Tucked across from Cedar Park on Baltimore Avenue in West Philly is the soothing, bright Spirited Tattooing Coalition. Aimed at making clients feel comfortable, safe, and empowered in their bodies, Spirited is a new shop taking direct aim at addressing industry standards of care and intimacy in tattooing, one client at a time.
When you first enter, you’ll be greeted by the spritely Antoine, who will kiss your hand until it feels raw. Don’t be alarmed, Antoine is owner Jasmine T. Morrell’s cute pup — he’s just making sure you feel as comfortable as possible before your tattoo. Stained glass masks the overhead lights, giving the shop a soft glow between the highbeaming lights of each tattoo station. Art absolutely covers the walls, and the antique-style tin ceiling coupled with the nice orange tiled floor creates a soothing ambience. Every single thing has its place, but not in a sterile way — in a just so, cozy way.
“I opened the shop to cultivate a safe space — I mean, everyone’s definition of safe is different — but at least a safer space for folks,” Morrell says. “My mission was to find a solution to [mainstream tattooing’s misogyny], and to grow and get better in the ways that have to do with how to operate a business and serve the people we’re serving.”
Spirited has two full-time artists — founder and owner Morrell and resident artist Eric Guntor. Dedicated to diversity and community, Spirited has what they refer to as a plethora of artists working at the shop, in a variety of capacities, and seriously, they have quite a number. Making up this band of lively collaborators and guests are fellow artists Leta Gray, David Carreras, Gia Maria Galli, Sarah Green, Peter Zebley, and nail artist Celeste Marie Welch. There’s a little something for everyone at Spirited, client and artist alike.
The Nitty Gritty Details
Head over to Baltimore Avenue between 50th and 49th streets to visit Spirited or give them a call. They’re closed Sundays, and accessible from several mass transit options.