Bellflower tattoo shop offers $50 tattoos

Connect Ink is a local tattoo shop that has a deal you just can’t pass up.
Simon Vasquez Jr. stands proudly in the shop he created.
Simon Vasquez Jr. stands proudly in the shop he created.
Emily Maciel

One of the best ways people express themselves these days is through the art of tattoos.

Owner Simon “Spanky” Vasquez Jr. has created an opportunity for anyone to come in every second Friday of the month and get a $50 tattoo at his shop, Connect Ink.

He calls this promotion “$50 Friday” which allows anyone to get a tattoo (some restrictions apply).

The tattoo has to be simple line work and 2×2 or smaller in size. There is a $10 upgrade per part of the tattoo that you want upsized, shaded, or colored. Tattoos on any areas of hands, feet, neck, ribs or face are not included in the deal.

“Not just the success but it was about how many people we could get exposure from for our shop and how many people would come back.” says Vasquez Jr. on the promotion, “It does so much for the community but it also does so much for us business-wise.”

Vasquez Jr. first tested out this promotion on Jan. 13, 2023, because it was Friday the 13th and he knew he wanted to have a great sale for that day.

There was no doubt this idea was a hit so he decided he wanted to continue this promotion he created and do it every month.

Vazquez Jr. puts a huge emphasis on giving back to the community and making connections with all different kinds of people who come into his shop.

He and his team want to do what they can to make customers comfortable and they can work with anyone’s budget.

Not only is he the shop owner and artist but he is also a trainer and mentor for young artists looking to gain knowledge by offering tattoo courses.

He doesn’t hire just anyone to work with him, he prefers to have a few artists that he can create a close bond with. Vasquez Jr. says at his shop he is, “looking to build that family orientation.”

Jesse Almaraz who goes by J Castle is the lead artist at the shop.

Almaraz met Vasquez Jr. six years ago when he had very limited experience and was trying to take the next step in his journey as an artist.

Vasquez Jr. took Almaraz under his wing and taught him everything he knew.

Almaraz says, “As an apprentice, it was really just from day one absorbing everything they had to offer.”

He shows great appreciation for Vasquez Jr. and says the best advice he’s received from him is to take care of himself during those long days because you can get worked up easily.

Edward Norwood, known as Squidz is the new apprentice working at Connect Ink for the past three months.

“If you see an opportunity take it no matter what it is and be appreciative,” says Norwood as he expresses his readiness to learn and be a part of this business.

He doesn’t pay Vasquez Jr. for the things he is teaching him. Instead he does tasks around the shop such as helping clean up, answering the phone, booking appointments and greeting everybody with a smile.

Save the date because the next “$50 Friday” sale will be September 15th.

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About the Contributor
Emily Maciel
Emily Maciel, Co-Sports Editor
Emily Maciel is the Co-Sports & Co-Social Media Editor for Talon Marks as she returns for her second semester with the newspaper. She is in her third season of working for the Los Angeles Angels as well as her second season with the Cerritos College baseball team. She plans to transfer to a University for the Fall 2024 semester and work for the MLB one day.
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