Saturday, May 5, 2018

Tattoos find more acceptance on West Side

Sweet_Ness 7 barista Julianna Turtone wears her art on her sleeve.
By Terra Harter and Ben Hauver
Bengal News West Reporters
Located on the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Grant Street, Sweet_Ness 7 Cafe’s vibrant exterior welcomes everyone with painted swirls and stars of yellow and white, giving a taste of what to expect while walking in for your fresh cup of joe.
The first thing you might notice is the chatter of people mixed with the intoxicating scent of freshly ground coffee beans filling the room. Hardwood floors and a variety of old and new décor create a cozy, one-of-a-kind atmosphere. 
While choosing a drink from the extensive chalkboard-written menu, the vibrancy of the interior extended to the arms of the barista who proudly displays two full sleeves of tattoos.
Julianna Tutorne is one of the Barista’s at the Sweet_Ness 7 Café.
“I’ve had tattoos for 12 years,” Tutorne said. “I’d say the popularity of tattoos and them becoming more acceptable in the workplace has been more towards the past five years.”  

Tutorne, on the popularity of tatoos:

According to a 2015 study in the International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, 86 percent of young professionals don’t believe that tattoos or piercings reduce the likelihood of getting a job.
The divide in the opinions of tattoos is generational.  
Dr. Howard Stanger is a professor in the Department of Management at Canisius College. 
“Tattoos are one of the ways that younger people try to find themselves and project themselves outwards,” he said. “But those things can change over time.” 
More than merely having tattoos, the placement of them can have a significant impact.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal if you have them covered up, nobody can see them,” Tutorne said. “I’ve been denied jobs because of having my hands tattooed.”
Gary Grundtisch and Dan Erickson, owners of Ink Assassins Tattoos on Grant Street, have over 20 years of combined experience as professional tattoo artists in the Buffalo area. They also agree that the location of the tattoo on the body is the most important factor on how it will be regarded in a professional setting.
“If you walk into a job interview with a tattoo on your face, they’re probably not going to hire you,” Erickson said.
"If you're 20-years-old, and you get a tattoo on your face you don't know how many interviews you're going to have to go through in the next 10, 20 years," Grundtisch said. "You're not thinking about that most times."
"Face tattoos, we don't do them here," Erickson added. "It's not ethical to do."
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, grooming practices were a stronger influence on the evaluation of candidates than tattoos or piercings.
“For the most part, it’s a non-issue,” said Dr. Stanger. “If I were to get a tattoo today, I probably wouldn’t be as careful as I was when I was younger.”
As of 2016, there were over 21,000 tattoo parlors in the U.S.
“The tattoo industry is getting bigger all the time,” said Grundtisch. “More shops are popping up and more people want to get into this field. I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.”
According to Grundtisch and Erickson, Buffalo is a place that embraces the self-expression that comes with tattoos.
“People are pretty open here,” Grundtisch said.
“It’s the city of good neighbors,” Erickson said. “We’ve gotten a lot of love here.”