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Apr
12
2024
Business

New Yellow Springs residents and owners of the village’s newest tattoo parlor, Studio Uncommon, Lexi F. Kip, left, and Lexi L. Kip specialize in single-needle tattoos which incorporate fine lines and minimalist designs. The couple’s books are currently open, and appointments can be made at their website, www.studiouncommon.com. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

Fine lines at Studio Uncommon

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There aren’t many single-needle tattoo artists in Ohio.

Designs etched into the skin by just one needle — as opposed to the five-plus needles used for more “conventional” tattoos — are extremely precise and detailed, often small and dainty. With one single needle, fine lines can’t get any finer.

True to its name, Studio Uncommon, Yellow Springs’ newest tattoo parlor, specializes in that unique and infrequent style. It’s located in Suite L at 305 N. Walnut St., in the Millworks business park.

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But what’s more uncommon than the parlor’s artistic bent are its young proprietors: Lexi L. Kip, 24, and Lexi F. Kip, 25, share both their first and last names — as well as a passion for tattooing.

The Kips caught up with the News last week in their new Millworks suite, and they said business has been booming. Since launching their parlor this summer, the couple has routinely averaged a combined 32 tattoos each week.

“We’re so glad to be here,” Lexi L. said. “Yellow Springs already feels like our forever home.”

The Kips — who married last year and moved to the village in April — come to town with several years of tattooing experience under their belts. Lexi F. specializes in script and ornate fonts, while Lexi L. has more of a penchant for pictorial designs.

“Single-needle tattooing is great for the kinds of small, minimalistic designs our clientele wants,” Lexi F. said. “You know, delicate things like your grandmother’s handwriting.”

Lexi L. said she’ll tattoo any design that strikes her or her clients’ fancy: “Flowers, a snail, a potato — any kind of fun little object.”

Despite the minimalism inherent to single-needle designs and their small size — often no larger than a silver dollar — the Kips said they take their time with their tattoos to ensure the lines are crisp and the ink sets in the skin properly. The shop minimum, they said, is $150 per tattoo.

“Because of the size of our work, we do a lot of people’s first tattoos,” Lexi F. said. “I think we’ve done five firsts in the last week.”

The majority of their clients, they said, find their work on social media and sometimes travel from far afield to get tattooed by them. People from Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and elsewhere have been frequent visitors to their tattoo shop.

“Single-needle tattooing has been really big in places like Utah, California and New York for a while,” Lexi L. said. “But it’s becoming more popular here. We’re happy we started doing it when we did.”

Before starting Studio Uncommon, the Kips initially worked in the banking industry, but their artistic proclivities eventually won out. Most recently, they worked at Haven Salon in Vandalia, where they found their single-needle niche while tattooing side by side.

It was first Lexi F. who found her love for tattooing — a natural fit, as she hails from a family of designers and photographers. Her then-girlfriend, Lexi L., also a lifelong artist, soon followed suit and began practicing the craft. To this day, the two Lexis will try out new designs on each other. Both Kips’ arms are covered in their spouse’s work. 

“Even my mom lets me practice on her,” Lexi L. said with a laugh. “She has like 40 tattoos from us. She’s very supportive.”

Since moving into their home, opening up a business and settling into the small-town rhythms of the village, the Kips said they’ve quickly grown comfortable in their new community — partially because they are a same-sex couple.

The Kips married last year not long after Roe v. Wade was overturned; they were fearful political forces may come for their relationship next. But in Yellow Springs, they’ve grown at ease.

“It’s the little things,” Lexi F. said. “Even just holding hands while downtown. We feel so comfortable and safe here, and we don’t even think twice about it anymore.”

The pair also noted how enjoyable it’s been to walk to work together — often hand-in-hand.

Studio Uncommon is located at 305 N. Walnut St., in the upstairs Suite L, at the Millworks industrial park in Yellow Springs. Their hours are Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., by appointment only. Their books are currently open, and appointments can be made online at http://www.studiouncommon.com. Additional inquiries can be made by email at studiouncommon@hotmail.com.

Samples of Lexi F. Kip and Lexi L. Kip’s work can be found on Instagram @lexibkip and @lexilourainekip.

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One Response to “Fine lines at Studio Uncommon”

  1. LARRY AKERS says:

    VERY PROUD OF THESE NEW BUSINESS OWNERS IN DOWNTOWN YELLOW SPRINGS,OHIO. THEY ALSO WERE INVOLVED IN THE ”NEW DESIGN OF THEIR STUDIO. YOU WILL FIND ‘YOUR PERSONAL TATTOO WILL BE A PERSONAL TOUCH OF THESE ARTISTS.

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