FREDERICTON – Nearly a decade into his career of body piercing, Adam Grant is ready to take a stab at running his own shop.
He and tattoo artist Oliver Wassef are joining forces to start 7th House Tattoo Company, which officially opens to the public on 412 Queen Street, Wednesday, August 1st.
Grant says the idea to start his own shop came partly out of necessity after the shop he was with previously, White Lotus, phased body piercing out of the services they offered. Grant then worked out of Second to None Barbershop temporarily before convincing Wassef to give their own spot a go.
“The 7th House means a coming together of ideas,” he says. “Oliver and I just click.”
Grant says Wassef originally tattooed at Sacred Owl in Fredericton before moving to P.E.I. for a while. Wassef came back to New Brunswick wanting a change of pace and to get back to his roots. Grant says their backgrounds mesh well and they have the same philosophy about how they want to run the business.
“We both come from the same background of [dealing with] tough bosses,” Grant says. “We’ve both had experiences in this industry that have been tough on us.”
“We related that way and were like: ‘we don’t want to be that way.’ We want to be able to have fun and go to work and be a family. That’s basically what our shop name means. It’s a gathering of people and ideas. We want it to be a family.”
Grant attributes much of this toughness to a common issue in the industry: big egos. He says the strong personalities of artists often don’t function well together and egos can grow to the point where the work environment becomes a negative one.
“I love what I do. It’s my passion. It was time for me to go from that spot. It was hard and it was a shock when they said they didn’t want to do piercings anymore, but it did land me here.”
Now, Grant is free to foster the type of work environment he believes will be more positive. He and Wassef along with another tattoo artist they’ve invited into the fold, Scott Miller, already have strong followings.
Grant says because they’re not worried about finding clientele thanks to well-established reputations individually, they’re able to put a greater focus on customer service and providing a positive experience for their customers.
Beyond offering additional services like laser tattoo removal, Grant says the uniqueness in their approach and their particular style will set them apart from other shops. Wassef and Miller are realism tattoo artists, a specialization Grant says is in short supply in the area.
“I want to treat my employees with respect and leave them to have time to themselves and their families. That’s huge with us here,” Grant says.
“As a new dad, family time is close to my heart and for everyone to want to come to work and like what they do for a living, not be stressed out. Stress is a killer.”