A Richmond zip code has the most tattoo shops in Virginia
Richmond's 23220 zip code has the most tattoo shops in Virginia.
The big picture: The city has a prominent reputation for its tattoo culture, which has shifted toward becoming more diverse and uplifting in recent years, per RVA Mag.
- There are 14 registered studios in just the 23220 zip code, which stretches from Maymont to Virginia Union University and the Fan to Jackson Ward.
- VPM set out to answer how Richmond got to this point.
What they found: Tattoos in the 1980s were rare, even in punk circles like GWAR's, a heavy metal band from Richmond, Danny Black — a former GWAR roadie — told VPM.
- But "Crazy" Ace Daniels, a Canadian tattooer with a shop in the 23220, mainstreamed them in the city and brought in VCU arts students as apprentices, according to Black.
- Daniels also had major names in the industry, like Ed Hardy, come to Richmond and started Richmond Tattoo and Arts Festival, one of the oldest tattoo conventions in the world.
- Black Rabbit was born out of conversations with clients who wanted to feel safe and accepted when getting tattooed, founder Kim Graziano — or Bunny Machine on Instagram — told VPM.
- Many of the artists are also women of color, which is uncommon in the usually white and male-dominated industry.
The bottom line: Richmond being a tattoo city is a title decades in the making, and it's not going anywhere any time soon.
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