In General, Retail Thoughts on March 23, 2010 at 7:14 am

It was winter 2006 and Mike Shea, self-admittedly, was getting desperate. His business, Redemption Tattoo, was losing it’s space on Massachusetts Ave in North Cambridge and needed a new home. Mike and business partner Erick Lynch learned pretty quickly that finding retail space for a tattoo studio was not an easy task. Landlords heard “tattoo” and thought leather, motorcycles and trouble.  The reality though is that Redemption’s business was (and I’m sure still is) an incredible mix of people of all ages, colors and professions; from grad students to scientists to artists.  Mike and Erick just needed somebody to listen and take a moment to understand their business model.

Finding Redemption Tattoo a new space was my first retail leasing assignment ever.  I was a third year in law school and had recently started a small real estate business with classmate and friend Mahmood Firouzbahkt.  We didn’t do retail leasing but I was intrigued by the challenge and motivated by a completely new sort of project. I was also naive enough to think that finding Redemption a new storefront would be easy. Why not though? A thriving small business with an established track record and outstanding reputation. Body art or not, this was a sustainable and profitable business. A worthy assignment, no doubt.

Now, some four years after I first met Mike and as I ready CityRetail to launch its tenant-side leasing and advisory business, I am constantly (and gladly) reminded of my work for Redemption Tattoo. Mike, Erick, you ready for a second location?!  Redemption Tattoo has been located at 2094 Massachusetts Avenue in Porter Square since April 2006.

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