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The Leon Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Dark Dream Tattooing on Thursday, May 14th.
Address: 106 N. Main Street
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Tattooing and piercing is offered
Pictured: Maggie Lindsey, Dan Greenhalgh (artist), Shane Akers, Tim Hutchson (co-owner and artist), Carrie Hutchson, Danielle Reed, Tyler Reed (owner and artist), Ricky Kimmel (artist), JoBeth Smith, and John Dunsdon
by Cait Demoss, The Leon Journal-Reporter
Dark Dream Tattooing originally had a shop in Lamoni; however, chose to relocate to Leon for various reasons.
“It was our time to move. Lamoni was pretty much to get our feet on the ground and at the time it was the best location,” Tyler “Mad Tatter” Reed, co-owner and tattoo artist of Dark Dream Tattooing, said. “The location we had was not orthodox at all, it was inside a mechanics shop.”
“Location is everything and you can’t really get much better than this...right off the highway and right off the square,” Tim “Tad Madder” Hutchison, co-owner and tattoo artist of Dark Dream Tattooing, said. “So far the location has worked out for us. People have been very welcoming and we attended our first Rotary Club meeting, everyone seemed enthusiastic.”
The reason why Dark Dream Tattooing made history in Leon was that it would be the first tattooing establishment to open in a town that was established in 1853.
“We’re the first tattoo place in Leon and probably will be the only one too,” Reed said.
“We wanted to give people an opportunity to stay in their own town and not have to drive to Des Moines to get work done,” Hutchison said.
Dark Dream Tattooing’s clientele stretches from all corners of Iowa and even a few out-of- staters. The farthest has been a client from Arkansas that returns for repeat business by Dark Dream Tattooing.
“Everyone from north, west, east and south pretty much come to meet in the middle,” Reed said.
In regards to pricing on work getting done, Dark Dream Tattooing has their clients covered.
“We try to work with the ‘working man’ with prices,” Reed said. “ We know this type of area isn’t making 18 bucks or more, so we give everyone the opportunity to get some work done without overcharging them….though some stuff, like the bigger stuff will cost a little bit more, which is to be expected.”
In addition to tattoos, Dark Dream Tattooing will be doing piercings within the next month. Dan Greenhalgh, who does guest seats and is expected to be at Dark Dream Tattooing permanently within the next year, will be training Hutchison and Reed’s wife, Danielle, on how to do piercings so there will be someone at the shop at all times that can fill the need.
“Generally most people who come in to see about tattoo work inquire about piercings too,” Hutchison said.
Both Reed and Hutchison were not nervous at all about moving their shop to Leon, in fact, both men were ecstatic that they got the opportunity to open up their business in their home town.
“I actually feel more comfortable working in my hometown,” Reed said.
Hutchison and Reed are pretty well known tattoo artist; however, they simply wish for people to know them as Tim and Tyler.
This dark dream started one day when Hutchison and Reed were looking through a tattoo magazine and saw a kit for sale. Hutchison turned to Reed and told him “If you’ll pay half I’ll pay half” and it’s been that way ever since between the two co-owners.
“It’s kind of crazy thinking back then to what we have now, it’s still like that,” Hutchison said.
Reed and Hutchison have noticed a certain shift of trends, indicating that it went from old school sailor tattoos to new school.
“A lot of people use Pinterest now, but unless you bring us something, we’re custom,” Reed said. “It’s like five girls going to the same prom with the same dress. Nobody wants that and we like to give our own twist on it so it’s unique to the person getting the tattoo.”
The future for Dark Dream Tattooing is one that Reed is determined to keep in the community. They see themselves growing and they may get too big for their current location.
Both Hutchison and Reed would like to have some sort of franchise in the future, so they could have multiple locations and hire artists for each location.
“We appreciate how inviting the Decatur County community is for Dark Dream Tattooing. I was kind of worried that we wouldn’t be accepted, but everyone has welcomed us,” Hutchison said. If the duo wasn’t originally from Decatur County, they would have been a little wary of opening up shop here.
“We keep a clean shop and get inspected every year,” said Reed. Though that isn’t all that makes Dark Dream Tattooing’s reputation good, it’s the charisma that both Reed and Hutchison have that resemble the “Iowa Nice” image.
“Everyone is always welcome, even if you want to stop in and see what this place is about,” said Hutchison. “You’re welcome.” Both are extremely friendly and are there to answer any questions whether it be from getting work done or just something you are curious about with the tattooing process.
Reed and Hutchison gave some advice to those who are considering on getting ‘inked’. “Take your time and pick something that you know you’d be happy with it. If it didn’t hurt, everyone would do it,” Reed said.
“Make sure that you are 100% sure that’s what you want, don’t go into it half minded,” Hutchison added.