Cam McDaniel thought he escaped the threat of a flood shortly after he sold his tattoo shop in New Orleans just before Hurricane Katrina hit.
He surely thought he was safe after he opened Lucky Tattoo in Fenton in late September. However, thanks to melting snow and heavy rain, his shop flooded and had to close for nearly two weeks in December.
Now the shop at 1517 N. Leroy St. is up and running again, and McDaniel is enjoying his new home in Fenton.
"I love it," McDaniel said of his new location. "We've been pretty well-accepted and stayed pretty busy."
The shop had been located in Burton, but McDaniel said it was time for a change.
"It was in a rough part on town, and we got fed up with worrying about what was going on outside our doors," he said.
The shop has three stations and room for two more. McDaniel and shop manager Tony Gritzinger are currently the only tattoo artists, but McDaniel said they expect to bring someone else on board.
McDaniel has been designing tattoos for nearly 20 years, but it was never really something he set out to do. In fact, his previous job was repairing dental equipment. However, there was a tattoo shop down the road from his Lansing home, and the owner asked him if he would repair some equipment in exchange for a tattoo. That tattoo was McDaniel's first. Eventually, McDaniel's wife got a job running the shop, and McDaniel was brought on as an apprentice and has been a tattoo artist ever since.
He hopes Fenton is his last stop. McDaniel said he has kept a lot of his old clientele and has also gained many new customers. He said his rates usually run at $125 an hour. The shop is open from noon-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
"I've opened four shops, and this is the one I'm most optimistic about," McDaniel said.