|219 E Street in Suite D|
|Tuesday-Saturday, 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.|
|Mostly by appointment only!|
|cash or check only|
Primary Concepts is primarily a custom tattoo shop, meaning the shop will work with you to design a one-of-a-kind tattoo. The tattoo artists are committed to creating the perfect illustration for your body. They believe every tattoo, no matter how small, should be a work of art. If you need inspiration, they have a large library of art reference books that you can look at to help spark your imagination and solidify what you want your tattoo to look like. If you have the perfect design already, simply bring it with you and the artists will be happy to tattoo you with that design.
Primary Concepts offers piercing services. Whether you are a first time piercee or a veteran looking to accentuate a physical feature with a professionally-placed adornment, Primary Concepts is your local hub for all things fancy and fringe. The shop mission is simple: to provide a sanitary environment for the safe implementation of body piercing. The shop has set a high standard of care within their practices and their body art practitioners exemplify the triumvirate of ethical characteristics necessary to the craft: integrity, honesty, and empathy. The shop is compliant with the California Assembly Bill (AB 300, Ma. Safe Body Art Act.)
Cast of Characters
Phil Geck is the owner of Primary Concepts. Jessica Cooke, the former owner, chose Phil to take over the shop due to his years of experience in tattooing and his diversity in all styles of the art. He specializes in portraits, photo-realism, vivid color, and bio-mechanical tattoos. He has mastered pretty much any tattoo style you could want. See some of his work here.
Steve Shippey, native to Australia and current resident of Sacramento, is our newest artist and we are very, very lucky to have him. He does amazing custom work as well as walk-ins and specializes in realistic color. Check out his website for a sampling of his artistry.
Brittany, Chris Kelley, Cooper "The Coug" McBean, Dave Richardson, Gary, Jessica Cooke, Jamie, Kai Smart, Mykle "Shave and a Haircut" Hoban, Nathan Luevano, Ninja Paul, Super Bobert, Tricia Vaughn
Photos of the shop
List of live music acts
• Aaron Ross
• Ayla Nereo
• Emperor X
• Oh Foot
• Polka Dot Dot Dot
• Ryland Bouchard
• Shelby Sifers
• Silver Darling
• Sundance Kids
Live music act video footage
• Oh Foot
2006-07-11 14:44:17 This is Chris who used to work at Urban Body. He's got amazing jewelery and great prices. Worth checking out if you want to be pierced by a professional, and if you want some cool jewelery! —CatStarr
2006-08-10 20:31:16 I got pierced by Chris, and I found him to be very professional, experienced, and gentle. He told me everything that I needed to know, was very friendly and knowledgeable, and gave me a great deal. I've been pierced at a few other places and I have to honestly say that this was my best experience. I highly recommend it to anyone who is in Davis and would like to get something done. On par to anywhere in a larger city. :) —EmyFargey
2006-09-17 18:43:55 chris kelley pierced and stretched my ears in two breaths. fucking awesome. —PxlAted
2006-10-13 18:30:34 Very nice guy and the cheapest place to get piercings that I've found... He seriously pierces in two breaths. I'd definitely recomment him. —SaThai
2006-11-16 16:59:38 Chris has done piercings for me and has been the best piercer I've had. In a recent chat with him at Primary Concepts, he proved very, very helpful in advising me re: some piercing questions. I recommend Chris 100%. —EliseKane
2006-12-06 22:43:25 Got a cartilage piercing at Urban Body. I liked the service I received. Then I was referred to Chris for my next two piercings: I felt like the pricing was much better, and Chris was most definitely quite cool too. While I don't have a ton of piercing experience, I can definitely add my own to his list of recommendations. —BobbyGray
2007-01-05 21:53:45 I got a new piercing from Chris recently and he was as wonderful as ever. He was knowledgeable, answered all of my questions and addressed my concerns, and even told me all about the amazing art in the place when I inquired about it. A very amiable laid-back guy. Extremely professional. —EliseKane
2007-01-25 18:37:01 I got my ears pierced by Chris back in October and it was wonderful! He was nice, quick and totally painless. I'd definitley go back to him and recommend him to all! —ChristineSmith
2007-02-14 13:59:14 I'm a bit nervous about getting my ears repierced, and Chris was very helpful about answering my questions and reassuring me. Unfortunately, I specifically asked if he would be open on Wednesday for Valentine's Day and he said yes. But when I went with my boyfriend after lunch to get my ears pierced as my gift it was closed. I prefer to support small local businesses, but the main reason I do is for good customer service. Saying you'll be open and then closing is not what I call good service. —JenniferKucich
——i sincerely apologize about what happened. my fiance surprised me at the last minute and had taken the day off of work. i would never intentionally give miss information. i hope to see you in the future. once again i am very sorry
— chris kelley
2007-02-19 12:56:08 My buddy got a piercing from here, 35 bucks and the work was great —StevenDaubert
2007-03-12 23:40:12 Last week my girl friend and I got pierced by Chris and he was very professional and friendly. Totally professional and one of the best piercers in NorCal. —AdamGarcia
2007-04-29 16:37:37 I had my first lobe piercing done here, and it was great. Quick, and Chris was very professional and friendly, as the person above me said. I'd recommend him to anyone who's thinking about getting a piercing. I myself plan to go back for a second lobe piercing, or maybe cartilage in the future.
