Downtown Pomona gets Ink’d

By Christa Collins

Tattoo and piercing shops can be intimidating environments,
especially for those foreign to that type of art culture.

Terry Dipple had a different atmosphere in mind when he decided
to open Ink’d Chronicles, a body art shop in the Pomona Arts Colony
and the first one to be approved by the city council for the
area.

Dipple, the former mayor of San Dimas, surprised his colleagues
when he proposed the idea of owning and operating a tattoo shop –
not a typical mayoral move. He has made it quite clear, however,
that this project would be all about the art, not the rock star
image.

“I’ve always been an artist, ever since high school,” said
Dipple.

It wasn’t an easy feat swaying Pomona’s city council to approve
the project. Dipple was in politics for 20 years and worked on
various real estate projects in Pomona years prior, so he knew he
could get the job done.

The council’s biggest worry was the type of clientele tattoo
shops generally attract. Trying to clean up Pomona’s act, the
council had safety concerns for the proposed shop.

Dipple countered concerns by having reputable members of
society, such as police officers and firefighters, talk to the
council about the stories behind their tattoos. Dipple also
presented a well-constructed proposal, and it passed on a 4-3
vote.

Dipple has carried through on his artistic vision, and it can be
seen in all areas of his shop.

The walls of the gallery area display art pieces by students and
alumni of a local high school, which have taken the place of the
tattoo flash art that is usual displayed. The pieces are also an
exhibit for the Pomona Art Walk.

The whole shop is painted a golden yellow, except the loft
apartment in the far back of the shop, where Dipple and his
daughter Tess live. The space is decorated in a mod style
reminiscent of a 1960s or 1970s New York apartment. Dipple is quite
satisfied with his commute to work these days.

While choosing artists to work in the shop, Dipple interviewed
more than 50 applicants. He wanted artists that feel the same way
about the business that he does.

He found the same drive in Henry, Sal and Cindy, the three
artists who now make up the shop’s staff; with Sal doubles as a
piercer. Tess has also taken on apprenticing Sal to increase the
shop’s efficiency.

Dipple wants his customers to feel comfortable with their
artist. Tattoos are permanent, after all.

“I want to be the Nordstrom of tattoo shops,” said Dipple. “I’m
all about the art and all about the customer.”

The shop has definitely made a name for itself since its grand
opening Nov. 10, which Corey Miller, a renowned tattoo artist from
L.A. Ink, attended along with more than 500 other people.

The shop set itself apart while participating in a recent tattoo
expo, especially with its colorful banner. Ink’d Chronicles was
also on Skinnie Magazine’s “Best of 2007 Top 5” list for tattoo
shops.

Ink’d Chronicles has fit seamlessly into the nature of the
Pomona Arts Colony.

Dipple and his artists have planned upcoming events to attract
customers and also express their love for the art that is
tattooing.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, the shop is giving out discounts
on heart tattoos. The usual minimum price for a tattoo is $80, but
on this special day a heart only costs $30 with a flyer.

Ink’d Chronicles is planning to have a new art exhibit in the
spring featuring pictures of tattoos along with the story behind
each one. In the summer, the shop is planning a tattoo fashion show
with a red carpet and the works.

Ink’d Chronicles has worked hard to set itself apart from the
rest of the pack. It has brought the element of art from the
tattoos they create to the walls of their shop. The artists’ slogan
is “Every tattoo has a story,” and they always love to bring one
from mind to flesh.

Downtown Pomona gets Ink

Lucio Villa/Poly Post

Downtown Pomona gets Ink’d

Downtown Pomona gets Ink

Lucio Villa/Poly Post

Downtown Pomona gets Ink’d

Downtown Pomona gets Ink

Lucio Villa/Poly Post

Downtown Pomona gets Ink’d

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