The grand opening of 29:11 Tattoo on Jan. 11 marks the culmination of an almost decade-long journey for artist Kenny Brown.
Brown spent eight years as an artist at various tattoo shops in the Bay Area with a goal in mind.
“With every shop I was at, it was always at the back of my mind that I wanted my own,” he said.
Building owners in five different cities, from Morgan Hill to Fremont, shot down his proposal, but Brown kept his faith.
“Every disappointment was discouraging, but I knew there was something to look forward to,” he said.
Brown eventually came across a space in the Orchard Center at 353 E. 10th St., Unit C in Gilroy. As the months-long negotiations went on, he began to see his dream becoming a reality. But his shop needed a name, which Brown admitted wasn’t easy.
It wasn’t until a fateful moment while stuck at a traffic light when the perfect name presented itself. Brown, who at the time was wearing a wristband with the Bible verse “Jeremiah 29:11” imprinted on it, happened to glance at his wrist when inspiration struck.
The verse describes that success comes after trials and tribulations, something that Brown could relate to after experiencing rejection of his business proposal elsewhere.
The “29:11” numbers also added up: Brown’s birthday is Nov. 29, and he also turned 29 in 2019.
“It turned out the way it was supposed to,” he said. “It was definitely worth it.”
Brown is joined by tattoo artist Hayden Mann in his shop. The two met while working at a tattoo shop in San Jose and kept in touch over the years.
Mann began spending time at tattoo shops at a young age as a way to “stay out of trouble,” he said. But a promised apprenticeship at one shop that never materialized, as well as a brief stint at a shop in Ohio, led Mann to Brown’s shop.
Not content with the traditional 9-to-5 work grind, Mann said he has found his passion in tattooing.
“I see tattooing as a way to live the life I wanted to live and make ends meet,” he said.
Brown is quick to note that the shop is open to everyone, and he hopes it becomes a social gathering spot.
“That’s what I want this shop to emphasize: Every person that walks in here, whether they need to talk about something they are struggling with or talk about something they’ve overcome, we can be that establishment to help move forward and be able to find peace,” he said.
The 29:11 Tattoo grand opening celebration is set for Jan. 11 at 1pm.
Chamber breakfast set
The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce will hold its first breakfast meeting of the year on Jan. 15.
The breakfast, sponsored by Guild Mortgage, will take place at Old City Hall Restaurant, 7400 Monterey Road, from 6:45-8am.
For reservations, visit gilroy.org or call 408.842.6437.
Send business news to Erik Chalhoub at [email protected]