Flash tattoo specials are happening all around Philly today for Friday the 13th. But not at Forever Valentine Tattoo in South Philly.
While people roll up their sleeves to be forever marked with ghosts, coffins or the number 13 at discounted prices, Patrick Haney’s shop won’t take part.
Haney, 35, started tattooing in Philly 15 years ago and says he’s the one who started the semi-regular flash sales. He opened Forever Valentine Tattoo last year inside the Bok Building, specializing in custom art and cosmetics. And he says his flash days are long behind him.
Here’s the email I got from him when I was putting together Billy Penn‘s roundup of Friday the 13th specials:
Hi Zari, no flash specials for the 13th. Just decent priced tattoos. Since you’re talking to the person that started the Friday the 13th tattoos in Philadelphia, let it be know it cheapens the craft and is bad for tattooing in general.
In 2007, Haney said, he thought it’d be cool to start a Friday the 13th tattoo special in Philly. At the time, he was working at Philadelphia Eddie’s Chinatown Tattoo, and had seen similar deals in other cities.
Although the specials were a success, the shop didn’t continue after the second one in 2008.
“It was cool and special when it was a one-shop thing,” Haney said, “But when everybody does it, it just kind of loses all meaning that it had in the first place. It just becomes a copy of a copy of a copy.”
Haney added that flash tattoos drive down the quality and cost of tattoos — especially when they’re priced at $13, which some shops offer.
“You get people that only come out of the woodworks to get a $13 tattoo,” he said. “If everyone got together and was like, ‘Hey we’re going to do Friday the 13th tattoos and we’re going to charge everybody 100 bucks,'” Haney said, he might support the concept again.
Out of the Philly shops participating in Friday the 13th specials, most of them are offering designs for under $100. Haney said he’s “all about” tattoo specials, but $100 should be the price.