Venice Boardwalk. Perhaps one of the most well known beach side boardwalks along the West Coast. People from all walks of life are seen along Venice Beach, and if you have been there, you know exactly what we mean.
In the midst of all the street artists, curious tourists, and eccentric locals sits a very unique tattoo shop. The bright red cement walls stand out with paintings that resemble the old school “Sailor Jerrys” laying over top them. Along the side of the building sits a big red leather couch – perfect for a photo shoot back drop. A big garage style door welcomes you into the shop. The huge sign “House of Ink Tattoos and Piercing” plastered on the wall outside is impossible to miss.
Inside, the tattoo shop is decorated just like any other. Artists portfolios are displayed in books, glass cases filled with body piercings, hundreds of tattoo examples on posters, black leather reclining chairs, and not to mention a glass case in the lobby with a giant cobra snake hissing inside of it! But nothing out of the ordinary for Venice Beach.
20 years ago, House of Ink was built from the ground up. Sean Heirigs, proud owner and tattoo artist came to Los Angeles to continue his passion for tattooing. He figured Venice Beach was the perfect location to open up a shop, and knew there was huge potential. Sean did his formal apprenticeship in Honolulu, Hawaii. It’s been a little over 20 years since he first started tattooing, so experience is definitely something Sean does not lack!
Ever since its grand opening, House Of Ink has made quite a reputation for its self. In fact, Sean has a very impressive list of celebrity clients that have been tattooed in his shop. Shaquille O’Neal, Robert Downy Jr., Kat Williams, players from the LA Kings, LA Lakers and even a gold medal Olympic swimmer – to mention a few. The shop has also been featured in many different television shows, such as MTV, Lifetime, and VH1.
“There’s never a dull moment,” says Sean. “You never know what’s going to come through the door. Every walk of life comes down to Venice Beach and I love it!”
Summer is the busiest time of year for all shop owners along Venice Beach. Around 200,000 people walk along the Venice Beach boardwalk every day between the months of June through August!
“Every day is different,” Sean says. “I’ve been here for over 14years and there’s never a day that’s the same.”
There are 11 tattoo shops along the 8km Venice Beach boardwalk. House of Ink is the only Artist-owned tattoo shop. Sean’s perspective on business is very hands on and he feels that its important as an owner to be 100% involved in all aspects of the business.
Not only does Sean own the one shop, but he owns two more. One also along the boardwalk just minutes away from House of Ink, and the other closer to town called Ink Monkey.
Watch Sean and company in Tattoos After Dark, on Oxygen Network, Premiering January 1, 2014 at 11PM PST.