Editor’s note: This is an ongoing series of stories on Xenia’s downtown privately owned businesses. The Gazette will feature another business next week.
XENIA — Tony Seimers, owner and senior tattoo artist of Totem Gallery, recalled his first tattoo, which he created himself shortly before his job interview at a tattoo shop in Dayton.
“I wanted to get the job,” he said. “I was an artist trying to find my niche.”
Seimers, or “Papa Tony,” opened Totem Gallery at 31 W. Main Street in 2009 after designing tattoos in Dayton. Seimers has been a tattoo artist for 23 years. According to Seimers, he and his staff of three other tattoo artists work on roughly 10 to 15 tattoos per week, but business fluctuates depending on the time of year.
The Gazette posed some questions to the business owner. Here’s what Seimers had to say:
What does Totem Gallery do to get business?
“We’re all word-of-mouth. I’m not pushing social media too much … but we have a new Instagram account.”
Why did you choose Xenia for your location?
“I already lived here … My family moved in ‘76 from Chicago … I got tired of driving all the way to northern Dayton for work.”
What’s the most unique tattoo an artist from Totem Gallery has created?
“I personally am working on one for a girl, and it takes up about 70 percent of her body. It’s reminiscent of South Pacific tribal art.”
What’s one thing you want everyone to know about Totem Gallery?
“We’re good and relaxed. We care about the art and not just about the money.”
What can businesses do to make downtown Xenia better?
“Add color! Every building around here is gray or beige. People want a visual experience. Add murals and other visuals.”
Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 12-8 p.m. Sundays. Totem’s Instagram account (@totemgallery) features various tattoos created by Totem employees. You can learn more about Totem Gallery by visiting www.totemgallery.com or by calling 937-372-7595.
The Totem Gallery
Sydney Dawes is a freelance writer for Xenia Daily Gazette.
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