STANTON — The art of tattooing has been around for centuries. First brought to the attention of the western world in the 1700s by sailors returning from faraway lands, tattoos have a long and — some might say checkered — nautical past.
So perhaps its fitting that the art is being brought to Stanton by a former U.S. Navy man, Wojo. That one-word moniker belongs to the owner of Tattoos by Wojo, which opened at 100 E. Main St. in Stanton in March.
According to Wojo, his family’s association with tattooing goes back at least to his grandfather, who got his tattoos while serving in WWII. Always fascinated by his grandfather’s ink, it was only natural that Wojo would carry that interest into adulthood.
While living in Las Vegas the past 14 years, Wojo’s decided to get serious about tattooing and apprenticed for two years at a parlor there. During that time, he picked up some serious tattooing “chops” and is now able to create a variety of styles and designs — everything from traditional nautical tattoos through photo-realistic portraits — with an artist’s eye to detail.
After moving to Stanton to help care for his aging grandfather, Wojo decided he liked small-town life and decided to open a parlor of his own downtown.
“I just wanted to create a small town tattoo shop like one might have found back in the ‘40s or ‘50s, maybe on the coast somewhere,” Wojo said.
“What kind of surprised me was all the hometown pride here in Stanton.”
At present, Wojo is his only employee. He wanted to make sure he’d have enough work to go around before hiring on any other artists. So far, he says, business has been good. He attributes that in large part to the current popularity and acceptance of tattooing.
“Tattoos in genearl have really come to the forefront,” Wojo said. “Business has been really good. My rates are really good, definitely compared to Mt. Pleasant, where I worked for a few years.”
Though small town, Tattoos by Wojo features all the state of the art equipment and “more than complies” with all health department regulations.
“I’m all about making sure the public is safe,” Wojo said.
With the addition of this new downtown shop, things are likely to get more colorful in Stanton.
Tattoos by Wojo is open noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Walk-ins are accepted; for an appointment, call (989) 831-0161.