When looking for a parlor to get my first tattoo, I visited numerous places in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. I had waited until I was 25 to get my first tattoo and with my age came several criteria I was looking for in a parlor and artist. First, I needed an easily located and accessible salon as I planned on this being my first of many tattoos. Next, I needed a clean, sterile environment. Also, I needed a talented artist with plenty of sample work to view. And, I wanted a friendly staff that would work with this overly thought-out tattoo virgin without looking down on me. Lastly, I needed something affordable.
Mother’s Tattoo and Piercing hit the nail on the head…well almost.
Mother’s Tattoo and Piercing is located in the Mainstrasse district of Covington, Kentucky. This area of Covington is charming and vibrant with numerous active shops, salons, boutiques, and restaurants. Also, it is easily accessible, just minutes from I-71 and only three or four miles from downtown Cincinnati. The shop itself is very inviting, opting for a modern artsy feel as opposed to the dark design many tattoo shops adopt. So, easily located and accessible can be checked off my list.
Next, I was adamant about a clean, sterile environment. If I was going to pay someone to poke me repeatedly with a needle, I wanted to make sure I was going to leave there healthy. Mother’s impressed me in this department. When you first walk into Mother’s you are greeted with a very clean, nicely organized lobby. It is evident that the shop takes pride in its representation. I was also impressed that the front lobby was wholly separated from the tattooing room.
About this salon and his parlors
This is in stark comparison to some parlors I visited where the lobby and tattooing area was the same and came complete with dirty ashtrays and trashcans. Upon inquiring about my tattoo, the receptionist took me on a tour of the tattoo and piercing rooms. This openness reassured me of their confidence in the cleanliness of their shop.
The tattoo and piercing rooms were immaculate. The dentist style chairs, white walls, and publicly visible autoclave gave the rooms a very sterile, hospital-like appearance. And, unlike most other parlors I visited, there is no smoking allowed in Mother’s. Criteria number two could be checked off my list.
Good parlors and receptionist
Thirdly, I wanted to be confident in my tattoo artist. So, I asked to see portfolios of the workers. The receptionist was quick to provide me with access to a computer on the counter which linked to artist portfolios.
There were examples from all of Mother’s artists depicting all areas of expertise. Since I am a fan of black and gray tattoos and fine line detail, the receptionist directed me to one artist in particular. Upon viewing his work, I was confident in his ability to create a well crafted permanent addition to my body.
Next, I was nervous going into tattoo shops being a tattoo virgin. I was afraid that I wouldn’t get some of the nuances of tattoo culture and feel out of place. I was also fearful that with my long list of criteria, the tattoo shops might look at me like some uptight freak.
My fears were confirmed in some shops I visited around Cincinnati. A few shops made me feel very uncomfortable, were put out when I asked to tour the facility, or refused to discuss portfolios with me. This was not the case with Mother’s.
The entire staff was great.
The receptionist made me feel right at home and was forthcoming with answers to all my questions. My tattoo artist was excellent and explained everything he was doing since it was my first time. Even the other clients and artists working were personable and talkative as I was getting my tattoo inked.
I felt like I was on an old episode of Cheers or something as smoothly as friendly conversations were bellowed back and forth across the shop.
Finally came affordability.
Now, this is the only semi-complaint I have about Mother’s. It isn’t a complaint, but it wouldn’t be believable if I gave them a stellar review on every aspect. After visiting many shops around Greater Cincinnati,
I discovered that Mother’s ran about $20 more for the tattoo I was getting than the average of their competitors. At first, this turned me off as I wanted to save as much money as possible.
But upon further thought, I decided the significant aspects of Mother’s far outweighed the twenty bucks. My comfort, confidence, and eventually satisfaction in the finished product were well worth the extra money.