Interview with Jim Kelly!

20 Sep

Jim Kelly is a piercer at Empire Tattoo in Pitman, NJ. Which is just down the street from Rowan University, I was curious if the college being so near by has effected the shop or not.

Empire Tattoo in Pitman, NJ from the outside.

Because everyone gets their start differently tell me about yourself and how you got started.

JK: I have been a piercer for 3 years but I have been around tattoo shops for much longer than that. I have been interested in tattoos and piercings since I was a very young age. My mom signed for me to get my lip pierced at 15 and I ended up hanging out in the shop a lot after that. I ended up being asked to help out around the shop and got more and more responsibilities. Once a new shop opened I became a full time apprentice and began piercing from there.

Being that you are located right by Rowan University and the high school, do you get alot more students than the average store?

JK: It depends on what you consider an average store. Our store in Blackwood is down the street from Camden County Community College and Highland is around the corner. Students do tend to go to the closest shop so yes we get a lot more Rowan and Glassboro students than our other shops but no more students than any other shops by a school.

I know I was nervous with my tattoo, I was nervous even to get my nose pierced! What do you tell these students when they come in ready to get something done, but are very nervous.

JK: I tell them to relax as best they can and be realistic about it, expect a little bit of pain but realize it will be over very quickly. I tell them it is important to breathe normal and not hold their breath. Its a fairly simple process once the client is relaxed. When they realize how easy it is they are able to stay much more calm.

I have heard some fraternities make their pledging members get a receipt from a tattoo shop, what do you tell them, and are there any interesting stories surrounding these students.

JK: No this hasn’t happened. It wouldn’t be a problem to give anyone a receipt. Receipts are given to every customer if they need one.


Empire Tattoo
3 North Broadway
Pitman, NJ 08071
856-270-2478
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