by the way, does anyone know what gauge he does the lobe piercings with? —SatomiNakajima
2007-04-30 18:24:03 Standard size is 18, but it could be 16 or 14. —MollyeKt
2007-05-06 11:01:41 I recently got plugs from chris, which were my first piercings. Chris was very professional, quick, and has been very friendly and inviting anytime i have questions. I highly recommend primary concepts. —colin
2007-05-16 22:47:31 Chris is rad. he's amiable, informative, calm, gentle, and funny. not to mention quick! love my piercings <3 i'm definitey going back to him (love his girl's art on the walls too). —JuliaRoseFurman
2007-05-19 18:59:47 Super nice! Super professional and hygenic! Highly recommended, and you no longer have to leave Davis to receive quality work anymore! —JoyChu
2007-05-21 14:35:07 Does anybody know how much the piercings go for? —Mindy
2007-05-22 00:51:51 Im not sure on the exact cost but if you are getting both ears done with the jewelery it will cost about $40. I had my ears pierced at 8g w/ jewelery and cost $40 and then had them stretched to 6g w/ jewelery for $40. So it shouldnt be any more than that for piercings. —AdamGarcia
2007-06-25 16:34:59 Chris pierced my 4-year-old's ears, and he was TOTALLY GREAT!! He explained everything to her, let her feel the needle... yeah, highly recommended.
oh, and he let me use his camera to take pictures. —alexg
2007-07-07 23:01:49 AMAZING! Chris and Jessica are great! I've recently been tattooed by the apprentice, Kai, she's great! They are all very friendly and so talented. They like when people go in and chat with them. They are professional and great people. Jessica and Kai have some beautiful art work, and Chris is great! —intangible
2007-10-07 01:52:43 Jessica is an amazing artist and an amazing tattoo artist. The best work I have ever had done interms of both art and technique. Want a gorgeous piece of art to carry with you through life? Go see Jessica. —SiobhanBraybrook
2007-10-07 11:03:22 i got my septum piercing here last night and i couldn't be happier. he pierces in one breath and i barely even felt it, and it looks great. can't wait til they move to the bigger location. plus he gave me sea salt so i can make my own saline. i'd def come back here for any other piercings. —MiranPark
2007-11-10 22:28:42 I went today to get a tattoo done by Kai and it came out wonderfully! She paid great attention to detail and put some of her own touch in it as well. I highly recommend this place! —WhitneyOral
2007-11-22 23:14:15 Its great that there is finally a really good tattoo shop in town.The shop is beautifull and the staff are'nt ego infated assholes who think there doin you a favor by giving you a tattoo or piercing....so good job PriCon. —IanN
2007-11-29 18:57:54 I'm so proud of by little sister jessica !!! she has done a few of my tats and i couldnt be hapier, not just because she is my sister but because she is a great artist and a great person. I recomend her as an artist to everyone and wouldnt dream of going to anybody else !! congrats sis you are the best !!! I love you with all my heart. —jcooke
2007-12-13 13:46:43 Got Navel Pierced by Chris. Great service & friendly fun environment! We loved it! =D great experience. 4 any first time bodypiercers highly recomended —EuciAna
2007-12-16 13:43:46 I recently got 5 piercings and a tattoo in one trip at this place. I have to say it is the best and cheapest place to get pierced and tattoo-ed in Davis. Everyone there is really cool, professional, and great at what they do. They just seem like people you would want to hang out with anyways. I have gotten many peircings and one other tattoo at other places, and this is definitely the best place to go... —Austen
2007-12-20 00:57:21 I had a great experience at Primary Concepts. Kai did a great job on my tattoo from the initial conception stages and working with me on getting the design right, all the way down to the actual inking. This was my first tattoo but having hung around many shops over the years this one had the warmest, welcoming people I've ever encountered in this industry. As someone noted above, it really felt a lot just like hanging out with friends and shooting the breeze.
