Tattoo studio ribbon cutting

John and Ginny Elliott, center, holding the scissors, prepare to cut the ribbon on their new business Ink Therapy and Body Piercing along with members of their family, Chamber of Commerce members and Mayor Jim Arico and his wife, Karen. Photo by Stan Schwartz

Tattoo and piercing studio opens on the square

BOWLING GREEN—Some people have a strong message to get out to others. Whether it’s in words or as art, they want that message permanently on their skin for others to see.

For those so inclined, a new tattoo and body piercing studio opened in Bowling Green on the northeast side of the square, across the street from the Bowling Green Post Office. Owners Ginny and John Elliott decided that they wanted to bring an upscale type tattoo business to their hometown, which is why they opened Ink Therapy and Body Piercing.

“I didn’t want this to look like a grungy tattoo shop,” Ginny said when giving a tour of the new business after the Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting last week. “I like doing art on skin,” she added.

Ginny noted that she’s already had people ask about doing apprenticeships at her business, but because of COVID-19, she’s not going to be bringing anyone new into the business just yet. But once the pandemic has subsided, she said, she would bring in one or two other artists to the studio.

This studio comes as a second career for Ginny. She didn’t even get her first tattoo until she was in her 30s. But art has always been her passion, she said. And doing art on skin was a natural for her.

If it had not been for John, her husband, Ginny said none of it would have happened. Growing up in Bowling Green, Ginny’s last name had been Brown. All through high school, she said, they called her Downtown Ginny Brown.

Before this, Ginny said she worked at Madame Voodoo’s House of Ink in Warrenton. That business sustained heavy damage in a fire, and Ginny said she helped the owner rebuild the business. That allowed her to learn about everything needed for starting a tattoo and body piercing business.

“With her, I knew everything we needed to do; all the legalities—everything,” Ginny said. She left that studio to start work in a shop in Moscow Mills.

“That’s where I finished my apprenticeship, got my license,” she said, and then she decided to open a studio of her own.

Ginny officially opened the week before the ribbon cutting. And her first customer was her mother, who wanted a sunshine tattoo.

As for Ginny, her first tattoo was an 8-hour long session to put a family portrait on her upper back. She went to art school for eight years and taught art for 10 years.

John, who also does excavating at the local landfill, helped finance the new business.

They were in a good financial situation, so he asked her what she really wanted to do for a career.

“I told him I really wanted to do art and do this,” she said pointing to the studio around her. “So he pushed me to do it.”

The very first tattoo she gave was four years ago to her oldest daughter, Penny, who wanted a little bumblebee.

When he has time, John said he’s looking to create a leatherworking space in one of the rooms in the building. He also sports several tattoos. The best ones, he said, were done by Ginny.

Someone’s first tattoo is usually something that symbolizes an event or person that means something significant in their life, Ginny explained.

Ginny said eventually wants to put more art on the studio’s walls.

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases has her a little worried, she said. As a non-essential business, she said she would be worried about being shutdown, but because of John, they were able to open the business debt free. So, that’s why, she noted, they take all the recommended precautions when inking someone.

The studio is open every day except Sundays and Mondays from noon to 8 p.m.

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