From the moment you walk into East Providence Tattoo, the feeling of creativity and enthusiasm going on here tells you the place is something special. Start with the huge painting on the wall of the two-headed Phoenix Bird that looks ready to take wing, and owner Jesus Rios quoting Latin.
"Sic parvis magna," he says. "Greatness from small beginings."
It's the motto of the shop. Rios has been ten years in the business. He apprenticed with Ronnie at Ronnie's Tattoo, and worked at Wicked Ink. But it became obvious early on that with his personal drive and optimism, Jesus Rios was born to be an entrepreneur, not an employee. He started his own business two years ago. "I named it East Providence Tattoo because I love this city. This is not work, its fun."
The shop employs six artists. You can get Traditional or New School artwork, but whichever you choose, your tattoo will be as unique and special as the artist who creates it. "We have natural artists here, not fake artists," says Rios. "Your tattoo will be original artwork." In other words, something that results from the creative vision of the artist, not a design copied by rote. Of course, if a customer comes in with a design already chosen from a book or photograph, the artist will be happy to oblige, and there will still be a welcome personal touch to the final product.
Early in our discussion, Rios makes sure he brings up the subject of cleanliness and proper procedure. "Everyone who works here, from me to the artists to the receptionist at the front desk, is Blood-Borne Pathogen Certified, and CPR Certified," he says. When I mention he is the first tattoo parlor owner I've interviewed during this promotion to bring up the subject of safety, his eyes widen. He shakes his head. Jesus Rios and his crew are proud to go the extra mile to do things right. "Good comes from good," he observes, growing philosophical. "Bad comes from bad." Thanks to the extra effort at East Providence Tattoo, the vibe here is all good.
East Providence Tattoo also does piercing. They are the local sponsor of The Rhode Island Tattoo Expo, May 10-12.
EAST PROVIDENCE TATTOO
2399 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence, RI