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Posted on Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

'Tattoo spa' leaving Briarwood Mall to open new studio on Ann Arbor's North Main Street

By Lizzy Alfs

Less than a year after joining forces to open a spa, tattoo and piercing studio at Ann Arbor’s Briarwood Mall, mother and daughter entrepreneurs plan to move their studio to North Main Street.

tattoo_spa.jpg file photo


The space at 205 N. Main St. was most recently occupied by Edible Arrangements before it relocated to Washtenaw Avenue.

Photo from cpix

Mother Kathy Champagne and daughter Tiffany Cole were on a month-to-month lease for a 700-square-foot space at Briarwood. When they wanted to expand their studio, named A Unique Design, they didn’t have any options, Champagne said.

“We were doing a temporary lease to see how things were going…I just think the tattoo thing wasn’t going along well at the mall.”

Champagne and Cole signed a lease for the 1,518-square-foot space at 205 N. Main St., which formerly was occupied by Edible Arrangements. That store relocated to Washtenaw Avenue after a grease fire at the neighboring Sheesh restaurant damaged the building. Sheesh never reopened after the fire.

The space at 205 N. Main was listed for lease with Swisher Commercial’s Ronald Dankert and Joe Palms for an annual $22 per square foot. Morris and Carol Krawitz own the building, according to city documents.

Palms said the space has since been brought up to code and repaired.

“(The location) was just perfect for us,” Champagne said. “It has good parking, it’s very large and open and spacious. I think it’s going to be a good location for us to build our business.”

She said business at A Unique Design has taken off in the past nine months. They’ve expanded their client list and become the go-to “family tattoo parlor,” she said.

“We just feel that the market is really underdeveloped in Ann Arbor and we have a family atmosphere,” she said. “Our clientele is very diverse: we have a lot of older clients and a lot of younger kids that come in with their parents.”

Customers can expect some changes in the business model when A Unique Design opens in the downtown area in the next couple weeks.

Instead of a spa merged with a tattoo and piercing studio, it will be strictly the latter.

Champagne is going to return to her job at Tricho Salon and Spa — where she worked as a trainer for years — and she’ll also help run the new tattoo and piercing studio.

“Everybody is going to have their own booth and stations (at the new space),” she said. “(At the mall) it was very tight.”

For specials and updates on the move, vist A Unique Design's Facebook page.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

Don't like tattoos? Then don't get one. Don't think Main St. needs a tattoo parlor? Fine, don't go there. But don't hide behind the anonymity of your computer and trash talk what other people choose to do to their own bodies. Would any of you that left harsh, or downright CRUEL comments ever walk up to someone with tattoos and say it to their face? I hope not. So why is it ok to do it on here? Grow up and stop acting like catty 7th graders that mock what they don't understand. And to all of you that are just horrified at the thought of someone getting their child tattooed...its illegal in MI for anyone under 18 to get a tattoo without parental consent. And no tattoo artist in their right mind would tattoo a child. They would lose their licence & the parent would probably lose their child.


Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

OK, my bad.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

@Cathy and can both have any OPINION you wish to have. I was referring to the comments that were either directed straight at the women, or the comments that were completely misguided and wrong in the assumptions they made (tattoos for 8 & 10yr old kids, neck tats on a toddler). I'm sure both of your comments were neither of those things.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 10:22 a.m.

I've asked people why they got tattoos. Most common answer? "I was an idiot."


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 9:40 a.m.

Grow up?....I understand completely and my opinion is tattoo's are uglyyyyyy....yes that's my opinion so like it OR don't like it!


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.

I don't find tattoos attractive, but if someone wants to look like a page in the comics on silly putty, go for it.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

I don't recommend tattoos for anyone, but please don't assume that that means I don't think people should have the right to get them. There's a difference between mocking a behavior and outlawing it.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 10:27 a.m.

My feelings on gays and interracial marriage are irrelevant to this discussion. I'm just saying that a lot of comments on this site equate disagreement with censorship. People can do and say what they want, but that does not mean that they have the right to not be disagreed with.

Urban Sombrero

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

Wow. I hope you're not of the same mindset for gays, or interracial marriage. "I can mock it, but I don't think it should be outlawed." How big of you.

Chris Sallek

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 10:04 p.m.

I sincerely doubt they meant college "kids". They mentioned "younger kids with their parents". Most kids want to emulate their parents and if they parents have ink, the kids want it too. Since the parents like ink, they are more inclined to allow their kids to have it too.

Peter Baker

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

Easy everybody, by kids, they probably mean college kids.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

I thought they meant that young kids come in while their parents are having work done. It's not clear I guess.

