Adding some INK
Tattoo parlor set to become fourth in West Bend

By ALEX ZANK - Daily News

Oct. 9, 2015

Owner Amanda Baker sits in the front room of her business, Maverick Tattoos, on Thursday afternoon in West Bend. Baker hopes to have the shop on Barton Avenue open by the end of the month.
John Ehlke/Daily News

WEST BEND - Another tattoo parlor coming to West Bend would bring the community’s total to four.

This doesn’t deter owner of Maverick Tattoos, Amanda Baker, from believing she can carve out a piece of the market’s pie.

The West Bend Plan Commission approved a conditional use permit Tuesday evening for the shop at 1727 Barton Ave.

According to Plan Commission documents, the shop will operate from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Three tattoo artists will be on staff and they expect between eight and 12 customers a day.

Maverick Tattoos plans to expand with one or two more artists and a piercer, the documents state.

“I can’t say enough about how great the people (are) we’ll be working with,” she said.

They come from Barton Ink in West Bend, and each offers an area of expertise.

“Georgiana (Reichard) is really great at doing anything car parts and mechanical,” Baker said.

Daniel Trainor, on the other hand, is good with characters from cartoons and comic books.

Information from the city clerk’s office shows three tattoo and piercing establishments already operating in the city with a license — Maverick Tattoo’s pending application makes four.

With a population of a little more than 30,000 residents, that translates to roughly 7,500 people per tattoo shop in the city.

Like any business, Baker stressed the friendly atmosphere and artists’ specialties sets her shop apart.

Jesse Santoro, owner of the Homeward Bound Tattoo shops in West Bend and Port Washington, believes at one point there were as many as five in the community. He said his business relies on name recognition, longevity and social media.

The artists in West Bend have 26 years of collective experience, he said. The equipment is all single-use only and they only do custom work.

Being around for a while and spreading their brand through word-of-mouth and social media has helped the business established a client based throughout the U.S., he said.

This means they rely less on a location and more on some of those intangibles to remain successful.

“Our customers find us, we don’t need a good location to thrive,” Santoro said.

Santoro imagines the tattoo shops in West Bend will eventually decrease to just one.

And running the business isn’t necessarily all about making money. For Baker, it’s been a dream of hers to run her own shop since childhood.

“Our parents were always encouraging (my brother and I) to be creative and not follow the crowd,” she said.

When they were about 10 years old, Baker said they told their parents their aspirations of designing tattoos. Though her parents did encourage creativity, they didn’t respond to the announcement with overwhelming zeal.

“Being a tattoo artist was not high on their priority list,” she said, laughing.

But since then, she has stayed the course. And it looks like she will be living that dream of owning her own tattooing and piercing business, regardless of how many other shops she needs to compete with.

Reach reporter Alex Zank at