The owner of an Oregon District shop that was in business just shy of 20 years said a dizzying lists of reasons, including his shop manager’s sudden illness, lead to its closure.
“It has just been a horrible year,” said Glenn Scott, the owner of Glenn Scott’s Tattoo Team.
Scott announced the closing of his location at 452 E. Fifth St. store on Monday, Jan. 4.
The Kettering shop, located at 2517 Wilmington Pike, will remain open.
A tattoo artist since 1977, Scott said things took a turn for the worse when his long time manager, Brad Darrell, suffered a stroke last spring.
Oregon District businesses arranged a fundraiser for Darrell, who Scott said is on the mend, but still not completely recovered.
“All Brad was worried about was getting back to work,” Scott said. “I think being a friend is more important than business.”
He never hired a manager to replace Darrell.
“My team hung together pretty good through the summer, but everybody started to jump ship,” Scott said.
In the end, only one artist “hung tough” and worked at the shop, he added.
The store had had three tattoo artists. Darrell handled piercings.
Scott said he hopes Darrell will eventually work with him at the Kettering location.
Other issues exacerbated the situation.
Scott’s own health issues, raising rent, the cost of needed repairs to the building and the growth of the tattoo industry in Dayton were among them.
When he he opened his first shop in 1982 on Dayton’s Main Street, Scott says he was pretty much the only game in town.
It was often standing room only and people lined up on the shop’s porch.
Now he says he wonders if there are too many shops in the market.
“The more you divide the pie, the less there is to eat,” he said. He noted that there are several other tattoo shops near his Kettering location.
Gem City Tattoo Club opened just doors down from the Scott’s Oregon District shop in recent years.
Fifty-one tattoo shops are licensed by the Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.
Scott said client request and tattoo artists appearance have changed dramatically over the years.
Although he had many tattoos on his body, Scott pointed out that he doesn’t like when artists have tattoos on their face, neck or hands.
“I think I had my season. Let someone else worry about that other stuff,” said Scott, who is nearly 60. “(The day the shop closed) was a sad day, but it’s getting old. I am getting old.”