The shop clean and very sterile, the people are nice, and it was an overall great experience. —dylanh
2008-01-20 14:22:42 I just had a piercing done by Chris. He was totally helpful and knowledgeable. He made me feel very comfortable during the piercing and was fast and gentle. He was super nice, and kinda cute too! I HIGHLY recommend him to everyone and anyone! —juliebeans
2008-02-08 14:53:28 I went in to primary Concepts today and got my ears pierced by their new guy Paul. I first went in with the intention of getting two more navel piercings, but he told me that it wouldn't be a good idea and my body would probably reject them and I'd end up with scars. I was very glad that he told me this instead of just going ahead with the piercings anyway so that he could make some money. It was very professional and made me think he is a great and experienced piercer. And he's really cute too, which is always an important quality with body piercers! —DaniClark
2008-02-24 20:44:06 Jessica is the most amazing artist that I've ever seen! And, being her younger sister Sarah, I can say that proudly to everyone I know. Her art stuns everyone that I show it to, and I've got people wanting tattoos from her that haven't even met her! She has a star personality and couldn't get any better. I love you Jessica! EE> —Porcelain
2008-03-05 19:53:55 Does anyone know what happened to Chris? He was so great, why did he leave? —juliebeans ...hello julie. well i guess it depends on who you talk to. but contrary to what some of you may have heard i unfortunately do not possess the ability to disappear. i am trapt by the confines of this mortal body. i have taken some time off from the shop but shall be back to my old shananigans in the future. i will post any updates on the wiki. i apologize for not posting anything earlier. in the mean time if anyone would like to get a hold of me please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. this is my personal email. i miss and love all of you. see you soon. ...iamchriskelley
2008-04-01 17:35:33 Kai was fantastic. I just got a tattoo from her, and I will definitely go back. I went to Wild Bill's in Roseville over the weekend, and they were rude and full of themselves so I ended up leaving without getting tattooed (I wouldn't recommend that place if you want a good tattoo experience). Everyone at Primary Concepts was friendly and fun and helpful. Kai worked with me to give me what I wanted, and she was a very careful artist. I highly recommend going here... —nmspotswood
2008-05-01 15:40:10 This past Saturday I got my ears pierced by Paul. He was extremely helpful and friendly, and helped my picky self decide on the perfect gauge. The studio itself is very nicely decorated and feels both fun and hospitable. The only thing I would suggest is to have a bigger sign over the entrance - it took me a couple tries to find the place. Regardless, it was a great experience and I wouldn't hesitate to come back again. —HunterLower
2008-05-18 14:34:27 For those who have gotten tattooed here, how much did it cost and about how large was your design? —Nicole21
2008-05-21 15:04:20 does anyone know what services are provided and prices? i want to get my ear lobes re-pierced (and maybe something else pierced), and i'm trying to decide between this place and urban body. —ReneChan
Primary Concepts currently does not have any piercers. I checked today, and they are looking to hire someone but don't have anyone now that is able to pierce.
2008-06-29 10:12:00 This place is wonderful! I'm getting a tattoo next month and went in yesterday to get some questions answered, etc. and they were GREAT. The place has a very good vibe and everyone there is very friendly, very laid back, but at the same time, very professional. I talked to Kai for at least twenty minutes about my design, what I could expect, and every other question that I could think of. I also asked her if I could see the equipment. She showed it to me, explained how things worked, and even let me watch while she prepared for her next client. And they just got a new piercer in! His name is Gary and yesterday was his first day. I ended up getting 12 gauge lobe piercings (which cost me $45). He was also very friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. Again, HIGHLY recommended! —HelenDahlberg
2008-07-02 15:27:21 The new piercer (Gary) is an awesome knowledgeable guy. He took the time to answer all my questions (I had quite a few). I didn't get pierced today, but I can't wait to go back! —NicoleWoodyard
2008-07-19 16:35:25 I went in today just to get my nose stud re-sized, thinking it would be a very quick operation. Unfortunately, my poor nose is pretty sensitive due to previous mis-treatment at a shop in SF, and the whole process was a lot more difficult than I had thought it would be. Enter Nathan. He was super-gentle, really made sure that I was comfortable through the entire experience, and was so patient and generous with his time. What a nice fella'! This was definitely the best experience I've had in a piercing shop, and I would absolutely recommend this place to anyone who is looking for friendly piercers in a peaceful atmosphere. —AshleyB
2008-07-27 15:06:35 I just got tattooed by Kai and, as expected, it was a fantastic experience. Go here! —HelenDahlberg
2008-07-28 15:40:30 copious amounts of gratitude to kai for my first tattoo! incredibly talented and patient, and she did an amazing job of capturing exactly what i wanted from various images that i had given her; it turned out better than i ever could have expected. undoubtedly, i will be coming back in the future for additions. —cas
2008-08-17 14:59:28 I got my bottom lip pierced there just a few days ago, and they've also been doing some stretching of my ears. These guys are awesome! They gave me the right info on how to keep from getting infections and actually thought me a few things. Anyways, I am completely satisfied and will continue to go there. —AidanGilGage
2008-08-23 23:14:34 does anybody know how much cartilage piercings are here? I want to get my auricle [between cartilage and lobe] pierced, but I don't know how much money to bring when I do! —HannahFolkes Hi Hannah! The piercing you describe would start (with basic jewelry included) at $25. Thanks for your interest.
