By John Hood
Tattoos may now cover just about everyone in the whole wild world, but that doesn’t mean the ink can come from just about anyone. After all, do you wanna live with just anything for the rest of your life.
Of course not. That’s why an increasing number of South Floridians are turning to the specialists at Double Cross Tattoo.
Put into play by Bratislava-born Peter Photelo and Miami-raised Josh Scheib, Double Cross combines Old World artisanship with New World craftiness and comes up with something worthy of all those tomorrows you’ll be committing to it.
Double Cross doesn’t spill and tell, but a bevy of hip-hop, rock and sports stars have been seen getting inked in the Broward Boulevard shop. Now that Double Cross has opened up a branch in Downtown Miami, just a block or two from Bayside, that number will undoubtedly compound exponentially.
Of course you don’t need to be a household name to get rock star treatment; you simply need to show. And Double Cross will in turn get you sorted out accordingly.
Tropicult got with Double Cross co-founder Photelo to see what’s what at Double Cross, and with tattoo shops in general. Here’s what he had to say:
In a sentence or three, what’s the Double Cross philosophy?
The main reason we got to together to create a tattoo parlor, was to offer high-quality art at friendly prices; our focus is on nice, clean creative and custom art.
Who’s behind Double Cross?
Josh Scheib, Peter Photelo, and me are the two main partners. Josh is local, he grew up in the Miami area; I, of course, come from Bratislava.
How did you guys first connect?
We were both working at the same tattoo shop here South Florida. Josh is one of those rare artists who also has good business sense; I’m the creator type who’s also better at the marketing elements.
What made you decide to open your own shop?
Freedom. We had the knowledge, we had the talent, we had the connections, we had the skills, and we had the experience. We also had the will to go out and get it, so we figured, after all these years, it was time to go out and get it on our own.
Why did you decide on Fort Lauderdale?
Most of our clientele is in Broward, so we wanted a place that was centrally located but not affected by season or distracted by tourists. We also wanted somewhere that’s also convenient to Miami and Palm Beach. Lauderdale puts us right in the center of both.
Who is your primary clientele?
South Florida, of course. Broward, as well as Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. But. we also have customers coming in from all around the world; they were either referred by friends or came across us on social media or saw us at a convention. Now they’re part of our loyal family.
What made you decide to branch out into Miami?
Since I came to South Florida I always wanted to open something in the Miami area. I’ve got a lotta friends who are living in and visiting the city, and I wanted to be able to accommodate them. Plus I really love Miami. The truth is I fell in with Miami the first day I got here. When Josh found a spot just steps from Bayside I was ready to jump on it.
What kinda services do you offer?
Over the years, Double Cross has built a great team of artists including multiple award-winners. We also host guest artists from around the world, and we offer all styles and aspects of tattooing, traditional American, traditional Oriental, neo-Traditional, portraits, and realistic work. We do cover-ups; we do piercings (including microdermal).
In Miami, you can also buy original artworks of a few very talented artists. We also sell Loco Bikes, skateboards and longboards (including DGK, Sector 9 and Element), plus an array of tattoo and skate-related t-shirts and caps.
Any plans to expand into other cities?
Not right now; Miami’s still a relatively new shop. In the second we want to focus on doing the best that we can in the two shops that we run. We want our services to reflect our commitment to the art. We want to make an outstanding mark. And our priority is to create a great body of art. But you never know, tomorrow I might change my mind.
What’s the difference between a good shop and a bad shop?
First, the shop should be nice and clean. If it isn’t run. Second, the portfolio. It’s important for people seeking to be tattooed to look over what the shop offers. You’ve gotta find the artist who’s capable of creating a piece that you’d like to rock the rest of your life. Third, if you can, watch the artist at work. See if he’s really the capable of creating the art in the portfolio. There are a lotta artists and shops out there who steal other artist’s and shop’s portfolios, but they don’t have the talent to pull off the work.
Tattoos are a very personal thing, so take the time to talk to the artist, see that they’ve got what it takes.