After successfully launching a tattoo shop in North East, Justin Holcombe has come home.
Holcombe, a Rising Sun native and former U.S. Marine, has opened The Helix Tattoo Lodge on Colonial Way. While neighboring properties are in town limits, the building, a former church, isn't technically in the Town of Rising Sun.
"This was a church. And it remains a God-fearing building," said Holcombe.
"I wanted to come home. Inkaholics was great and it still is. It was nice to pass on (an established studio)," said Holcombe, of the business that he opened August 1, 2010. "I didn't give it up. I didn't start over. Inkaholics will always be a part of me. I came here because I wanted to focus more and do it better. I wanted privacy. It was hard to focus there. Now I have an appointment only place. I had a different vision. Inkaholics was so busy."
The new business is going well. September is booked. He hopes to bring in another tattoo artist which he will hire or personally train.
He describes the decor as "rustic and lodgey". The studio is state of the art, it features specialty chairs which adjust to tattooing all parts of the body. There is also a tiger striped bamboo floor, studio lighting, and a large screen movie theater with sound system.
"Tattoos are art," he said. He specializes in photo realism style tattoos.
The name "Helix Tattoo Lodge" comes from the rustic building and his belief that "Tattooing is in our DNA."
"My biggest thing is the client experience," he said.
He's not only bringing a new business to the area, Holcombe also has a great desire to be involved in the community.
He partnered with the Rising Sun Arts Alliance to sponsor last year's Rising Sun High School Excellence Fair.
"I'd like to get politically involved. I'm watching the town meetings. I'm learning before I step in," he said.
The Helix Tattoo Lodge is an appointment only studio and is open Monday through Thursday noon until 7 p.m.