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Biz Buzz: She never considered art as a profession, until she met a tattoo artist

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Pictures of customer’s tattoos at Govannon Studios in Idaho Falls | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Do you want to know what’s happening on the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered.

Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BRIEF

IDAHO FALLS

New tattoo parlor opens up in Idaho Falls

Sydney Wirtzfeld, left, giving tattoo to customer, and Govannon Studios interior, right | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – Sydney Wirtzfeld has always loved to draw, but she never thought her artistic abilities would lead to a career as a tattoo artist.

Wirtzfeld and her fiancee Nathanial Pickering, just opened Govannon Studios, a tattoo parlor at 1120 S. Boulevard, Ste. 101 in Idaho Falls.

The idea for the business began about ten years ago when Wirtzfeld was pursuing a nursing degree in college. She met someone who was looking for an apprentice at his tattoo parlor.

“I didn’t know the first thing about a tattoo studio,” Wirtzfeld tells EastIdahoNews.com. “But I gathered up all my sketches and doodles and took them into this guy and he said, ‘Cool, I’ll see you on Tuesday.’

Wirtzfeld, who didn’t even have any tattoos of her own at that time, was instantly thrown into the tattoo industry, where she says she was exposed to a whole new world of art.

“Tattooing introduced me to fine art, to illustrations and commission-based art, and a lot of underground artists that I would never have been exposed to without having been in the tattoo industry,” Wirtzfeld says. “There’s a basis in the fine arts industry that (informs) what I do.”

In the years since, Wirtzfeld says she has had many clients most people wouldn’t expect to have tatoos.

“There is some pretty high-end businessman who wear business suits all day and deal with very serious matters on a professional level. You would never assume they had this alter-ego in their home life,” says Wirtzfeld. “It’s taught me to be an open-minded person towards everybody.”

Ribs, feet, and arms are some of the more common places to get a tattoo, according to Wirtzfeld, but many people like them in places where they can be hidden.

“Bottoms of toes are an interesting request. They don’t hold up very well and they’re extremely painful,” she says.

Tattoos on the rear-end or genitals are also fairly common, according to Wirtzfeld.

Wirtzfeld says she gets a lot of looks from people in this community who see her tattoos. It’s not usually negative, she says, but more of a curiosity.

The reasons people get tattoos are wide and varied. Some want to remember a loved one who died or cover up scars. For others, it’s a form of self-expression.

The average customer at Govannon Studios is between the ages of 27 and 35 and parental consent is required for people 16 and under. Wirtzfeld also sells custom wall hangings, t-shirts, skate decks and lapel pins. In the future, Wirtzfeld says she’d like to offer body piercings and jewelry.

“We pride ourselves on being friendly and open. There’s never such a thing as a dumb idea or a bad question,” says Wirtzfeld. “Some people are intimidated by a tattoo studio, especially if it’s their first time coming in. So we like to be pleasant and friendly and make everyone feel comfortable.”

A grand opening is scheduled for Sunday, March 3. Co-owner Nathanial Pickering says they will be handing out raffle tickets to everyone that steps through the door to come see the studio. A drawing will take place at the end of the week for two $150 gift certificates. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for $5.

Govannon Studios is open 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment Sunday and Monday. Learn more on the company’s Facebook page.

BIZ BITS

New crisis center opening in Pocatello soon

POCATELLO – Southeast Idaho Behavioral Crisis Center is coming to Pocatello in April. The facility will provide 24-hour mental health assistance for people in crisis, according to the Idaho State Journal. Matt Hardin, the new director and his assistant director began interviews Tuesday to fill 25 positions. If you’re interested in applying, call Myrna Daniels at (208) 821-1790, or email myrnad.bestllc@gmail.com.

Idaho Falls Zoo hosting grand opening of new education center

IDAHO FALLS – There will be a grand opening of the new zoo education center at the entrance of the Idaho Falls Zoo this Friday. Construction on the 4,500 square foot building began last spring. Last year, the zoo provided organized educational programs for over 2,000 guests, but only 400 guests were able to participate directly in classes because of the lack of space.

During the groundbreaking last May, Zoo Executive Director David Pennock told the crowd the new building will enhance the ability to educate more kids. The new center includes three classrooms to accommodate more than 200 students as well as storage and office space. The grand opening will be on Friday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m.

RELATED | Ground broken on new Idaho Falls Zoo Education Center

New hatchet throwing business opening in Rexburg

REXBURG – Since the Singing Waffle closed its doors last June, many people have wondered what’s happening to the vacant building. Heber Hatchets, an ax-throwing venue, recently purchased the space at 157 North Second East. They’re currently renovating the building and hope to open sometime next month. The same company is opening another location in Pocatello as well. EastIdahoNews.com is planning a follow-up and will post more information when it is available.

BIZ BUGS

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE ONLINE REVIEW

Can you tell the difference between a fake review and a real one?

The following is a news release from the Better Business Bureau.

You are planning on going out to eat or looking at buying something new. You head to read the latest reviews.

The online review space is one of the most popular ways consumers are sharing opinions about businesses and products. Eight-eight percent of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to the Better Business Bureau. While this gives consumers more information before making purchases, it also opens the door for dishonest businesses to create fake reviews online.

With a recent outbreak of fake online review scandals involving companies such as Amazon and Facebook, the BBB is urging you to be cautious when looking at reviews online. Knowing how to tell the difference between a real review and a fake one could save you a lot of money and headache.

In an effort to combat the flood of fake online reviews, many vendors are now adding a ‘Verified Purchase’ stamp to legitimate reviews. Oftentimes, consumers will have to register an email address with their account and prove they purchased a product before they are allowed to submit a review. This helps ensure that people who are being paid to leave reviews online have a harder time getting their fake reviews published.

How many times has this happened to you? You read an online review that is paragraphs long and packed with details, only to find their user profile was created a week ago and is nearly empty. Sound familiar? You’re probably dealing with a paid reviewer. These freelancers are often paid to create hundreds of new accounts and leave reviews on products they’ve never purchased. If you encounter a reviewer that fits the above description, you better look elsewhere for a review.

If it sounds like the words are being scripted by someone else, it’s probably fake. Reviews that skew incredibly positive and promise you the world should send up red flags.

The most important thing to remember is to do thorough research before making any purchasing decisions. In addition to checking online reviews, you should visit the BBB Directory and view a company’s business profile.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

How online dating could turn you into a criminal

Construction on new hospital a few weeks ahead of schedule

Cardiologist partners with local businesses to help save lives in eastern Idaho

Costco ‘evaluating’ Idaho Falls area

If you have a Biz Buzz item you want to share, send it to rett.nelson@eastidahonews.com. Remember to use “Biz Buzz” in the subject line. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the free Biz Buzz email newsletter.

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