2008-11-10 22:49:23 I got many tattoos done by Kai Smart including a wrist cuff she had completed and a small feather on my ankle. I get compliments on my tattoos all the time! She is an amazing artist and very talented at her artistry! Everyone is friendly and helpful at the shop. I would totally recommend getting pierced and tattooed here! —PeonieS
2008-11-24 11:19:06 omg that sucks. I love that painting jessica! some one's on my shit list too now, I just wish I knew who did it. —PxlAted
2008-12-27 13:59:33 I got a tattoo here last week on my calf. Totally love it. I've had work done a number of places, and would have to say that Primary Concepts is by far one of the most chill and cool spots to get work done. They answer every question with a smile. —Aaron.Curtin
2009-01-18 12:52:10 Just got my septum done by Nathan @ Primary Concepts. I was super nervous, but it turned out super awesome and straight. Primary Concepts is a super friendly and clean shop,Tthe piercing is healing very nicely. Thank you, Nathan! —AllisonMiller
2009-02-07 19:24:34 I absolutely love these guys. Without a doubt some of the best Tattoo art I have ever seen. Affordable, convenient, clean and comfortable with the friendliest staff you could ever find, Period.
As for the piercings, I'm not big on it, but I have to admit, the work I have seen done by Gary and company is freaking awesome. Add to this that they are the only shop in town using surgical grade steel (not just surgical quality sterilization like some others around here) and it just seems to place them well above the rest in quality and service.
I also know that Kai, maybe some of the others, does commissioned art for whatever projects you might want done and absolutely love it.
Anyway.. Hope this comment was helpful for those fence-sitters trying to find a home for their tattoo and piercing needs. —WesOne
2009-02-21 14:36:34 Vaughn pierced my rook this weekend and I was more than impressed! I walked in and was able to be pierced within 30 minutes. He was funny and informative, and it didn't really hurt. He was great, and I will be returning for the next piercing I need. It looks great and I love it! Thanks!!! —Millie
2009-04-28 20:47:36 If you want a true piece of art, check out Primary Concepts. Jessica did the most beautiful and colorful thigh piece (not to mention quick, too! done in two sessions) on myself and she will be starting on my half-sleeve next week. She also did a fantastic sleeve on my boyfriend, the color is stunning. She's definitely worth the price and the wait! —Aleia
2009-05-02 14:04:24 Jessica does amazing work. She just did a redwood tattoo on my bicep and it looks incredible. The colors are vibrant and the attention to detail is amazing. I went in with a vague idea of what i wanted and she helped turn it into art. —JamesMulalley
2009-05-04 14:18:36 Kai is super friendly and creative! I brought in a sketch and asked if she had suggestions—I'm so pleased with the result! Everyone in the shop is welcoming and super-chill but still professional, the place itself is well-lit, spacious and hygenic. Prices are very affordable. Awesome experience for a first tattoo. Totally recommend Primary Concepts!! —ViVi
2009-07-14 14:34:20 placed a $5 deposit on some plugs they were supposed to order and they said they'd call when they came in (2-3 weeks). not only did the plugs never come in, but they never called. ON TOP OF THAT, i have called numerous times (at least 4 times, spread out weeks apart) to figure out what happened, and they would tell me repeatedly that they would just call back. it's been over 6 months and i still haven't gotten my 5 dollar deposit back nor the plugs they were supposed to order. totally unprofessional. i thought urban body's attitude was bad, but at least they follow through and are up front about being jackasses. —datsyuk
- I won't try to justify whatever is going on here with excuses, but rather we would like to show you the true integrity and charisma of our shop. Please stop by and speak with any one of us and we'll gladly try to take care of you. We do really hope for your forgiveness and that everything can be worked out. -sincerely, Primary Concepts
2009-07-16 10:25:47 I got my tragus pierced by Nathan about two months ago, and my experience was wonderful! Highly recommended. —LauraKaroly
