When tattoo parlors were re-legalized in New York City in 1997 Daredevil Tattoo opened on the Lower East Side. It is one of the few from that era still open, but it has had some ups and downs. A few years ago their landlord upped the rent at 174 Ludlow Street by 50 percent, forcing them to find new digs. Lucky enough to find housing at 141 Division, that address is now permanent, not unlike the wares they peddle.
For the almost twenty years that co-founder Brad Fink has run his business he has gathered together an interesting assortment of tattoo memorabilia. Much of those artifacts were utilized in the new premises décor, but Fink would like to do more for his collection. Daredevil co-owner Michelle Myles agrees that they can and should do more to preserve the objects of tattoo history. To that goal they have been active in promoting the creation of what might be the world’s first “Museum of Tattoo History.”
In order to raise the estimated $30,000 for the project, Fink and Myles have launched a Kickstarter campaign. The following is how they are promoting their pet project.
“Last year Daredevil moved into a new larger location on Division Street a few blocks from Chatham Square and the Bowery. The new space incorporates Brad’s collection into the tattoo shop for customers and visitors to enjoy. Michelle and Brad have been doing extensive archival research to document and map out the earliest New York tattooers in the Bowery area. We need your help to complete the work on the space and finish the display cases so the entire collection can be brought in and put on view.
“Small businesses are having a harder and harder time staying in place in New York City. After we were priced out of our old location with a 50% rent increase we chose our new location because we had the option to buy the storefront we moved into. In December last year we closed on a mortgage and bought the space making us the only shop in NYC to own the property we’re in. We’ve managed to secure a forever home for our shop and the collection but we need help to finish a few more things. Getting to where we are now was the hardest thing we’ve ever accomplished but we feel we have something important to bring to the tattoo community and that we have something valid to contribute to the heritage of the Lower East Side.”