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Magna • Horror film posters decorate the walls. The Addams Family movie plays on a TV. Halloween bric-a-brac is displayed year-round. The proprietors even give out Halloween-themed bags, complete with candy corn, to curious visitors.
It's always Halloween at the Art on You Studios tattoo shop, tucked away deep in the heart of Magna's Main Street.
Oct. 31 is such a beloved day for the shop's owners Aaron Anderson, known to nearly all as Storm, and his wife, Renee that they close their small store for the day and give their employees the day off. The Andersons actually got married eight years ago on Oct. 31.
Storm says there's a running joke. Halloween is always a work-free day. Christmas is negotiable.
"It resonates with us the way Christmas might resonate to someone else," he said. "It's magical. We embrace that darker side of nature that others might not normally embrace. We do take in the taboo. We don't repress it."
In addition to normal tattoos, the couple offer darker-themed ones.
Cassie Sleight recently was waiting to finish her bat-inspired chest tattoo.
"[I want to] show my darker side, I guess," she said of her choice.
The Halloween theme seems to be working for the shop. Since opening in October 2009, Storm said the shop has doubled in size, tripled in staff and quintupled its clientele. The owners now employ four full-time artists, two apprentices and a makeup artist. The shop also does piercings. Storm said clients come to Magna from as far away as Idaho, Wyoming and southern Utah. The most ardent supporters are called "minions," and each bears a unique tattoo with the shop's initials.
Friends Travis Reed and Tara Mandrell recently drove in from North Ogden to get work done on existing tattoos.
"It's something that's there for life," Reed said. "It's something you do to show your personality."
Perhaps surprisingly, the shop has a homey feel. Comfortable couches await clients. The walls are white, not dark-colored, as one might expect. And the tattooing areas are clean and uncluttered.
"We also didn't want to look like a haunted house," Storm said. "[We didn't want people to think], 'Oh no, I'm getting tattooed in the Castle of Chaos.' "
Meanwhile, the Andersons have adopted a philanthropic attitude toward the community that has helped their business flourish.
During the past two springs, employees have held a charity event. Storm said they've raised more than $7,000, and donated proceeds from the event to the Humane Society and Huntsman Cancer Institute. They plan to hold another event this spring, but are still working out the details.
"It's quite a unique feeling to do something like that and to give back," Storm said. "It's worth it in the end when you have that feeling. It's almost indescribable when you've done something like that."
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