First woman-owned Rockford tattoo parlor 6 Finger opens up with help from city program

Local News

A buzzing success.

Last week, Sarah Stewart’s 6 Finger Tattoo parlor opened at 136 N. 1st Avenue in downtown Rockford. The opening makes it the first woman-owned ink shop in the Forest City.

“It’s exciting,” said Stewart. “It’s been nerve-wracking, it’s been inspirational. It’s been a really good time through all of it.”

6 Finger is one of dozens of projects to go through the city’s Business First program. The initiative brings together multiple City of Rockford departments with the Winnebago County Health Department, the Rock River Water Reclamation District, and the Small Business Development Center to meet with individuals who are looking to develop or redevelopment commercial or industrial property in the City of Rockford.

“Opening a business isn’t the easiest thing for people to do,” said Stewart. “It actually makes you immediately feel a lot more organized.”

Business First has had 70 residents go through in 2019 and 14 have already opened up for business. Among them are WHO’s NEXT SALON located at 3419 Auburn Street, Lao Kitchen at 1137 Broadway, Blessed Asian Market on 3008 Charles Street, 815Escape at 4249 E. State Street, Open World Gaming at 320 N. Alpine Road, African International Market at 1132 Broadway, Mom & Pop’s BBQ at 513 Toner Avenue, Gene’s Irish Pub at 1025 5th Ave and Tacos El Toro, located at 3605 Auburn Street.

“We’re working on making [the city] more business friendly and this is just one way we’re doing that,” said City of Rockford’s Economic Development and Diversity Procurement Coordinator Matt Simpson. “We want to see more entrepreneurs come through and interact with us and we’re working to make it easier and make it more simple.”

Rockford city officials predict the program will grow even more.

“As we do more outreach, as we try to wear awareness, as we have success stories, the attendance increases,” said Simpson.

Stewart worked at a Delicious Ink on 2310 Charles Street for seven years. She says 6 Finger’s opening happened quickly and being open now feels surreal.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and thought of it. I was laying there, thinking about names.”

Since opening, Stewart says clients are steadily coming in and booking appointments for their own body art piece.

“We didn’t really know what to expect,” said Stewart. “We’ve been busy and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

“Those are the people who are investing, transforming a storefront, creating jobs, providing services,” said Simpson. “Those are the leaders.”

The City of Rockford’s Business First Program is completely free. For more information, call Matt Simpson at 779.348.7419.

Last week, Sarah Stewart’s 6 Finger Tattoo parlor opened at 136 N. 1st Avenue in downtown Rockford. The opening makes the first woman-owned ink shop in the Forest City.

“It’s exciting,” said Stewart. “It’s been nerve-wracking, it’s been inspirational. It’s been a really good time through all of it.”

6 Finger is one of dozens of projects to go through the city’s Business First program. The initiative brings together multiple City of Rockford departments with the Winnebago County Health Department, the Rock River Water Reclamation District, and the Small Business Development Center to meet with individuals who are looking to develop or redevelopment commercial or industrial property in the City of Rockford.

“Opening a business isn’t the easiest thing for people to do,” said Stewart. “It actually makes you immediately feel a lot more organized.”

Business First has had 70 residents go through in 2019 and 14 have already opened up for business. Among them are WHO’s NEXT SALON located at 3419 Auburn Street, Lao Kitchen at 1137 Broadway, Blessed Asian Market on 3008 Charles Street, 815Escape at 4249 E. State Street, Open World Gaming at 320 N. Alpine Road, African International Market at 1132 Broadway, Mom & Pop’s BBQ at 513 Toner Avenue, Gene’s Irish Pub at 1025 5th Ave and Tacos El Toro, located at 3605 Auburn Street.

“We’re working on making [the city] more business friendly and this is just one way we’re doing that,” said City of Rockford’s Economic Development and Diversity Procurement Coordinator Matt Simpson. “We want to see more entrepreneurs come through and interact with us and we’re working to make it easier and make it more simple.”

Rockford city officials predict the program will grow even more.

“As we do more outreach, as we try to wear awareness, as we have success stories, the attendance increases,” said Simpson.

Stewart worked at a Delicious Ink on 2310 Charles Street for seven years. She says 6 Finger’s opening happened quickly and being open now feels surreal.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and thought of it. I was laying there, thinking about names.”

Since opening, Stewart says clients are steadily coming in and booking appointments for their own body art piece.

“We didn’t really know what to expect,” said Stewart. “We’ve been busy and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

“Those are the people who are investing, transforming a storefront, creating jobs, providing services,” said Simpson. “Those are the leaders.”

The City of Rockford’s Business First Program is completely free. For more information, call Matt Simpson at 779.348.7419.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News Video

GDS Holiday Gift Guide: Paymaster Pawn

Trending Stories