Mark Jagerson(Photo: SPECIAL TO THE REGISTER )
When Mark Jagerson turned 18, he sauntered into a tattoo parlor and got his first ink.
The owner noticed Jagerson’s interest in the business and encouraged him to hang out. Jagerson learned body piercing and tattoo techniques then eventually opened a shop with a friend.
“Even as a little kid I knew I wanted tattoos. Seeing my favorite musicians and rock ‘n’ roll bands covered in tattoos inspired me. This will be our third year in Ankeny, but we’ve been in business eight years. We were located on Ingersoll in Des Moines and four years ago, changed our business name to Pink Elephant,” he said. “After I opened that first shop with a friend, I entered a partnership with someone else with another shop, then eventually went out on my own.”
Jagerson said he doesn’t “have much open skin available.” His right arm is dedicated to his shop with a big pink elephant, along with a barn, scarecrow and tractor symbolizing his Iowa roots. On his left arms are tattoos of his beloved animals, including his Italian greyhound and hairless cats. His children are captured in tattoos on his body, too.
“The biggest thing that makes our shop different from others is that we welcome families and friends to come in with whoever is getting the tattoo. We have a very friendly environment with darts, foosball, video games, coloring books,” he said. “We welcome anyone into our shop and want everyone to stay and enjoy the experience. In 99 percent of the shops, there are big signs saying kids aren’t allowed.”
Jagerson spoke with The Des Moines Register about his shop.
Q: Who are your customers?
A: Nowadays, I see a lot of people come in on their 18th birthday. They’re scheduling appointments a month in advance and they’re getting huge tattoos for their first one. They really are just jumping right into it. They’re also getting them in tough areas. We […]