Ten years ago, Sarah Trofatter sat in the tattoo chair to get a half-sleeve tattoo by Solomon Trofatter – but they almost gave up on the tattoo because she couldn’t stand it.
Solomon Trofatter said they almost never spoke to each other again because they couldn’t agree on what changes he wanted to make to his article. In the end, they created a tattoo that Sarah Trofatter loves, but they joke that they almost didn’t get there.
“We didn’t speak the same language,” said Sarah Trofatter. “Getting to this point took a lot of effort. And then he grew this great friendship. We ended up really connecting.
A decade later, Sarah Trofatter quit her job to open Two Roses Tattoo Co. with Solomon Trofatter, who is now her husband. Their store, located at 125 E. Kalamazoo St. in Lansing, will open in early December.
The shop’s name is Solomon Trofatter’s tribute to his wife – her middle name is Rose. Their early disagreement shaped their business model, which aims to bridge many gaps: communication issues between artists and clients, disconnects between business and community, and the difficulties new artists face in the process. ‘industry.
Solomon Trofatter has been tattooing since he was a child, tattooing his friends with a homemade machine. He immersed himself fully in the industry in 2004 – joining Splash of Color as the shop hit its stride, producing work in pristine conditions unheard of in the Lansing area tattoo scene at the time.
Two Roses Tattoo Co. is three miles from the MSU campus. Solomon Trofatter, who has a Spartan helmet tattooed on his cheekbone, chose the location in part because of its proximity to East Lansing’s younger population.
“Currently, there is no good learning program anywhere out there,” he said. “We want to put a lot of energy into it.”
The shop will offer a solid educational program for young artists who have not yet “found their place”. Solomon wants to counter the lack of qualifications needed to break into the body art industry by creating more informed career artists.
“There’s a very random set of standards that you have to go to,” Solomon Trofatter said. “All have nothing to do with you being a good tattoo artist.”
Michigan state law requires body art shops to be properly licensed, but no individual state license is required to become a tattoo artist.
In addition to providing 401k education, retirement and health insurance to young artists, the Trofatters will place great importance on the mental health of employees and apprentices.
“A lot of artists struggle with mental health and addiction,” said Solomon Trofatter. “It’s huge in the tattoo community…It’s so inundated with addiction.”
The shop will also offer laser tattoo removal and the possibility for people in need to receive this service for free.
“We will work to bring[laser removal]to people who are simply looking for a fresh start and just need a little help getting there,” said Sarah Trofatter. “If they come out of a bad situation for a number of reasons.”
Solomon Trofatter said downtown Lansing has a unique opportunity for a fresh start right now as the community rebuilds from the impacts of COVID-19. Through partnership with many of Lansing’s nonprofits, he hopes to be a part of that change.
“This whole downtown has a chance, over the next five years, to become something really different,” Solomon Trofatter said. “And inviting and community-focused. And just fucking cool.
Downtown Community Development Manager Julie Reinhardt said the store’s commitment to mentorship and community engagement fits right in with the culture it’s trying to create.
The pandemic, she said, has given the city a “unique opportunity” to rebuild a sustainable 24/7 downtown where small businesses can get started.
Visually, Two Roses Tattoo Co. will have an Art Deco vibe, “a bit spiky in the front but in the back, a bit speakeasy.”
Support student media!
Please consider donating to The State News and helping fund the future of journalism.
“If (customers) are looking for a top class tattoo experience, they’re going to get it here,” Sarah Trofatter said. “If you are a tattoo collector and are looking for an authentic and more historical tattoo experience, we want to offer that to you as well.”
Their goal is to make the store a comfortable place for everyone who walks through the door, no matter what they’re looking for.
“We want to take care of our artists and we want to take care of our community,” said Solomon Trofatter.
Share and discuss “Two Roses Tattoo Co.: Lansing’s New Body Art Shop Focuses on Health and Education” on social networks.