There’s a ‘RedHouse’ over yonder
It’s one of Buffalo’s best tattoo studios
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
When a friend of mine’s body rejected her nipple piercing, I knew exactly where to take her to get the best piercing advice in Buffalo.
RedHouse tattoo and piercing studio.
I’m not a tattoo connoisseur. My body isn’t covered in ink, but I do have three nontraditional piercings and an approaching tattoo appointment.
I also have a lot of trust in RedHouse.
While technically on the outskirts of Buffalo – nestled in the suburb of Depew – RedHouse is worth the 20-minute drive outside the Queen City.
When I decided to get a tattoo as a memorial piece for my late mother, I didn’t take the task of pinning down an amazing artist lightly. I did my research; I talked to anyone sporting a solid piece of work. I scoured the Internet and looked at multiple studios, but nothing could truly stand up against the amazing stuff I saw come out of RedHouse.
I haven’t been to every tattoo shop in Buffalo, but it’s clear Redhouse is one of the city’s best.
The shop’s star is Jess Rocha; the 32-year-old is a true artist. She’s a UB alum with a background in fine arts, which is apparent in her stunning pieces. Her portfolio is the most concrete testament of her talents and 13-year career.
The waiting period is the studio’s only downside – I made my appointment nearly six months ago and still have two left before ink meets my skin. But for something that is going to be a part of me for the rest of my life, the wait is worth it.
I’m not a big supporter of shops that mainly take walk-ins – it not only makes me question how reputable the artist is, but also how much time they’re willing to put into planning my piece.
Jess has gathered a demanding following, and she also takes the time and puts the proper care into each piece she takes on – as does the rest of the RedHouse team.
Whether you know exactly what you want or are open to new ideas, Jess guarantees she and the rest of the RedHouse staff will work with you to make something amazing. “If it’s a custom design I will not do it again – I think tattoos should be unique to the individual,” Jess said.
She is also one of the few people in the area who works with plastic surgeons to help women after they have undergone mastectomies. When surgeons reconstruct breasts, they also reconstruct the nipple, but it is flesh-colored and has no pigment.
“The last step of the process, they come to me,” Jess said. “I color everything in so that it looks real. It’s neat being the last person that these people see once they’re done. With the tattoo process, then that whole stage of their life is kind of over.”
For anyone considering getting some work done, there is no other studio in the area I have heard praised as highly or provided more evidence of incredible talent.
I first fell in love with the shop and its amazing staff when I ventured to get an unconventional piercing two years ago. Darryl Rocha, Jess’ husband and the shop’s piercer, is the only person I trust to poke holes into my body.
Darryl has pierced my rook, tragus and forward helix. Each time, he carefully explained exactly what he was doing. He takes the extra time to make sure you know what to expect and how the piercing will look.
He has no problem turning someone away if their ear (or whatever else) isn’t right for what they want.
He’s also hilarious – his needles may make you nervous, but his quips and comments help put you at ease.
Don’t go to a mall kiosk to get your ears brutalized by a gun – stop in at RedHouse, where there is a variety of organic and high-end metal jewelry. My friend with the aforementioned nipple-piercing dilemma got her piercing re-done by Darryl without any issues.
Picking a tattoo artist is a lot like picking a spouse – it might even be more permanent.
Tattoos are an investment. At RedHouse, price varies depending on the experience of the artist and the work and time going into the piece. The minimum price for a tattoo at the studio is $60, but average prices are around $200 to $300. It depends on the detail of the piece.
All my piercings cost $45 each, but the price varies with the jewelry you pick out.
RedHouse has a genuine staff that is clearly well versed and highly educated in its craft.
People tend to stand by whoever did their pieces; everybody is going to tell you their guy is the best guy. Tattoos breed loyalty because they become a part of people and their stories. But you will not be disappointed if you book with Redhouse.