By Sarah Corbin
When I received a facebook note from Rockstar Ink letting me know they were a Toys for Tot’s location, I was impressed by this business finding another way to give back. “We’ve enjoyed being able to participate in our community in this way and wanted to keep the positive momentum going,” says owner Ax.
Chrome, pictured center who has ridden in the Toys for Tot’s parade numerous times, had the idea. Many of the artists at Rockstar Ink have military in their families, it’s a fun group, and a perfect chance to bring the holiday spirit to the kind of business that typically doesn’t participate in this type of community giving. But Rockstar Ink, just isn’t your typical tattoo parlor.
Since Rockstar Ink opened 2 years ago, they have participated as face painting artists for Day in Our Village, both years. They did free star tattoo’s for the Fourth of July Weekend. In October they tattooed over 60 folks with pink ribbons to help raise breast cancer awareness. This September they hosted an art show and benefit for the Children’s Heart Foundation that raised over $2,000 for that organization.
Owner, Ax, remains committed to being the kind of Tattoo business that knocks down some of those stereotypes we might have about this particular shop category. And she’s doing a fantastic job. When deciding to open in Oak Park, Ax says she wanted to be here because we are an artistic open minded community. And she couldn’t be more pleased with how accommodating the village staff and residents have been. When passing out Toys for Tot's flyers to area businesses, Ax said she met so many new folks across an entire spectrum, all of whom were excited to spread the word.
Before this past Tuesday, I had never walked into a tattoo parlor. I was fully impressed. Ax walked me through the precautions and procedures they take to make sure everyone is safe. And they have designed their space to ensure privacy and comfort for their clients.
At Rockstar Ink, 90% of all the work they do is custom. And it’s true artistry. You can see much of their work on their facebook page. Ax and Shan or one of the team is really good about keeping this social network up to date.
These tattoo artists, are making Oak Park their home by being involved and active. As small businesses go, they are actively involved, making conscious decisions to support other small businesses & those in need. They picked a location that had been empty for years, hired contractors who had been out of work, and built a business with heart and soul. This is just the kind of business and the kind of business owner I welcome to Oak Park.
You can drop off new and unwrapped toys for girls and boys at Rockstar Ink, 6549 North Ave, starting now. Ax wanted to be sure to name Equilibrium, 13aked, and Appleavocado, two other small businesses who are helping to cross market the toy drive. Rockstar Ink is open nearly everyday a 2pm, just closed on Tuesday. And they are offering a discount on your tattoo’s if you bring in a gift.
Of course you could just bring in a toy.
One more thing: Rockstar Ink makes my list of awesome spots to get gift certificates. The certificates are custom designed too. It’s a most unique gift for your ink loving friends.