GALION — Anyone looking to add a little extra color to their lives can stop by the newly opened Expendables Tattoos Inkorporated in Historic Uptowne Galion, at 127 Harding Way East.
The tattoo business, owned by Brett Bennett — better known as Grimlock — is located in the same building as Downtown Vapor Lounge, which will celebrate its third year anniversary on Friday, Nov. 13. Bennett said Nov. 13 also will be the grand opening of Expendables Tattoos Inkorporated, but noted a ‘soft opening’ has been taking place the past couple weeks so tattoo artists and customers can better get to know each other.
With intricate tattoo art displayed on his arms, Bennett is no stranger to the tattoo craft. Although he isn’t an artist himself, hesaid he truly appreciates the hard work and talent that goes into creating a one-of-a-kind visual piece. Bennett has wanted to open a tattoo business in Galion for a few years now, and he and his business partner were getting to the final stages of getting the shop open when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which put a halt to their endeavors for several months.
Bennett explained his business partner at the time wanted to pursue other ventures and sold Downtown Vapor Lounge to him, with the sale finalized in September.
“I went to city council last year to possibly get the ordinance changed and they were very cool, very respectful and I am very thankful that they did it,” he said. “It was still an uphill battle from there because I had a lot of things to get taken care of. We were already successful with the Downtown Vapor Lounge, and as far as I knew, nobody had ever done this … a vape shop and tattoo place all in one.
“I love tattoos and I love art. To me I really wanted to bring this first legal tattoo shop to town,” Bennett said. “People used to look at people with tattoos like we were trash. But what people don’t know is I used to be in private security. I was in law enforcement. I used to teach behavior management, so we’re not what they think. A lot of us are educated and nice people. Just because we like body art doesn’t make us scary.
“One arm (tattoo) can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000. So it’s an investment into yourself, if you will. And in most cases it’s a very positive way to express yourself. There are always views of different artists. Some people may like one artist over another. We know we might not be able to make everyone happy, but our goal is to be very professional, upbeat and inviting.”
Fore more information, call 419-462-8273, check out their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The business boasts three talented tattoo artists. Bennett noted two are approved and one is an apprentice.
“(The apprentice) has to go through a process where he has to get certified and it’s a minimum of one year. We want to make sure that his art is at our level of expertise and what we’re expecting,” he said.
Customers should call and make appointments for larger tattoos, but walk-ins are acceptable for those wishing to get a smaller tattoo, as those can sometimes take just 30 minutes to create.
Although Expendables Tattoos Inkorporated is in the middle of its soft opening, Bennett said customer appointments already are booked all the way up to the grand opening Nov. 13.
“We already have such a following we could be open seven days a week,” Bennett said.
Currently hours are noon to 6 p.m. with the exception of Friday and Saturday, when they will stay open until 9 p.m.
“That’s what’s good about being a part of your community,” he said “People already knew of us with Downtown Vapor Lounge being here for three years. The word was already out about the tattoo part. We just had to wait on all the approvals. and once the health department approved us we got right on it. We didn’t hesitate.”
Tattoo artist Demetrius Howell outlines an intricate floral design on the arm of customer Cherish Beam.
Owner Brett “Grimlock” Bennett stands in the newly opened Expendables Tattoos Inkcorporated.