Next month, Highway Tattoo will open at 7110 NE Glisan Street next door to Hinterland. After ten years working for others in multi-chair tattoo parlors, tattoo artist Christina Platis is creating her own shop. The move will allow Platis an opportunity to embrace her artistic style and create a secluded tattoo experience for clients.
Platis began tattooing near her hometown, where it was easy to train in the field. However, building a career there was never her intention. “I had always wanted to move out of Southern California, where I grew up. But once I started tattooing down there, I felt kind of obligated to stay there and work, getting experience.” After honing her skills for several years, Platis moved to Oregon. “I wanted to try something new, and I came to Portland because I had friends here, and I wanted to stay on the West Coast but get out of a big city,” Platis explained.
Over the past four years, Platis worked at tattoo parlors in Saint Johns and Southeast Portland, building a sizable customer base. “I have some pretty loyal clients that will be following me, but I hope to expand into this neighborhood,” said Platis. The move to Montavilla brings her work close to home and establishes the new business in a supportive area. “I’m happy to be part of this community, especially on [Glisan]. There are quite a few women-owned businesses, so I’m sure that that will help expand my client base.”
Christina Platis will be the only artist working at the tattoo shop when it opens. At just 350 square feet, it is a smaller space than she first envisioned. Platis explained that she would work in the shop before contemplating a second tattoo area. “There might be room to expand with one more artist if once I get in there, I feel like there’s enough room, but I was just gonna start it off solo.”
As the only tattoo artist in the shop, Platis will have a deliberate and focused relationship with her customers. “People are just coming specifically to get tattooed by me, whereas a lot of shops I’ve worked in, it’s walk-ins where people just want to get a tattoo that day, and it doesn’t matter who they get tattooed by,” explained Platis. “My main focus is to create a space that’s welcoming and safe for my clients, and it’s going to be a small space, so it’ll just be a space where I get to have my creative freedom.”
With years of experience, Christina Platis can comfortably work on a wide range of clients and create the body art they desire. However, she is known best for a specific style of work. “I specialize in American traditional tattoos… color or black and gray, I like both, but a lot of people come to me for my color work,” said Platis. Beyond the art, customer experience is an essential part of her process. “My main goal is to provide a really comfortable and safe feeling space for my clients, ’cause that’s super important when you’re getting tattooed.”
Workers are preparing the shop for an expected April 1st opening date. They removed the dividing walls during the remodel, making one open room and maximizing the available floor space. Christina Platis will bring her flair to the interior, creating a fun and exciting location “a little bit different than the normal tattoo shop.” The location’s design will embrace the classic tattoo shop with a lot of flash on the walls. Platis describes the look as “retro with checkerboard floors and 70s colors, oranges and a lot of natural woods, so it’s just stuff that I enjoy.”
The shop will open by appointment only at launch, allowing Christina Platis to work through a backlog of appointments. She expects the shop will open some weekdays and weekends but has not finalized the hours yet. Keep an eye on the company’s website and Instagram for updates or email your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.