New tattoo shop provides family-friendly atmosphere
Published 9:45 am Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Guests entering the new Pioneer Tattoo Company may be pleasantly surprised at the inviting atmosphere they find inside.
“We have a warm, inviting atmosphere with a spacious lobby and rustic down-home look,” said co-owner Amanda Sorrell. “Compared to most tattoo shops, we have a very family-oriented atmosphere because we have two boys and want everybody to be welcome.”
She said they moved from Jackson, North Carolina because they wanted to raise their 5- and 2-year-old boys in a small town.
“A lot of our friends had also already opened shops there, so we would have been competing against fellow artists and friends,” said Amanda. “This is a fresh start for not only the boys, but for us.”
They may be new to Elizabethton, but co-owner Rusty Sorrell is not new to the art.
He’s been a licensed tattoo artist for over ten years. When he was in high school, he was selected as one of 30 students, from a pool of 3,000, to be taken out of school to attend North Carolina School of the Arts, from which he graduated in 2005.
He said almost all of his designs are custom illustrations, as are those of tattoo artist Ruaidhri O’Grady.
“He likes people to have their own original piece instead of something that many other people may have,” said Amanda.
O’Grady has three years of experience, and apprenticed under Sorrell when they lived in North Carolina. Piercer Holden Vines has five years experience and transferred from a Johnson City parlor.
“We’re like family here,” said Amanda.
They specialize in black and grey, realism, portraits, cover-ups and traditional, and they also do color realism and watercolor-style tattoos.
Sorrell has traveled to many states to tattoo at various shops and to learn from other artists.
“We do any tattoos that anybody would need and encourage people to come check out our portfolios,” said Rusty. “We hand-draw every tattoo we do.”
Amanda emphasized the cleanliness of their equipment and the friendliness of their staff.
“The one thing everybody says when they come in is how inviting it is,” she said.
They are open Monday through Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., and walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment or free consultation, call 423-543-0599.