Monday, April 30, 2012

Good Life Tattoos and Piercings in Highland Square

Akron Empire would like to welcome guest blogger Laura Maidens.  When not getting tattoos, Laura works as Project Cataloger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Library and Archives.  I know, cool right?  Thanks to Laura for sharing this post about one of her favorite Akron Empire places.

Good Life Tattoos and Piercings
by Laura Maidens

I first visited Good Life Tattoos and Piercings while seeking an artist to design a peacock for me. On a friend’s recommendation, I looked up Jesse Strother’s portfolio. I was impressed with his inventive uses of color and found myself drawn to his bold art. I scheduled an appointment for a consultation stat.

What I found upon my first visit to Good Life did not disappoint: a clean, friendly environment with interesting flash on the wall, artists’ portfolios to peruse, an impressive array of body jewelry, and professional, yet laid-back, artists. Jesse Strother and Jeremiah Currier opened the shop in 2008; since then, the shop has won accolades from Fox 8’s Akron/Canton Hotlist and from the Akron Beacon Journal’s Beacon’s Best.

The artists keep reference books for inspiration and guidance.

Currier previously worked at the shop when it was Pain Hate Pain and later Akron Ink. In 2008, he and Strother, who have been friends since high school, talked about taking the shop over as business partners. Currier says he really never knew he could be a business owner until he tried it out. “From the very beginning, all that I did know was that I was confident in my abilities to pierce well.” He and Strother knew they were good at what they did and weren’t happy in their current job situations, so they decided to seize the opportunity to open Good Life. “I really never wanted to own a business,” says Strother. “It’s the most stressful, but also the most rewarding experience. Some days you wish you were just an employee, but I’m very thankful for my job.”

The tattoo artists at Good Life have unique and different styles, but none of them shy away from any style in particular. “I’m drawn to tattoos that look like tattoos,” says Strother. “You know, bold colors, a more traditional look.” But one look at his portfolio and the portfolios of the other artists will show you that their talents are not relegated to one particular style.

When I met with Strother to talk about my peacock tattoo, we discussed location, size, shape, and color. I went back into the shop a few days later to approve the drawing, and I was ecstatic; it was just what I had imagined in my mind. He completed it in two sessions, and I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. Since then, I’ve returned to the shop to work with Jesse and other artists, as well.

A display case shows off the many varieties of jewelery for piercings.

Strother lets me in on one of the secrets to why Good Life is such a unique shop. Over the years, Strother, Currier, and the other artists at the shop have formed friendships with tattoo artists throughout the country. This has given them the opportunity to bring guest artists into the shop on a regular basis. “We have some really great, talented friends,” Strother says. “That means that the people who live in the area can collect tattoos from all over the country without having to go too far.” Most recently, Good Life was host to Christian Beckman from Saints & Sinners in Baltimore. You can visit Good Life’s website ( to find out about future guest artists.

If you are more interested in a piercing, look no further than Good Life’s piercers, who utilize top-notch tools, offer a plethora of unique jewelry, and ALWAYS exceed all of Akron’s Health Department requirements. They’ve got all your poking needs covered with their menu of facial piercings, body piercings, and dermal anchors, which, I will admit, I was not very familiar with before this visit. “[Dermal anchors] are a single-point piercing,” says Jeremiah. “They allow you to have piercings in a lot of cool places that you previously couldn’t have them.” But he warns that dermal anchors are meant to be permanent. “Once they’re in, THEY’RE IN!”

A particularly unique collection of jewelry.

What I find to be most inviting about Good Life are the genuine and amusing interactions between the guys who work there. “Even just down-time here is a lot of fun,” says Currier. “Each day is quite different from the next and you usually don’t know what to expect…especially from Jesse!” he laughs.

So if you’re in the mood for something new, call or stop in to schedule a consultation appointment. You can browse portfolios by all the artists to get inspiration or to see who might best match your design aesthetic. I myself am itching for a Princess Bride themed tattoo; I think it’s time to set up another consultation!

You can visit Good Life Tattoos and Piercings in the Highland Square neighborhood of Akron, at 752 W. Market St. They’re open every day of the week: Mondays-Thursdays 12-9, Fridays & Saturdays 12-11, and Sundays 12-5. Check out their website at Good Life Tattoos and Piercings ( or call them at (330)374-0100 to schedule a consultation. You can also “like” the shop on Facebook ( to get current updates on the shop’s goings-on!

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