LECLAIRE, Iowa — Downtown LeClaire has welcomed its first tattoo shop, “Minks Inks.”
The shop held its grand opening on Friday, January 4, which was described by its owners as being packed, elbow to elbow.
Behind the tattoos and piercings are a husband and wife pair, Billy and Mary Minks. Billy said he does all the tattooing and Mary said she runs the place.
Billy describes himself as a “self-taught” artist, and says he’s been in the tattooing business for 27 years, completing thousands of tattoos in his career. He most recently worked at TNT Tattoo in Kewanee, Illinois. Handwriting is his specialty.
On grand opening day, one of Billy and Mary’s customers, Sarah Garcia, wanted a tattoo to commemorate the fact that her son beat cancer. She got a St. Jude silhouette tattooed to her ankle, topped with her son’s name “Deagon,” which was a copy of his own signed name.
As the first tattoo parlor in LeClaire, Billy and Mary said they hope to help the surrounding businesses thrive by bringing more people to the city.
“We all help each other out,” said Mary.
And on top of the business opportunities, they said they enjoy being in LeClaire.
“It’s good folks, good people,” Billy said.
The shop is located at 105 N. Cody Road, with a view of the Mississippi River on the east side of the building.