Ink’d Chron: Every tattoo has a story

In Art, Arts & Entertainment, Top Stories

Popping the top of a Michelob Ultra, Terry Dipple repeats the question many people say when in dire need—“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?”

Terry, the owner of Ink’d Chronicles Tattoo and Piercing in Pomona, opened shop doors in 2007.

What started as a mere business opportunity has turned into a tattoo shop that helps the community in various ways.

“If someone would have told me ten years ago that I was going to live in Downtown Pomona and own a tattoo shop, I would have told them they were crazy,” said Terry.

Terry is not your average tattoo shop owner. He is not covered in body art.

In fact, he got his first tattoo ten years ago and does not tattoo customers. Instead, he works on the business side for the shop.

“You don’t want a tattoo from him,” joked Tess Dipple, daughter of Terry. “Unless it’s a stick figure.”

Ink’d Chronicles was a family business since the beginning. Tess has been piercing customers for four and a half years.

She claims that she never had the artistic style to draw and grasped onto the idea of piercings.

“I like the artists in this industry,” said Tess. “Artists come and go so it’s always cool to meet new people and see different styles of tattooing.

Terry has an appreciation for tattoos as an art.

He was mayor of San Dimas and worked on the city council for 20 years. The experience he gained from those positions helped him get his shop approved.

“The art drew me to the idea of the tattoo shop,” said Terry.

Terry wanted a tattoo shop that would also include an art gallery that would fit with the vibe of the downtown area.

Tattoos are no longer for drunken sailors and bikers. Tattoos are a way for people to express their individuality and their life.

Four years ago, Terry’s fiancée Michelle Cowles was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Terry tattooed a pink ribbon on the side of his leg and Tess tattooed a pink ribbon behind her ear, to show their support.

Michelle went through treatment and was declared cancer free. Wanting to help the cause, Terry formed a tattoo fundraiser called Tattoos for the Cure.

Overall, the shop has raised over $31,000 for the Breast Health Program at the Lewis Family Cancer Care Center.

The shop hosts the annual fundraiser in October during breast cancer awareness month.

Ink’d Chronicles was also involved in National Make a Difference Day with the United Way at Garey High School.

The Ink’d crew, along with other recruited artists, spent days preparing the school to be painted and beautified.

“I love to be involved because it makes your community better and that’s important,” said Terry. “Its not just about doing that tattoo on that person, it’s a bigger picture and we should be doing things like this.”

Sean Kreitlow, a tattoo artist at the shop, has been tattooing for seven years. Once he got into tattooing, he fell in love.

“I like to do bold colorful tattoos,” said Sean. “I like the traditional aspect of tattooing—bold, clean designs. A tattoo should look like a tattoo.”

Terry’s vision of his shop is to be the Nordstrom of tattoo shops. He wants people to feel welcome but not pressured. He reiterates that the shop is not successful because of him.

“I tell my artists that were a partnership,” said Terry. “I provide a quality space and nice environment, and they provide quality art.”

No matter what kind of tattoo a person decides to get, they all fit the Ink’d Chronicles slogan: “Every tattoo has a story.” So what will your tattoo story be?

To view piercing and tattoo portfolios by the artists, go to

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