DANVILLE, Va. — City officials and loyal customers gathered on Bridge Street on Thursday to welcome Blue Moon Tattoo and Body Piercing to the River District with a ribbon cutting.
Jessica South, who has been tattooing for 23 years, moved her shop from South Boston Highway in Ringgold to 401 Bridge Street after seventeen years at the location.
She chose her new home in the River District after seeing how much the area had to offer.
“I came down and looked at the space and fell in love,” South said. “Everyone in the River District is kind and inviting, and there’s so much fun stuff to do that people don’t even realize is here.”
South got her start by doing apprentice type work for a tattoo artist, but never thought she would become one herself even though she was an artist. However, she said she was in the right place at the right time to give it a chance, and it eventually all fell into place for her to create a career as a tattoo artist.
When she started, there were very few women in the business, and she didn’t know any other women tattoo artists personally. She began her career in Winston-Salem before working in Ringgold.
South hopes that with more visibility on all Danville tattoo shops, people who look outside the city for tattoo artists and piercing services may give Danville a chance, which will help keep money in the community.
At the ribbon cutting, Danville City Councilman Lee Vogler spoke, stating the importance of a clean, licensed shop in order to be safe and also for customer satisfaction, which is what South strives to have.
“We’ve seen in the last several years how much the River District continues to grow and thrive,” Vogler said. “I’m very happy for you.”
Diana Schwartz, executive director of the River District Association, said it is appropriate that the shop’s new location is on Bridge Street, in an area that has history but is also a “bridge” to the future.
“We are celebrating our past and our heritage while moving forward boldly into a new future and a Danville that has equitable opportunity for all,” Schwartz said.