What's a decade? New Saint Tattoo owner Scott Cooper has been away almost that long, but he still has close ties to the business, having started his career as a tattoo artist there in 1996. A graduate student in education at ETSU at the time, Cooper eschewed his intended career as a teacher for a more exotic occupation—and one he says "requires 100 percent focus."
In 2001, Cooper left Saint Tattoo to travel and tattoo, traversing Colorado, New York, D.C., and California along the way. Now he's come back, bought the place from Mark Hagedorn, and plans to "introduce a more national view of tattooing" to Saint Tattoo. "I want to raise the bar in town a little bit while maintaining what we've already built."
Changes to be made include expanding offerings and replacing old décor with hand-painted art and tattoo-related antiques such as vintage flash and acetate stencils. Of course, Saint Tattoo is already good with Metro Pulse readers, winning Best Tattoo Parlor in the Best of Knoxville for both 2010 and 2009.