2009-08-08 11:18:54 I have had good experiences getting pierced at primary concepts, they know what they are doing. But its a pain because more than 50% of the times ive wanted to get something done there is no piercer there. Ive learned to call before going, after walking in 3 times and no piercer was there or they were closed (on a day when they were supposed to be open). —equitonic
-Equitonic- You are right, calling first assures you that a piercer will be there and is not on his lunch break or is running shop errands. I have amended our piercing description above to include your valid suggestion. We have had some weird piercing schedules in the past, but now that (workaholic) Nathan is at the shop 9 HOURS A DAY, 5 DAYS A WEEK we don't think you will encounter this problem anymore! Please come in at your whim for a piercing and we will look forward to your call beforehand ;) !! love, Primary Concepts
2009-10-12 16:19:51 I got my nose pierced a couple years ago and the person who did it really messed up and it has never healed right. Does anyone know the price to get your nose pierced here? including jewelry? im thinking of repierced and i heard this was good? —alphalau
2009-10-26 22:37:58 Just got my first tattoo there a couple days ago from the apprentice Brittany. She was really professional and helpful for somebody who was a little nervous about it and did a great job. The shop was really clean and beautifully decorated too. Definitely the best place. —AlexLane
2009-11-08 05:29:01 i like primary concepts. great group of folks. kai is an amazing artist. —WarrenJones
2009-11-13 17:20:23 I have had my naval pierced and got my first tattoo (a rib piece) from Primary Concepts. I have no complaints. I walked in with a million questions, and they patiently and professionally answered every one. I would highly recommend them to anyone who asks. PS: my artist was Brittany, the apprentice. She's amazing, and very sweet. =) —ReeseLayton
2009-11-17 16:40:04 I have two teenage daughters, oldest is almost 18, and youngest 161/2. They had their belly buttons pierced at another Davis facility six months back. I chose that business place because it was the only one that I was aware of in Davis. I was very dissapointed with the service and did not feel welcome by the person who did the procedure. (the tatoo artists where very friendly though) I felt like we were an annoyance. A month or so later my youngest had to have her appendix removed along with her belly button ring. She was anxious to have the piercing redone however, I was determined to find a different place. I used my new iPhone to search the web, this time (either my valley yellow pages are outdated, or I didn't see primary concepts the first time) I found this site and called immediately. The person I talked to was friendly, professional and informed me of exactly what ID was required ( my address is a PO Box my daughter accidently put our physical address, 2 trips required on 1st experience) and invited us to come in at any time." WOW," what a difference between our experiences in the exact same scenerio. Nathan was AWSOME! He was so patient and informative ! I had never heard of interior or exterior threading! Nathan was extremely sanitary and spent time marking the spots, then blink, it was over with hardley a notice. The piercing was quick and it looked great and straight ( finally) . My daughter was thrilled she. " didn't even feel it. " My husband brought my older daughter in later to have her nose pierced, again done by Nathan and again a thouroughly pleasant experience. My husband was amazed at the difference in the atmosphere and very Impressed with Nathan. Again he devoted 100% of his attention to us. We will be returning tonight for my younger daughters nose and upper ear. As two parents not completely thrilled about multiple piercing, we are put at ease by the staffs knowledge and experience. We feel welcomed by the entire staff. The temperature is perfect not overheated at all and there is room to walk around and enjoy the featured art work. Nathan also does follow-ups to check the piercing site and make neccesary adjustments. As Davis born and raised natives, we like to support local businesses, Primary Concepts is a pleasure to support. I wish I had searched harder the first time. Thank you! Ali G.
