Tattoo shops don’t dominate the town business landscape but within the past week two shops have opened – one is Authentic Arts Tattoo in Nesconset.
The shop, sitting next to Blacksmith Tavern on Terry Road, is owned by Michael Margoni and managed by Thomas Simonetti, an accomplished tattoo artist with more than a decade of experience.
The décor in Authentic has a mild temperature and very relaxed, something Simonetti requested when approached by Margoni to open.
“I just told him I wanted it homey and I wanted something that everybody could sit and hang out in,” Simonetti said. “I wanted something that when a customer comes in they'll sit down and feel relaxed and don't want to leave … It's got to be a homey shop, it's not corporate.”
The environment generated by the décor is to the benefit of the customer, with an attempt to be more inviting and comforting versus loud and busy.
“Everybody, I don't care who you are, whether you're a guy, a girl, 18-years-old, you're intimidated, that's why they bring 15 people with them when they get their first tattoo,” he said. “It helps calm everyone and keeps the meditation flow even.”
While the environment is directed to customer, it provides an additional comfort to the artists who are in the shop for 10 hours a day.
“I'm here 10 hours a day, you're tattooing someone for two, three hours at a clip, you can't be in a hectic, crazy, tight situation,” he said.
Simonetti considers his title of shop manager to be very loose, where the shop has less of a business structure and more of a free, artistic environment.
“They're men, they can take care of themselves ... if we run out of paper towels he could go get them, he's a 30-year-old man,” Simonetti said of the other artists with a laugh.
Simonetti is flanked by three other experienced tattoo artists; Sebastian Rendon, Anthony “Large” Nicolich and Joey “Smallz” Masturzo, who also performs piercings. The shop also features experienced piercer Alexandra Kyriakopoulos, who also performs permanent cosmetics.
For the first month to attract customers the shop is offering $50 off a tattoo that costs $250 or more and half price piercings.
The shop is located at 207 Terry Road in Nesconset and open seven days a week, from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
For Simonetti, the goal of the shop is simple.
“The shop pays for itself, everyone gets to make a good living and just have fun.”