Students interested in getting tattoos or piercings now have more variety, with the opening of Ink & Needle, a new tattoo shop in East Lansing.
“This was kind of the last frontier, business wise,” said owner William Brown, referring to being the only tattoo parlor around besides Splash of Color on Grand River Ave.
Brown opened Ink & Needle in August. Brown also owns two other shops in Ingham county, Southside Tattoo and Noble Ink, and said he wouldn’t want to do anything else.
“Even at the worst days, it’s better than the best day at another job. It doesn’t feel like work when I’m tattooing. It doesn’t matter how many times I do it or how tired I am. I love putting artwork on people and making sure that piece is special to them and seeing that smile on their face,” Brown said.
The parlor is located next to Rick’s Bar on Abbot Road, which the owners said brings in a lot of people and interesting stories.
“We call this the fishbowl because the whole Rick’s line just stares in at us,” said Chelsea Brown, the owner’s daughter.
While it is illegal to tattoo or pierce an intoxicated person, there has been some gallant drunken efforts, Brown said.
“We’ve been flashed through the window to show off their piercings that we’ve done. We did have one girl come in during the last (MSU) home game, while she had been drinking all day, who had decided that she was going to join the Peace Corps and wanted the whole map of the world on her back,” Chelsea Brown said.
Ink and Needle does get some business from MSU students.
“Students don’t want to go off campus. They just won’t,” William Brown said.
Bryce Petoskey, a tattoo artist of three years, said some of the most interesting tattoos he’s done so far happened at Ink and needle. An MSU graduate who is now a personal trainer takes the cake, he said.
“I actually did a carrot sword fighting with a donut with some grapes in the background, and it’s supposed to symbolize health and wellness. Fight against bad habits and things like that,” Petoskey said.
A frequent customer, Jason Chavez, who is currently in the process of getting a sleeve done by both the owner and Petoskey, said he’s had a good experience at Ink and Needle.
“We’ve been looking for a tattoo artist to fit our needs. We’ve been through a handful of tattoo artists before we found this shop,” Chavez said. “I like the versatility and the mood . . . this is the kind of shop that fits a person’s needs, not just taking the money and saying, ‘Yeah, let me put whatever you want.’ I love the work they do.”
As a freshman at Michigan State, I interned for the university's student newspaper The State News where I wrote three stories each week, including subject interviews, writing, editing and submission. In addition to my weekly work, I landed two front-page feature articles. I was also responsible for attending and reporting on Michigan State University campus events.