Kingpin X Alchemy
Recently I made a short trip across town to spend a few hours with the team at Alchemy Tattoos and Piercings in Largo, FL.
Alchemy is owned and operated by Rich Stephans. He’s been tattooing in the Tampa Bay area for over 20 years. I got one of my first pieces from him 20 years ago while he was working just up the road from my High School.
Over the years Rich put in the hard work and steadily grew as an artist and businessman. He opened his own shop, Alchemy in September of 2011.
Being a lifetime local and all-around good dude, his shop has consistently supported and participated in many local events to give back to the community, such as Pet Supply Drives, Toy Drives, and Beach Clean-Ups.
Rich takes pride in the fact that several artists that he has trained or hired have gone on to open their own shops in the area.
Currently his team consists of:
Walking into his shop today is a vastly different experience than what it was years ago. The first thing you notice is how quiet it is. While I was there everyone was running nearly silent Pen Machines, like Rich with his FK Irons Spektra.
Victor was working on a touch-up when I noticed he was using the Critical Connect Shorty with his Pen. When I asked him how he liked it, his eyes lit up and he went on at length about the battery life and how consistent the power was.
Like most shops the guys there were quick to poke fun and take jabs at each other. I was most entertained by Thomas who was at work adding to an Eagle piece to a return client of his. He was so quiet that you almost forget he was there, until he would pop up and roast one of them then dip his head back down to focus.
Despite being in the industry for over 20 years, Rich has never really taken part in trade shows and conventions until now. As he put it, “I’m 20 years into my career. I’m proud of where I am and I’m ready to start challenging myself.” So be sure to keep an eye out for an Alchemy booth when you’re in the Southeast USA because he and his team have already started looking and booking.
You can check out Alchemy and a little bit about their community programs at their site: https://alchemytattoos.com
Kingpin Tattoo Supply