Walls of Wonder Tattoo had a steady business for the last 12 years off South Bay Road and Lafferty Lane, but owner Chuck Tucker was looking to expand with a move to the city's main thoroughfare, U.S. Route 13.
Tucker had been eyeing what he thought was the perfect location for some time in the Capitol Shopping Center off South Dupont Highway and things finally came together last month for the big move.
Walls of Wonder has been up and running in its new location since Jan. 15.
"I was looking at this place for a long time," Tucker said. "Business was staying steady but I wasn't getting a lot of new traffic. So, I decided to come over here right off the highway in a bigger area."
Repeat customers comprise a good portion of sales, Tucker said. But walk-in traffic is very important as well.
"You always want to have walk-in traffic. That's kind of your bread and butter, especially with the military being in town," he said. "We do bigger stuff, but names for somebody that passed away or a baby's names – little stuff like that – are things you want."
For instance, artist Eddie Moore, better known as "Lil' E", worked on a tattoo for Randy Smith, who came in with his family on Monday to get his son's name, Jabari, tattooed on his right arm. Jabari is eight weeks old.
"He did one of my previous tattoos and I found him [here]," Smith said. (Moore just moved from another tattoo shop to Walls of Wonder.)
"The customers, most of them are good at finding where we're at," Moore said. "But every little bit will help in getting the word out. Facebook and everything is helping out.
"I've been tattooing for 15 years," he added. "I love doing freehand work, anything from new school to realism. I love doing black and gray work as well and nice bright colors."
Tucker, for his part, prefers black and gray work and the "dark, gory skull stuff," while his other artist, Paul Todd, specializes in color portraits and realism, he said.
After Little Gary's Tattooing and Doug's Tattoo and Piercing, Walls of Wonder is the third longest open shop in Dover, Tucker said. As such, he was a little nervous about the big move.
But, Tucker plans to hold a grand re-opening for his new location in late February or early March, depending on when he can line up a live band, he said. Customers looking for a set date can search for Walls of Wonder Tattoo on Facebook.
MORE ABOUT WALLS OF WONDER
WHAT Tattoo shop
Page 2 of 2 - WHERE Capitol Shopping Center, 1044 S. DuPont Highway, Dover
WHEN 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. Sunday
CONTACT (302) 730-9196.