2009-12-02 13:33:19 I highly recommend Primary Concepts! I called them up to ask about getting a VCH piercing and got Nathan on the phone. He is the most soft-spoken, mild-mannered and HELPFUL piercer I've ever dealt with. I came into the shop later that day for the piercing and he remembered our conversation and helped me right away. Great communication, professionalism, and he is a talented piercer. Getting pierced with him was easy, comfortable, and virtually painless! I will be returning to get more piercings from him! —Pomona2006
2009-12-05 12:40:40 I was on the fence about a tattoo for a very long time but finally decided on a somewhat reserved tat that only contained script. From looking at the portfolio pics on this davis wiki page I decided that Kai Smart would be a good choice for me and she was phenomenal. I highly recommend this place, everyone here is good at what they do and for me it was a painless (relatively) experience. Thanks Kai! :) —soldieroftafari
2010-02-04 10:44:59 My wife recently got a tattoo here to cover up an older tattoo that was very faded. Kai did an excellent job working around the existing work and creating something new and beautiful. Kai is very kind and has a passion for art. Her art is absolutely awesome, I especially like her use of art nouveau and organic motifs (I am a huge fan of art nouveau and I was very impressed with her quality and grasp of the style). I keep thinking about getting a tatoo, when I finally do I know I will go see Kai. I have also seen some very impressive work with colors come from this shop. There is definitely something about this shop that sets it above and beyond others. —DagonJones
2010-02-11 11:37:51 Just got a new tattoo here on Tuesday. Jessica is awesome! I brought in a very detailed design (the wing of an extinct insect) fully expecting that it would have to be simplified. Jessica INVENTED a new technique to get the fine detailing on the wing. It turned out amazing, far beyond my wildest expectations. The atmosphere is clean, bright, comfortable and colorful—plus great music on the stereo. Highly recommended! —neilk
2010-02-11 22:31:55 I got my first tattoo here 2 weeks ago and I love the job that Kai did! Kai was very patient and made sure the tattoo came out clean and perfect. She, along with everyone else I talked to there, was very friendly and professional and I really liked the relaxing atmosphere the place had. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone considering a tattoo, especially if it's your first one =) —asianmike
2010-02-12 12:23:40 i think i've gotten almost 6 piercings done at primary concepts....they are SO good! All my friends that want to get piercings go here too (because I tell them how fabulous it is!). I went to the other place, urban body, once and they severely messed up my cartilage piercing...PRIMARY CONCEPTS IS THE PLACE TO GO. I'm thinking of getting a small tat soon too and I'll probably be going here :) —sarahderemer
2010-03-04 20:21:14 I got my first tattoo here a while ago from Kai and I could not be happier with it. I love it. It is a part of me. Kai was super chill and great company during the process. The shop is like none other I have ever seen - they use natural products and the tattooing is done in a large open room with other tattoo artists inking up the other customers at the same time, everyone peacefully going about their own business. It was a great experience and everyday I plan out my next tattoo for PrimaryConcepts. —AndrewTremain
2010-06-07 10:43:06 The quality of the tattoo art here is amazing. It's crazy that we have these fantastic artists in the little town of Davis. Hands down, the best place in Davis to be tattooed. I've been pierced here a couple times. I've also been pierced at Urban Body a few times. The piercers at PC as well as the people working the reception area are much more helpful, much more comfortable, and much more conversational than the people at Urban. They ask questions and explain the options/possibilities. When I've been pierced at PC, they've always been sure to talk out what exactly I wanted and make sure that we were on the same page as far as placement, gauge, jewelry. In short, they take their time and want to make sure that you're going to be completely happy with what you're getting done... Cannot say the same for Urban. Urban is more of a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" kind of place. —Janny
2010-06-10 14:38:32 There are not enough superlatives in the lexicon to describe how amazing Pri Con is. One "caveat" (for lack of a more suitable term) is that this is not your average everyday tattoo parlor, or shop or whatever title one typically applies after the word "tattoo" to describe an establishment; this is a studio. Which is a very, very good thing. Jessica and Kai create art - your view of it is your own, but make no mistake, they are artists.
The vibe is very relaxing and non-threatening and free from any sense of pretentiousness. A serious deviation from other places I have patronized over the years. Places that were full of attitude, testosterone and arrogance. Not at Pri Con. Jess and Kai are genuine, approachable, personable, gentle, but most of all they are attentive. Jessica listened patiently while I explained my vision for my latest tattoo, the story behind it, and clearly articulated my thoughts through her artistry.
As you may have guessed, I absolutely love how my tattoo came out. A complete and accurate reflection of my wishes and my vision, but perfectly embellished and brought to life by Jessica's exceptionally skilled hands.
I am incredibly grateful to have finally found an artist that I can trust implicity.
My kids have said that the tattoo that Jessica did "rocks!". High praise, indeed. And I concur.
