Over 150 years ago a sailor named Martin Hildebrandt opened the first ever tattoo parlor in the United States. Hildebrandt's "atelier" was a few blocks southeast of the Bowery and Chatham Square where Samuel O'Reilly later patented the first electric tattoo machine and other Bowery legends, including Charlie Wagner worked until tattooing was banned in NYC in 1961.
New York City fostered the birth of modern tattooing. We want to build a resource for others to connect with that history through our collection of artifacts and documentation of the early roots of tattooing in NYC.
Brad Fink and Michelle Myles opened Daredevil Tattoo on the Lower East Side when tattooing was re-legalized in New York City in 1997. Brad has been collecting tattoo memorabilia for over 20 years and has amassed a collection with items including a Thomas Edison engraving pen (that the O'Reilly patent was based on) and original O'Reilly artwork. Last year Daredevil moved into a new larger location on Division Street a few blocks from Chatham Square and the Bowery. The new space incorporates Brad's collection into the tattoo shop for customers and visitors to enjoy. Michelle and Brad have been doing extensive archival research to document and map out the earliest New York tattooers in the Bowery area. We need your help to complete the work on the space and finish the display cases so the entire collection can be brought in and put on view.
Small businesses are having a harder and harder time staying in place in New York City. After we were priced out of our old location with a 50% rent increase we chose our new location because we had the option to buy the storefront we moved into. In December last year we closed on a mortgage and bought the space making us the only shop in NYC to own the property we're in. We've managed to secure a forever home for our shop and the collection but we need help to finish a few more things. Getting to where we are now was the hardest thing we've ever accomplished but we feel we have something important to bring to the tattoo community and that we have something valid to contribute to the heritage of the Lower East Side.
NOTE: To pledge for multiple rewards, simply add the totals together for all rewards you would like to participate in, increase your pledge to cover all rewards you wish to back. When the project ends, you will be sent a survey, simply list the reward levels and quantity you pledged for.
NEW REWARDS ADDED!
$600 Daredevil Silver Card gets you past the line on Friday the 13th, includes Daredevil Support Pack, Prints and an hour of tattooing.
$800 Original painting by Michelle Myles plus Daredevil Support Pack, museum prints and map.
Dinner for 4 at your (Manhattan) apartment cooked by chef Aaron Sanchez of Chopped.
Dinner for 8 at Stanton Social plus cocktail meet and greet with Chef Chris Santos of Chopped.
Risks and challenges
It's been an enormous undertaking building out the space and preparing all of the artwork. Everything is being framed with archival museum glass and vintage frames. We are both full time tattoo artists so it is challenging to run the business, set up the collection and keep up with our tattooing as well. We still have a lot of things on our punch list but are hoping the kickstarter project will give us the help we need to put everything in place so we can provide a great resource for our visitors to enjoy.
Breakdown of our costs:
Goal = $30,000
Kickstarter fees 5% + 3% (processing) = $2,400
Fulfillment cost + taxes (aproximate) $8,000 - $12,000
(Fulfillment cost will vary depending on rewards chosen and quantities ordered on some items.)
After all cost are deducted our total left will be aproximately $15,000-20,000
We need to pay for our share of a special assessment for repairs on our building. They are doing work on the facade and when the work is done we will be able to add signage out front. We are very anxious for the scaffolding to come down in front of our place but this assessment will cost us $10,000.
To hang our sign we need to pull permits, hire a licensed rigger and an architect. This project will cost us about $2,500
Our display cases, and the crushed penny machine will cost us about another $2,500 to finish.
WE NEED A NEW HVAC UNIT. The heating/AC unit we have now is about 20 years old. It is horribly inefficient, crazy loud and needs frequent maintenance to keep it going. Any extra funds will go towards replacing that beast. The estimate we were given for a new unit is $15,000
- (35 days)