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Ink Master

The merging of a tattoo shop with a Harley-Davidson dealership is such a natural fit. Both of these entities are built on the concepts of individuality, personal freedom and rebellion.

In the past 12 years, tattoo artist Jim Francis has come a long way, both figuratively and literally. Behind him are his days as a Southern California hell raiser whose drug addictions and lifestyle brought him into repeated conflicts with law. After "learning his lessons the hard way," Jim got married and relocated to Milwaukee in 2009. These days, Francis is one busy guy with a spot on the Spike TV series, "Ink Masters" and as the new owner of Milwaukee Ink Tattoo, the first tattoo studio authorized by Harley-Davidson to be housed within a dealership. Best known for his Japanese and photorealism tattoos, Francis has been profiled in dozens of national magazines and won numerous trophies for his work. It was his work and exposure to the national audience that brought him to the attention of the producers of "Ink Masters," a competition-based reality TV show hosted by musician Dave Navarro. While Francis was certainly grateful for the opportunity to be on the TV show, leaving his newly launched shop was not easy. Built inside Milwaukee Harley-Davidson at 11310 W. Silver Spring Road, Milwaukee Ink is the first external retailer or vendor to be granted permission to operate within the confines of a Harley-Davidson dealership. "The merging of a tattoo shop with a Harley-Davidson dealership is such a natural fit. Both of these entities are built on the concepts of individuality, personal freedom and rebellion. I knew the business model could be a huge success," he says. For appointments and more information, call 414.461.4444 or visit mkeink.com.

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