2010-06-25 23:22:22 Jessica is my sister, and I adore her. This may not be helpful to anyone, but I would never have my first tattoo done by anyone else OTHER than her. Not purely because she's my sister, but also because of her light touch and amazing talent. She's one of the more genuine people ever. —Serbear
2010-08-07 20:55:15 My fiancee and I just got our tattoos done here by Kai. It was an amazing experience. She made sure all the art was perfect and was willing to make as many adjustments as necessary to make sure it was done right. The final product is crisp and clean. The service was relaxing and laid back. We would both be willing to come back in the future if we decide to get more tattoos! —themichelle
2010-08-12 23:36:29 came back again for a second tattoo, again by kai smart... a truly amazing artist who utterly blew my mind when she went out of her way to create an actual sumi-e inspired ink painting of the image i had in mind. it was extremely thoughtful of her to go through all of that time and effort, especially on an art style she said she hadn't really done before! not that compliments were ever the motivation behind my newest tattoos, but i get tons of them daily from people who have "never seen something so unique and beautiful before."
only one tiny hiccup... i did have one girl come up to me to tell me that she had seen the exact same tattoo on the ribs of another girl who had also gotten hers at PC, but by jessica. is it typical for exact images to be reused? (the girl also seemed a little misinformed since she proceeded to tell me that jessica was the only one who actually drew all the artwork at PC... o_o;;) —cas
Hey Cas, it's Kai here, addressing your question. With a little deduction I figure that you are the client that got the sumi-style cranes on your forearms? I haven't done actual paintings for many designs, so it's pretty easy to remember ;)
I have been trying to figure this out, since Jess and I don't duplicate tattoos or copy each other- (though she did teach me to tattoo, so our styles may look a little alike)- the word "Custom" in the type of tattooing we do denotes that every customer gets an original piece of art. We are very strict about this.
I think the tattoo that the girl must have seen was also by ME & not Jess, I did do a flock of cranes on a girl's left lower back not long after yours (she wanted them in black and grey too, like yours). They must have looked similar because the same artist (me!) drew both of them. Anyway, sorry about a weird experience. I'm glad you love your tattoo though. I do too! —KaiSmart
2011-02-05 17:15:29 Got my first tattoo here from Brittany and couldn't be happier with the work. The studio was a great atmosphere, beautiful artwork on the walls, good tunes on the stereo. Super-friendly, knowledgeable, skilled staff. All around good experience, especially for a nervous first-timer. Will definitely be back for work here in the future. —BrendanGregg
2011-02-25 16:23:04 I have gotten the majority of my tattoo work done in LA and Orange County because I am hesitant and picky about new tattoo artists, but the artists and staff at Primary Concepts have always kept me coming back and curious. Brittany did a neck piece for me when she first came to PC, and I am really happy with how beautiful it turned out. A year later, I ran into her again while I was with a friend curious about getting some work done, and she ended up touching a tattoo on my arm and it looks absolutely radiant compared to before. I love the atmosphere at PC and I recommend it to anyone who is a little shy or curious, and pretty much anyone who is looking for some artwork done by friendly folks. I am excited to get more work done and happy to find a new home here, instead of waiting when I return to southern california to get work done :) Cheers! —AlexDao
2011-03-05 15:34:14 A positive note about this place is that the artists are talented and very adept at working with unique and non-conventional designs. However, that's really all that's good about this place. Most everyone there is condescending, rude and FLAKEY. If you make an appointment, expect them to call you to reschedule 2 or 3 times, sometimes the same day as your appointment. Alternately, they won't even bother to call, when you show up at your appointment you'll find the artist is too busy and they'll turn you away. Very, very, VERY bad customer service and people skills. I don't know how these people stay in business, treating their customers that way. —chamomile
2011-03-05 20:22:36 A positive note about this place is that the artists are talented and very adept at working with unique and non-conventional designs. However, that's really all that's good about this place. Most everyone there is condescending, rude and FLAKEY. If you make an appointment, expect them to call you to reschedule 2 or 3 times, sometimes the same day as your appointment. Alternately, they won't even bother to call, when you show up at your appointment you'll find the artist is too busy and they'll turn you away. Very, very, VERY bad customer service and people skills. I don't know how these people stay in business, treating their customers that way. —chamomile
2011-03-20 14:45:25 Comment for Chamomile- above: I'm sorry you had this experience but I understand that rescheduling does happen. We at Primary Concepts are in the midst of changes right now, Jessica the owner is traveling abroad for a couple months, I (Kai) live in Santa Cruz and only come up to Davis one week a month to tattoo, and so we only have one artist working right now. With that and everyone getting sick it's been tough to staff our shop! I'm sorry if anyone was rude or condescending. We pride ourselves on not being that kind of a shop and providing an ego-free environment. If someone was rude it may have been due to them shouldering a huge work load because we are understaffed right now. —KaiSmart
2011-03-27 00:08:21 Oh wow! Got my tattoo here today by Kai Smart. Really pleasant experience in the studio where everyone was friendly and chatty. Kai was awesome and didn't mind two of my friends hanging out in the studio while I was being worked on. She also seemed really understanding about the amount of pain for my tattoo and didn't yell at me for twitching my toes while she worked on my feet. Her line work was perfect, to boot! All in all it was a wonderful experience and I am definitely coming back to get another here.
