Best tattoo and piercing parlor

Alton Northup, Reporter

FIRST: ​​War Horse Ink

A tattoo artist works on a costumers tattoo at War Horse Ink. (Matthew Brown)

War Horse Ink, a veteran owned and operated shop on East Day Street, with additional locations in Ravenna and Streetsboro, was established by Clint Marsh in 2016. With 25 artists specializing in an array of tattoos and piercings, it is the premier choice for Kent students.

“We can cover just about any kind of style, any kind of artwork,” Marsh said.

Every year, the shop looks forward to giving back to the community that has helped its success. Drives for food banks, women’s shelters, veterans overseas and gloves donated to hospitals during the pandemic are just a few examples of the charitable work done by War Horse Ink.

“We’re constantly trying to give back to the community,” Marsh said. “I think that’s what really sets us apart from everybody else.”

SECOND: Defiance Tattoos

A client gets a tattoo of two coy fish on thier arm at Defiance tattoos in downtown Kent. (Sophia Lucente)

There is never a dull moment at Defiance Tattoos said owner Rob Bohn, who founded the shop in 2006.

Located on East Main Street in downtown Kent, Defiance is among the top choices for hundreds of Kent students looking to get their first tattoo or add more ink to their collection. A big part of that is the welcoming atmosphere, especially in a business that tends to have a sharper edge to it.

“We try to treat customers like we want to be treated,” Bohn said. 

Having worked in Kent for more than 20 years, Bohn is proud to call the city home for his business. 

“It’s always a great time to be here,” Bohn said. “Everyone is very cool.”

THIRD: Black Sheep Tattoo Studios

Artist Nick Osborne inks Kenzie Faust at Black Sheep Tattoo Studios in downtown Ravenna. (Kelly Krabill)

At Black Sheep Tattoo Studios, located on East Main Street in Ravenna, owner Alex Barba sees a diverse set of clients coming in thanks to Kent State.

“I’ve met so many cool people that went to Kent State that aren’t from anywhere close to here, and they get tattooed,” Barba said.

Students from around the world have been tattooed at Black Sheep, and it is that cross-culture connection of tattooing that makes it all worth it for Barba.

“You get to meet all kinds of people in this industry,” Barba said.

With seven artists skilled in a range of tattoo styles, one can always trust that they will find what they are looking for when they walk into the shop.

Alton Northup is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].