Owner of Salem tattoo shop praised for bringing more customers downtown
By MARY ANN GREIER
SALEM — On many a recent Friday the 13th, crowds have flocked to downtown Salem for a promotional event at State Street Tattoo owned by Brandon Mohr.
That ability to attract customers into downtown Salem, not just to his popular tattoo shop but also to fellow businesses, has earned Mohr the new title Downtown Doer.
“We wanted to make recognition of downtown businesses that exemplify our small town charm and entrepreneurial spirit,” Downtown Salem Partnership Secretary Sara Baer said.
The DSP, which is made up of downtown business and building owners trying to promote downtown Salem, awarded the first ever Downtown Doer award to Mohr on Monday. He was presented with an etching of the patent of the first electric tattoo machine, which Mohr said is based off of Thomas Edison’s electric pen.
“I appreciate it a lot, especially because of who it involves in town,” Mohr said, noting that when he first established his business, the downtown was vacant. “This generation of building owners and business owners is trying to revitalize Salem.”
He also said the vibe in downtown is way better. Things are happening. He said the storefronts look awesome and it’s nice that it’s becoming specialty shops.
“We appreciate all of our customers because without them, we wouldn’t be here,” he said.
Mohr also thanked family members, friends, the State Street Tattoo family, the DSP and his fellow businesses for all their support.
Mohr owns two adjacent buildings in the 400 block of East State Street which house three storefronts and 16 offices, including State Street Tattoo and State Street Salon, which is operated by his wife, Kira. He also has Mohr Rentals for the renting of space in the buildings. There’s an antique store in one storefront and upstairs there’s a record store, State Street Records, owned and operated by Joshua Buck.
DSP President William Dawes said the group’s mission is to promote and enhance Historic Downtown Salem and that’s also the idea behind the Downtown Doer award, to recognize businesses who do that.
For Mohr and State Street Tattoo, the recognition comes from bringing new business to downtown through his Friday the 13th event this past August.
“He drew hundreds of new customers to State Street and his surrounding neighbors were able to benefit as his customers were introduced to new shops and services in the downtown. We present this recognition to him on behalf of DSP and value his enthusiasm and promotion of Historic Downtown Salem,” the DSP wrote.
The award will be given when the DSP feels a business has met those requirements of promoting and enhancing the downtown.
Tori Kline of Kast Iron Soda Works, located across the street, delivered a thank you to Mohr and State Street Tattoo employees for sending customers over, coming over themselves, for promoting the business and driving traffic to downtown for the benefit of all. She said the Friday the 13th event was one of the soda shop’s biggest sales days since opening earlier this year.
“Brandon is a sharp businessman who understands that it’s a group effort to survive in a downtown business. He has a huge customer base, and he continuously makes that invaluable resource available to all of us downtown by bringing them here, as well as actively promoting other downtown businesses to his customers and on his social media,” Kast Iron Soda Works owner Lesley Kline said.
State Street Tattoo first opened in another location down the street in 2012 and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in March 2022. State Street Salon opened in 2013, the tattoo shop moved to its present location in 2014 and the salon moved next door last year from across the street.