Regarding Chamomile's comment(s), I really did not experience any of the negative things reported there. It was probably a fluke, if true. —nmendoza
2011-05-12 16:19:46 They have an awesome atmosphere in a prime location. The talent there is unparalleled. They have multiple artists there, but Jamie is my favorite. She listens to what I wanted and put in the time to come up with a perfect custom piece. She even came in on her day off to accommodate my schedule. I am very pleased with the services I have received here and would recommend the studio to anyone, but especially Jamie Draven. Another nice feature is free parking unlike many of the shops in the Sacramento area. Please Check out Jamie Draven and Primary Concepts on Facebook. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get work done by the most skilled artist in Northern California!!! —NetworkVirus
2011-05-12 16:31:27 @ Chamomile Im surprized to read your comment. I have not expirienced anything like that. I did have to make an appointment for my consult and start day, but I would rather wait and get the custom piece I am paying for. After I was established as a customer with my artist, Jamie Draven, I have not had any problems. Im usually the one who is late and she has come in more than once on her day off just to work around my schedule. As for customer service I love the shop. I have had great conversations with anyone in the shop. Natalie who works at the counter is very friendly and efficient. I wanted a cute gift certificate for gift and she went out of her way to make one just because I asked. Im sorry you had such a bad expirience, but Im sure if you tried again you would have a great expirience. I wouldn't buy gift certifcates for my friends and family if I did not believe they were anything less than a great business. —NetworkVirus
2011-05-20 23:41:41 I got both of my tattoos at Primary Concepts, and honestly I would go nowhere else. The atmosphere is amazing, everyone is nice and friendly, and the experience is totally worth it. Jamie gets kudos for the phoenix on my shoulder, and Brittany gets credit for the script on my ribs. Both lovely ladies are amazing, talented artists and great people. (As is everyone else in the shop, ladies or gentlemen.) —ReeseLayton
2012-06-05 15:29:47 Out of curiosity is Jessica Cooke still tattooing somewhere? I have a piece from her and want to get it added onto. —mra
2013-11-26 15:45:50 I got my first tattoo at Primary Concepts and had a wonderful experience. However, that good experience was completely overshadowed by today's poor experience. I went into Primary Concepts at 12:45pm and spoke to Jonny. I explained what I wanted done and he said that he had availability that same day at 3pm. I said, Great! I'd be back at 3pm. When 3pm rolled around, I showed up and was not attended to. Finally after about ten minutes, another artist (and likely the owner) came up and asked me what I needed. I said I had an appointment with Jonny at 3pm. He said, are you sure? I said....yes?? He said I should go talk to Jonny. I went in and found Jonny with another customer. He said, Oh I'll be done at 5:30pm is that too late? I said yes. I asked him why he said for me to come in at 3, he said, Oh, I had another customer come in. Excellent customer service, there. —GAvila
2013-11-27 12:09:30 I don't recommend this place! i had to call multiple times during business hours before i got someone to answer just to inquire about how much a piercing costs to get done. i had to make multiple trips to the shop to drop off my jewelry (since it needed to be sterilized ahead of time. it took multiple times because they kept closing before their posted closing times so i missed them. and then i made an appointment to get pierced and the guy showed up almost 30 minutes late! as the people providing the service you should be open during your posted business hours and especially when i make an appointment you should be there to provide that service then. the guy that pierced me was very nice(very cool guy!) but it really doesn't make up for the run around(literal running) that i had to do in order to do business with you. —TaysiaShaffer
2014-09-30 21:50:52 I went in today to buy a nose stud to replace my nose ring. The staff were friendly and helpful, and the employee in charge of piercings (Freddie, I believe he was called?) was very friendly, sterile, and efficient. I would definitely come back. —DanikaWeden