Top Rocker celebrates 10th anniversary in Peoria

By: 
DARRELL JACKSON, Peoria Times Staff Writer

Photos by Darrell Jackson

Top Rocker Tattoo owner Ernie “Serve One” Rojas does a live painting during the store’s 10th anniversary celebration Dec. 29.

Ernie “Serve One” Rojas continues his painting demonstration during the store’s 10th anniversary celebration Dec. 29.

A crowd celebrates the 10th anniversary of Top Rocker Tattoo Dec. 29 at its Peoria location,12370 N. 83rd Ave., Suite 102.
 

Fallon McKay assists a number of customers during the stores 10th Anniversary celebration Dec. 29.

The canvas of Ernie “Serve One” Rojas comes to life in vibrant color after a three-hour painting exhibition during the Top Rocker Tattoo 10th anniversary Dec. 29.The Top Rocker Tattoo is at 12370 N. 83rd Ave., Suite 102.

Top Rocker Tattoo owner Ernie ‘Serve One” Rojas wanted to do something special for the Peoria community that has supported his business for the past ten years, so on Dec. 29 he held a family friendly event to honor his clients and the community.
Over 40 people attended to watch Rojas paint live as well as a bounce house for kids and free food while celebrating ten years open in Peoria.
“This turnout is amazing and it means that what we have been doing for the past ten years has worked,” Rojas said as he prepared to begin his live paint demonstration. “It is about building community for me and not about the dollar amount but it is about having the community come out and it feels so good to see all these people come to support us.”
Top Rocker Studio, which moved to their current location at 12370 N. 83rd Ave., Suite 102, over one year ago and Rojas said it has been more successful than even he could have imagined after having to work closely with city officials to get his new shop open.
“This past year, as well as the nine before that, has been even better than expected ten-fold,” Rojas said. “Starting off working with city officials, we had to jump through so many hoops that the city helped us with that made it all worth it. City officials assisted us with everything we had to do to get here, it allowed me to become more patient which helps with my work and has given me more patience with my clients.”
Ruby’s Tacos were on site, giving all attendees free food and attendees walked around observing the painting, getting information and checking out the different styles and artists that work at the shop.
“I was just walking by and saw the event and decided to check it out,” James Martinez said while watching Rojas paint live. “He is a really good artists and after checking out the samples of his tattooing, I am thinking about coming here to get my first tattoo.”
Rojas partner, Fallon McKay, added that the past year has been more successful than they expected and they owe it all to their clients.
“It has been a very special year and has been a great experience being at the new location and it has driven a lot more foot traffic to us,” McKay said. “People know who we are from good word of mouth, but this location is so much more convenient for people to access us and it has just been amazing.”
McKay added, “Because we continue to push more and more into what we do, and we are never satisfied with what we are doing, that we put that much more into everything that we have been doing. It has brought us even more blessings that we thought it would and we are so grateful for the turnout tonight.”
A live disc jockey spun records as customers walked through the shop viewing art from all the artists Rojas, McKay, Tommy Robertson, Rick Phillips and Duck Jones.
“We are now fully staffed with great artists and we have built a family here because we spend lots of time together building a great tattoo community,” Rojas said.
Martinez added that he was impressed with the artistic talents of all the artists at Top Rocker Tattoo.
“These paintings are amazing and the tattoos look even better,” Martinez said. “The detail and artistry is so good among all of them that my only decision is which artist to choose.”
Rojas said customers like that return to him over and over again are what make the past years such a success to him.
“I will take the blame, as well as the responsibility, of having customers return to us saying they cannot go to anyone else,” Rojas said. “We are doing something special as well as very serious and the same way families have had the same doctor for generations, we are falling into that bracket of doing that with our art. Plus, we are doing something that used to be low brow and we are now being accepted.”
McKay, who runs the day-to-day business operations, was quick to give the credit to the customers.
“I am not surprised that we have so many people who came out tonight,” McKay said. “We have a lot of loyal clientele that have been with us for years and with this being out tenth year in business, we love to host these events and it is our way if giving back to them. The same way they allow us to put our art work on them, we want to give back to them and the community and that is what is important to us.”

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Peoria Times

Peoria Times
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Ph: (623) 842-6000
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