time because all tattooing is done by appointment only. That being said, the other half of the week, when the studio is closed, Patrick fills his appointments by doing the tattooing. Being a one-man shop allows Patrick to give his full and undivided attention to the client in a private, relaxed setting.
When I asked Patrick to explain his open-to-the-public hours, he told me that on three days each week he opens the shop to anyone who wants to visit and discuss potential tattoos. His open-to-the-public days and times include: Monday from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Patrick urges customers to stop in during his open-to-the-public hours stating that there is never any pressure or obligation to get a tattoo. In fact, customer are invited to look around the shop, thumb through Patrick’s collection of tattoo designs, discuss some future custom tattoo work with Patrick, or even bring in your own designs for a full consultation. If a customer chooses to get tattooed by Patrick, they must schedule an appointment on one of the days that Patrick puts aside for tattooing sessions.
Patrick told me that to schedule an appointment to have a tattoo done or to even have him design a custom tattoo for review, a customer needs to leave a $60 cash deposit. But for cover-up work or large tattoos, there is a required deposit of $100. According to Patrick, he’s been so busy lately that there’s usually a one to six week waiting period for an appointment. Within that waiting period, customers are asked to stop back at the shop to approve their design, size and location of the tattoo. Now, here’s another cool thing that Patrick does: he applies a temporary pattern of your actual tattoo design to your body. This allows the customer to see the how the tattoo will actually will look on them. It allows them to wear the tattoo home to be absolutely sure they are satisfied with the planned design, size and placement. This is what Patrick calls is “Try It Before You Buy It” policy. This is the first time that I’ve ever heard of this, but I think it’s brilliant!
The times that Patrick has made available for tattooing are as follows: Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. During Patrick’s scheduled tattooing sessions, there are never any interruptions or distractions. The goal of Patrick’s scheduling system is to ensure that a customer gets a quality tattoo and has an enjoyable, relaxing experience while they are being tattooed.
As for the cleanliness of Patrick Tattoo, Patrick is a registered Tattoo Arts Operator, and he’s certified by the Camden County division of health to practice as a tattoo arts operator in the county. His studio is inspected by the Camden County board of health every year. His procedures exceed all requirements by the county, as well as those proposed by the state of New Jersey. Patrick’s policies include brand new sterilized needles used for each customer, disposable ink containers (used ink containers are discarded after each customer), latex or non-latex medical disposable gloves are used throughout the entire tattoo procedure and medical-grade disinfectants are used for wiping down surfaces after every tattoo procedure. You can’t get any cleaner than this!
Patrick said that his customers must be at least 18 years old to get tattooed by him, and unfortunately, his shop does not offer piercings. He also does not answer questions via email or take appointments via email due to issues with spam. Therefore, Patrick says that if you need to ask a question or need to make an appointment, you need to call him directly at (856) 742 9699 or you can stop in at the shop on his open-to-the-public days at 204 Black Horse Pike, West Collingswood Heights, NJ. You can also take a look at Patrick’s work at tattooartist.com. This is a great shop and it might be South Jersey’s best-kept secret!
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 email me the name of the place and whom I should ask for at firstname.lastname@example.org.