Ink shops and you: where to get tatted

Julia Moreno

So, you want to get a tattoo. You have the drawing in mind and know a couple of friends who got tattoos in Burlington, but you still donÕt know where to go, or what youÕre really looking for in a tattoo shop.

For a good tattoo parlor, head to the obvious place: Church Street.

Around Church Street, you will find three reputable piercing and tattoo parlors: Yankee Tattoo, Body Art Tattoo and Moose Tattoo.

Of course there are price discrepancies ranging from shop to shop. Naturally, tattoos will become more expensive based on size, placement and detail.

Larger tattoos that take more time can be priced by the hour instead of a flat rate.

It can be overlooked that prices often differ because of number of employees, years of experience and sometimes a shop minimum.

This means a pricier parlor probably has a large or excellent staff, a prime location or a tough rent situation.

In order to decide where to get your tattoo, you need to think about price, cleanliness of the parlor, atmosphere and quality of the artwork.

In order to judge the most basic price differences of a standard tattoo, I traipsed through Burlington with two sketches of the letter ÒO.Ó

The first sketch was about two-and-a-half inches long and the second about three-and-a-half. I recorded the price quotes for both sizes if they were to be placed just below the neck on the upper back.

LetÕs start with Yankee Tattoo. This parlor is located on Pearl Street in the same building as Radio Bean and Stacks. This shop does all kinds of body piercing and tattoos.

For the smaller ÒO,Ó I received a quote of $100, a reasonable yet steep price. For the larger ÒO,Ó the price of the tattoo racks up to $150.

Looking around, I noticed that Yankee has a sizable staff, consisting of about 8 tattoo artists.

When faced with questions, the staff was undeniably professional, perhaps even a little serious.

It seems their motto is safety first, definitely not a bad one to have in their field of business.

Next on my list is Body Art Tattoo located on Main Street next to Muddy Waters.

This parlor is huge and has a sleek and clean environment with nice employees who were eager to show me their work.

When I asked for a price quote, the answer was as much as $120 for the smaller O and $150 or above for the larger O. Needless to say, I left rather quickly.

Finally, I checked out the unsuspecting Moose Tattoo, located on Church Street above the Red Onion.

Unsure if it was even open, I went in and was greeted by a small, cheery staff of 2. This no-frills, mom and pop shop stole my heart with their prices: only $80 for the small O and $100 for the large O.

One of the artists handed me an album of Moose TattooÕs previous work and explained their policy of drawing and redrawing before the inking session until the customer is happy and ready to commit to the tattoo.

Take the time to get to know the artistÕs style before committing, and, most importantly, make sure the tattoo is your style!