Let It Bleed

Announcing our Valentine’s Day Sale! Get 30% off your total order with sales code “milove.” Sale ends 2/15/10, so get your sweetie some new Metal Ink gear today! Go to the Metal Ink website to see all merchandise.


Let It Bleed
1124 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 932-6215

Eric Jones, Tattoo Artist and Owner

MI: When did you open your shop?

Eric: 10 months ago.

MI: Was it your dream to have your own shop?

Eric: Well, I was really sick of the shop that I was working at and I kinda weighed out my options for other shops I could go to and all my friends who worked at other shops had crappy issues with their boss like I did, and I decided I didn’t want to work for anybody else. Not that I wanted to have my own shop, but I didn’t want to work for another crappy boss.

MI: That’s probably the number 1 reason anyone leaves a workplace.

Eric: I thought maybe I could make a cool place for myelf and my friends. My biggest fear is that I become a shitty boss.

MI: So your friends work with you?

Eric: It’s me, Danny Smith, Taler Nicols. We were coworkers before.

MI: What’s the best part of owning a shop and what are the major challenges?

Eric: Major challenges? I’m totally not a business-oriented person. I really don’t think I have the appropriate mindset. But it’s your thing to do whatever you want with, turn it into whatever you want it to be. And it’s important to collaborate with friends, especially coming from the last shop I worked at—I think the owners were over it and didn’t care about it. Whatever the workers did to make it better was battled against. It’s kind of disparaging—like, why should I make the effort to make your shop better when you clearly don’t care about it.

MI: Any funny stories you can share with us?

Eric: So one day we were in here, and outside of course it’s crack city with tranny hookers. A crazy lady walks in yapping, out of her mind. I’m in the back working on a drawing. She’s yapping at one of the workers up front about President Kennedy. He tells her, “Oh man, you gotta go.” She takes all of our business cards and she drops them, there’s like 60 cards. She’s going crazy and starts rambling. He puts his hand on her back and asks her to leave. She starts screaming, “Why are you touching me, you assaulted me!” She walks to entrance, stomps her feet down and yells to the sky, “9-1-1!!!!” That was her way of calling the cops. So then she goes out in front, this crazy lady, and she’s out there with a nonworking cell phone. There were no lights and she didn’t dial anything. She says, “Hello dad? It’s me. Call Iraq and get me a bomb. There’s this tattoo shop and I’m going to blow it up, so get me a bomb.”

MI: That’s pretty crazy. Thanks for the laugh, and best of luck with the shop! We didn’t get to talk about your artwork, but you have some great stuff that we’d love to see on the Metal Ink Design Contest!

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