Mar 212012
Authors: Allison Sylte

Tribal Rites, according to manager Chad Williams, isn’t the type of shop that simply tattoos pictures out of design books. Instead, every single one of the shop’s tattoos is custom and unique.

“The artists that tattoo here are real artists,” he said. “They’re not just tracers. They’re good at what they do.”

And this attention to detail and artistic integrity, he said, is one of the key reasons why CSU students selected Tribal Rites as the best place to get a tattoo or piercing in this year’s “Best Of CSU” poll.

Tribal Rites opened in 1994, and was Fort Collins’ first body piercing studio. In addition to carrying the highest quality body jewelry in Fort Collins, Williams said what sets the shop apart is its innate devotion to customer service.

“We really want to make people happy, and we really want to do a good job,” Williams said.

This sentiment is echoed by Stacey Fitzpatrick, a senior history major at CSU and a piercer at Tribal Rites, who said Tribal Rites’ inclusive atmosphere and devotion to its customers is the key to its success.

“We’re friend to college students and to families,” Fitzpatrick said. “… we show everyone the same kind of respect, and we’re just really helpful. It’s a good atmosphere. On top of that, we also do really good work.”

Fitzpatrick credits the close relationships between employees to the shop’s friendly atmosphere.

“We’re like a family,” she said. “Everyone works really well together, and we like what we do. We’re happy to be here.”

When hiring tattoo artists, Williams said Tribal Rites really looks at how good of an artist they are, in addition to how well they’ll fit in with the shop’s team and contribute to the friendly atmosphere.

Many of the artists at Tribal Rites are booked up to eight months in advance.

Williams got his start at Tribal Rites 14 years ago, when he was a student at CSU. Both he and Fitzpatrick work as piercers, a job that Williams said he, “just fell into.”

“I love doing it,” he said. “I find it a challenge. The challenge is doing the best job you possibly can.”

Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at

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