ETO Tattoo opened a new studio space this week, and owners Fenella (Fen) Fownes and Alex Prachthauser are looking forward to offering a bigger range of products and services.
“We’ve been open for less than a year, but we’ve had such a wonderful response from Powell River that we already felt it was time to expand,” says Fen.
Alex and Fen moved from Vancouver in March 2020, and opened ETO Tattoo at Beach Gardens Resort in July.
“We’ve known each other for years, but reconnected in Hong Kong in 2017,” says Alex. “One day, she said to me, ‘we’re going to open a tattoo studio together some day,’ and I just laughed. But there we were, sitting in a cabin in Powell River in the middle of COVID, wondering what to do now, and Fen said, ‘why don’t we open that tattoo studio?’”
Alex is the artist, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration and design, eight years of tattooing experience, and an impressive portfolio ranging from realism and neo-traditional to illustrative and trash polka. Fen is the studio’s director, handling appointments, sales and public relations.
“Both Alex and I strive for excellence,” says Fen. “We trust each other to give constructive criticism, and we always follow through on the things we say we’re going to do. That is the foundation for our business, and people have told us they have never felt so comfortable in a tattoo studio.”
Alex is booked up for large-piece appointments until June, although smaller pieces can be done on a day-to-day basis.
“The people here love big pieces,” says Alex. “In Vancouver, someone would come in with an image and want to shrink it for the tattoo. Here, they want tattoos that are three times bigger than I think they will. It’s amazing.”
Space allows for expansion
Their new space on Glacier Street is much larger, which allows them to expand their services.
“We’ll have merchandise, starting with clothing and then piercing accessories in a few weeks, that are good quality and won’t break the bank,” says Fen. “We also have an apprentice, Tia Ackerman, who has great skills and has started taking on line work and simple designs. Karen Andrews, who is apprenticing as a piercer, will be joining us in the near future as well. We also hope to host a guest artist this summer.”
Alex and Fen are humbled by the support they’ve received. “Everyone in Powell River has been so kind,” said Alex. “We’ve had nothing but positive experiences since we arrived, both in and out of the studio.”
The duo is grateful for all the help they’ve received.
“Vancouver Coastal Health and the City of Powell River have been so easy to work with,” says Fen. “We also need to thank my cousin for giving us the opportunity to move to Powell River. She helped us start ETO Tattoo in her work space, and her husband helped us set up.
“Our new location wouldn’t be possible without Dan Agius, who has been so accommodating and understanding. A huge, heartfelt thank-you to two very special people who we lovingly call the “Double Ds.” They helped set up our new space in record time, and we now consider them our dear friends. And finally, thanks to my sister, mom and niece, who have been hands on, working as a team to get our new space ready.”
Alex and Fen are looking forward to what the future will bring.
“Our goal is to be the place people choose to come for tattoos, piercing and cool merchandise, both for residents and visitors,” says Alex.
ETO Tattoo is now located at Unit 4, 7030 Glacier Street. For more information about its services and products, call 604.208.7890 or go to etotattoopowellriver.com.