Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Sara and Daniel Black are surrounded by town officials and members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon-cutting for the Shaded Dahlia Piercing & Tattoo Parlor. Sara holds the large scissors as she prepares to cut the ribbon.
Sara and Daniel Black are surrounded by town officials and members of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon-cutting for the Shaded Dahlia Piercing & Tattoo Parlor. Sara holds the large scissors as she prepares to cut the ribbon.

Shaded Dahlia Piercing & Tattoo Parlor celebrated with ribbon-cutting

Sat, Jan 13th 2024 07:00 am

Story and Photo by Alice Gerard

Senior Contributing Writer

Daniel Black has worked as a tattoo artist since his apprenticeship in 2005.

“In 2009, I took a break to go work in the military,” Black said. He spent seven years in the Army, serving in the infantry, and another three years in the Reserves.

And now, Daniel has taken another step in his career as a tattoo artist. He and his wife, Sara, who specializes in body piercing, started their own business, the Shaded Dahlia Piercing & Tattoo Parlor, in the Grand Island Plaza.

The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting Dec. 19 to celebrate.

“This is our first business,” Daniel said. “We have friends and family here. Our daughter danced at Grand Island Dance Center. She danced there for two years. We’d been talking about starting a shop for years. We’d seen places for rent on the Island. We were always here because Cordy was always dancing. We were spending so much time, and we were looking at all the locations. Finally, one day in September 2023, we decided, ‘It’s time. Let’s take the plunge.’ ”

After making the decision to start the business, Daniel and Sara reached out to the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.

“We went hunting down the Chamber of Commerce and talked to them,” he said. “We met Brad Bowman (second vice president). He was super helpful, and he said that was absolutely something they would love to have on the Island. Nobody ever asked about that before. There are tattoo shops everywhere in Buffalo and Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, and there were none on Grand Island. We’d been looking into this for a couple of years and were throwing around ideas. So, we went for it.”

Daniel and Sara said they really enjoyed the ribbon cutting, although Sara said she experienced some nerves at the beginning.

“I was a little nervous when everyone started coming in, and I didn’t know who everybody was,” she said. “Everybody was so friendly. They were giving tips and tricks and were talking about the community and the support and (that we could) call with problems and suggestions.

“It was magical. I always dreamed of holding the big scissors. They’re so cool. They’re like a little girl’s dream moment. It all finally happened. I never thought I would have the opportunity to truly hold them.”

Daniel said, “It was really nice because we had a bunch of clients that we’d had for the past few years that have come off the Island to see us (at the tattoo parlor where he formerly worked). Having them all come in and gather together to welcome us with open arms as we open up on the Island was just awesome.”

Sara and Daniel said they decorated their business to create a relaxing environment and to share their love for the natural world.

“It all started with the wallpaper. And then, we built off that,” Sara explained.

“Initially, we were going to go for a completely open layout, and we were going to do the wallpaper on that back wall,” Daniel added. “That decided the theme of the shop. We knew that we were going to wallpaper one accent wall. We picked our colors accordingly, once we decided on that.”

The wallpaper, however, didn’t fit on the larger wall. Sara said she and Daniel had to adjust.

“So, we made a little barrier wall. It works really well. I think it’s super cute,” she said. “We tried to pull the blue and the green out. The little pink leaves in there are why we have all our signs in pink. It’s a little gaudy with the gold everywhere, but I really like it together. It makes me happy.”

The plant collection is something else that Sara said makes her happy.

“I love plants so much, and they’re all over our house, as well,” she noted. “I knew, when we came here, we had to have plants here. They make me happy. They’re a pain to keep up with sometimes, but they make me happy.”

Daniel and Sara said they want to thank Leah Leone from Certified AutoBrokers and Theresa West from T’s Dry Bar for their support.

Leone has “been amazing,” Daniel said. “She has been a huge advocate for us from the moment we were even thinking about doing this. Her husband is one of my clients, and he’s gotten a full sleeve and then some. He’s brought in his family, as well. Their family has been amazing.”

“And then Theresa West is the one who told us about the Chamber of Commerce and that we should go over there,” Sara added. “She was Cordelia’s cheer and acro teacher over at Grand Island Dance. When she opened her business, we started going to see her there, getting shimmers and braids. She is very sweet. I’m trying to throw that support back to her. She told us where to go to get information on why there wasn’t already a tattoo parlor on Grand Island. She sent us in different directions to look at places. Well, this place needs some love. It needs life to be brought back to it. Hopefully, it gets there.”

Sara and Daniel said they hope to hire a second tattoo artist in the future.

“We’ve been discussing bringing in another artist,” Daniel said. “That would be great. I decided I’d rather wait to have another tattooer in here until we have word out there, until the Island really knows that we’re here. We’re trying to make sure that we fully get the word out. Once we get a little busier, we’ll possibly look at bringing another artist in. And then, we’ll see from there.”

The hours at the Shaded Dahlia Piercing & Tattoo Parlor are from 2-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Other hours can be arranged by appointment. The minimum age for a tattoo is 18. For piercings, people younger than 18 need parental consent.

“Ears, nose and lips (can be pierced), as long as the parents consent,” Sara said. “The parent has to be here with their ID and a birth certificate to go on to the paperwork that I have to show to the state of New York. It’s really up to the parents, if they think their child is responsible enough to take care of and ready for. Things are becoming the norm, younger and younger now. My mother would have never let me pierce my nose until I was 18. Now it seems a lot of 12-year-olds are coming in, wanting to get their noses pierced. It was crazy at first to hear those ages. What happened? How did we get here? But that’s the norm, and I’d much rather do it properly and teach them after care and be there if they’re having any questions or problems than them doing it in the bathroom at school.”

Next time: Daniel Black talks about the art of tattooing

Hometown News

View All News