CEDAR RAPIDS — In a small space tucked in Lindale Mall, Jeremiah Klein runs an art gallery.
But it’s not your typical showroom of wall paintings, sculptures, textures and photographs. Klein’s “gallery” features body-based artwork with some authentic original wall hangings from local artists seeking to show off their work in a unique venue.
“We do artwork orders and, if you want to bring art in and consign it here, you’re more than welcome to,” said Klein, a Cedar Rapids native. “It keeps things fresh.”
But the bread and butter of Klein’s new Iron Lotus tattoo store — which opened July 1 on the lower level of the Cedar Rapids mall — is tattooing and body piercing, which Klein stressed is artwork in its own right. Klein, who did a formal tattoo artist apprenticeship with Cedar Rapids-based Lefty’s Tattoo Studio, said his favorite pieces involve flowers or animation.
- Owner: Jeremiah Klein
- Company: Iron Lotus
- Address: 4444 First Ave. NE, Suite 468, in the Lindale Mall.
- Phone: (319) 640-1180
- Website: www.cedarrapidstattoo.com
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
- Staff size: Klein works alone right now
- How many tattoos do you have? “I have no idea. But I’m not stopping until I have one” all blended together.
“I like to do bold line and cute stuff and a lot of flowers,” Klein said as he began a piece for a woman wanting a bird, peace symbol and musical notes intertwined. “But I’m up for whatever anyone wants.”
The local entrepreneur said he wanted to open his own shop, in part, for the freedom it provides.
“I worked for a couple of different shops here in town, and I wanted to do things differently, so I decided to go my own way,” Klein said. “Plus, I own two other businesses and like working for myself better than others.”
Klein also owns a graphic design business that features designs for websites, banners, posters and business cards, and he owns a small printer ink cartridge refilling business called MT Cartridge.
Right now, Klein said, he’s the only Iron Lotus employee, although he said he’s always looking for the right person to help serve the growing list of customers.
Klein, so far, said he’s managing the workload. Big pieces require advanced scheduling while shoppers wanting smaller pieces can get in and out in the same day.
“People are going to spend money in the tattoo business because it’s the only thing you can buy that no one can take away from you,” he said. “Once you have it, it’s yours.”
- Vanessa Miller
Know a business open for less than a year that should be considered for “The Ground Floor”? Contact Vanessa Miller at email@example.com.