Dog Guy

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

I take rows of eyebrow rings to mean that tiny eye-curtains will soon be hung. A tattoo indicates that someone once had too much time.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

I wonder what would happen if, say one parent took their kid in for a tattoo, and the other parent didn't approve. I know if my under age child came home with a tat, they'd have real legal problems from me. Love tattoos otherwise tho.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

I forgot to mention tanning salons: besides making women terribly unattractive, these tanning methods put you at high risk for types of skin cancers. Yet they remain popular, and are just as (if not more) prevalent as tattoo parlors. That isn't a "healthy" glow you have..!


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 3 p.m.

I agree. The overtanned/fake lips/noses/faces is just one ideal of 'beauty.' To many others, beautiful means tattoos. It's silly to fight about what is more beautiful than the other. But important to recognize health risks associated with either.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

There is nothing wrong with a well-run tattoo/piercing shop that abides by the health codes and that does good work. All you naysayers (mostly women) probably think plastic surgery or Botox is fine, and those make you look WAY worse, and have much higher adverse health effects. A women with tasteful half or full sleeves can be very attractive. This isn't the 1950's anymore. Good luck to them on their new location!

music to my ear

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

well why does not the mom have any tattoos, that we can see. we must advertise any where possible. good luck girls look out funky monkey, but I doubt . you LL lose any business but you never know time to raise the bar( monkey)


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.



Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Small inconspicuous tatoos are fine, and an expression of individuality, but the full body tatoos that the young woman in the picture is sporting are disgusting. She looks gross now, and she will look gross throughout her life. There's no going back. Tatoo and body piercing parlors are not family establishments.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

And that tattoo removal goes for the children you get tattooed by their well meaning parent.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

Not to worry Peggy, Obama care covers tattoo removal. If when she gets older and doesn't like them, we the tax payers will pay to have them removed for her.

Angry Moderate

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Maybe she doesn't make decisions about her own appearance based on what you, an anonymous stranger on the internet, thinks of her.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Personally, I find it more disgusting and gross when someone makes such harsh judgements of someone they've probably never even met while writing in a public forum. Also, i think she's quite attractive.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.



Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

I love the idea! Tattoo's and piercing's going main stream for young and old! I am really surprise at how people want limit your freedom of expression!


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Why is everyone so mean? I think it is great to have a tattoo and piercing shop that isn't scary. Many professionals and baby boomers get tattoos, even in their later years! I might even get one someday! And I want a clean, safe and friendly place like this.

Urban Sombrero

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 10:59 p.m.

THANK YOU! Not all people who have tattoos are scary, or convicts or rapists or whatever. My comment got massively voted down and......for me? That was a "nice" one. lol


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

I love tattoos, heres where I have a problem. "family tattoo parlor," . "Our clientele is very diverse: we have a lot of older clients and a lot of younger kids that come in with their parents." Younger Kids? What age are we talking about? A nice neck tattoo on a toddler? I just don't think it's a wise decision to tattoo or poke holes in children. If it wasn't for those two statements they would have my 100% support. Now I think they're kind of creepy.

just a voice

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

wow, classy comments. How the hell does ann arbor's 'e-paper' have such a super conservative commenting culture?


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

I think the liberals have given up trying to reason with conservatives about this controversial tattoo/spa shop fiasco, among other things.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

Oxyclean is right, but I've wondered the same thing. I've wondered if Conservative pundits urge their followers to go and make negative comments on everything. Ann Arbor used to be so full of Liberal Larrys and Liberal Lindas that I can't understand why this site is so extreme libertarian and right wing. Just asking, neither agreeing nor disagreeing. It just seems odd!


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

Pssst, just a voice: lots of liberals think tattoos are tacky, not just conservatives.

Urban Sombrero

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Wow, you guys are rough! lol My fiance and I were customers at their Briarwood store. We had matching tattoos put on our ring fingers. It was a nice place-----very nice staff, clean, all around a good experience. I've been wanting to go back to get permanent eye liner done. Guess I'll be headed to Main Street for that.

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

I'm almost 40 years old, lady. I'm not some idiot teenager. And, that particular tattoo is #3 for me. None of which I regret. Judge all you want. You're wrong, though.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

A tattoo on your ring finger? I'm sure you'll never regret that.

Urban Sombrero

Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

Tattoos aren't just for convicts and sailors any more, you guys. The amount of down votes I've gotten surprise me. I know they're not for everyone, but.....SERIOUSLY?


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

Awesome. Hopefully somebody will open a smoke shop next. Can never have enough tattoo and bong shops.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 11:15 a.m.

A family atmosphere? Yes, let's get our 8 and 10 yr old their 1st tattoo...really?


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

Don't forget to get the piercings done at the same time.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

Really classy family business! LOL