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Tattoo parlor brings its mojo across the street

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MASSENA — After spending most of the past three years at downtown’s Sunrise Mall, tattoo parlor Mojo Rising has found a new home across the street from its old one, on the second floor of 63 E. Main St.

Owner Morgan A. St. Louis said the move is a good one.

“It was kind of a forced move, but it’s a better move,” she said. “We needed a new place anyway, one that we could take pride in.”

When the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce moved its offices out of the mall last year, tenants were faced with coming up with a $3,000 fee to keep electric service on in the building or relocating. Each of the building’s other three tenants chose relocation.

“It should have been done a long time ago, but this was kind of a swift kick in the butt for us,” Ms. St. Louis said.

Before opening Mojo Rising, Ms. St. Louis was a tattoo artist at Victory Lane. When the owner of that business decided to move into his own home, she decided to go into business for herself and keep the downtown shop open.

“I wanted to keep the walk-in traffic,” she said, adding that business has been great since she opened her new location in November.

“Business has been crazy, and this is usually our slow time,” she said, adding that the typical busy season is approaching. “Tax time is right around the corner.”

The early success of her new location hasn’t left much time for Ms. St. Louis to set up and decorate the new shop the way she would like, but she said piece by piece things are coming together.

“I’ve got some painting to do, but little by little it’s coming together,” she said.

While most tattoo parlors have their walls covered in “flash,” Ms. St. Louis said, she takes a custom approach to each and every tattoo.

“A lot of tattoo shops have flash all over their walls, so you walk in and pick out something a lot of people already have. We don’t do that,” she said. “It’s on you forever. You don’t want something that a million other people have.”

The customization goes even one step further.

“If you come in with a picture off the Internet, we’ll change something on it to make it different and make it your own,” she said.

While Ms. St. Louis is Mojo Rising’s only artist at this point, she does have an apprentice, Krista I. Ward, who will be tattooing there in the near future.

“I sought her out because her art was phenomenal,” Ms. St. Louis said. “She is a phenomenal artist and helps me with my drawings when I’m overwhelmed, but she’s learning to tattoo, so she’ll be doing that here soon.”

Mojo Rising can be found on Facebook and is open from 12:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. While walk-ins are accepted, appointments are recommended and can be made by calling 705-0969.

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