About Tattoo 34
Toby Linwood was working as a contracted tattoo artist at the tattoo shop “Hawthorne Ink” when the opportunity came up to purchase the tattoo shop from the previous owners.
Together with his wife Nisha Supahan, they purchased Hawthorne Ink in 2016 and worked to turn it in to Tattoo 34 on Hawthorne. An inclusive, welcoming space that many have commented has a great vibe. They have a solid team of tattoo artists who are talented in many different styles of tattooing and are also amazing humans. The tattoo artists are sweet, caring people who are down to earth and easy to talk to.
Tattoo 34 in a proud, minority-owned, women-owned, family business. Nisha is Native American (and Scottish). Toby is African American (Black), Native American and First Nations. Tattoo 34 is one of the few (maybe only) minority owned (POC) tattoo shop in Portland, OR. If you have info, statistics or history on this Nisha would love to know!
How we got here
Toby has been an Artist his whole life. Check out his bio on his tattoo Artist Page, to read about his work. While Toby and Nisha had originally met in Oregon (Toby was born in OR), they moved to California for a stint in the Bay Area. After being laid off during the 2008 recession from his sports-marketing job in Marin County, Toby went looking for his next “big thing”. One day he told Nisha, “I want to start tattooing.” She didn’t hesitate and said, “Okay. What do we need to do?”. Nisha later wished she had hesitated long enough to do at least one google search “tattoo artist hours.”
They had hoped to move back to Oregon, so Toby planned ahead and got his tattoo license in Portland, OR while still living in California. They returned to Oregon with their children in 2012 and now live in the Portland house that has been in Nisha’s family for almost 60 years and has housed four generations so far.
Toby tattooed at three different shops in California and in Portland, OR before landing at Hawthorne Ink on Hawthorne Blvd. While he buckled down and worked on building his portfolio and gaining clients, Nisha was busy raising their five children (some she birthed, some she didn’t but love just the same) and taking care of her elderly Grandmother. This is where the knowledge about typical tattoo artists hours (nights and weekends) would have been helpful. It was a lot of hard work over the years for Nisha and Toby to get to where they are now.
When the opportunity came up to purchase Hawthorne Ink, Nisha- having learned her lesson- asked one question, “Is the tattoo shop breaking even?” As it was not in the “red”… they went for it.
Toby and Nisha officially became the owners of the tattoo shop in June of 2016. Over the holidays in December of 2016 and into January 2017, they closed the tattoo shop for a few weeks for a remodel. Toby worked tirelessly to transform the shop on the inside as well as the outside with the help of their tattoo shop manager (and tattoo artist), Kimber Teatro. They removed walls, painted and transformed the space, constructing Toby’s design. During the same time period, Nisha created this website to feature their vision as well as their artists, implemented an online waiver (no more paper waste) and set up a credit card system so the tattoo shop would no longer be “cash only”- in other words, only accessible to people with disposable income. They wanted to create a place for community where their clients feel welcome, included and invested in the success of their unique tattoo shop. With that idea in mind, they reopened with “Tattoo 34 on Hawthorne” in January 2017, rebranded and beautiful.
Owning the tattoo shop has been really rewarding for Toby, Nisha and their family. Toby can now set his own hours that allow him to spend time with his kids after school and on the weekends. Nisha took over the scheduling for all of Toby’s tattoo appointments, making sure his clients are well taken care of while ensuring Toby has family time.
Tattoo 34 on Hawthorne isn’t just a tattoo shop. Free events and fundraisers are also held at the venue, from Art Shows to promote other local artists and performers, to Art Nights to chilling and drawing. Tattoo 34 and the tattoo artists who work at the shop believe in giving back. Tattoo 34 donates gift cards to various auctions and organizations, and the tattoo artists volunteer their own time to do fundraisers throughout the year for causes the tattoo shop and the tattoo artists believe in. Upcoming Events can be found on the Events Page.
Toby and Nisha have built- and are continuing to improve on- what they want their tattoo shop to be. At Tattoo 34, the tattoo artists and owners are friends as well as co-workers, spending holidays and children’s birthdays together. This is the way they like it. The owners want the best for the artists and, in turn, the tattoo artists make the shop better with their individual ideas, hard work and true involvement.
Scroll down to read some of the reviews (taken from public pages) about the tattoo shop and also (all the way down), to see the latest family picture of Toby and Nisha and their children: