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We have decided to create a blog for the shop. This blog will keep you up to date with the happenings at the shop and our artists. Keep an eye out for future posts!


For our first post, we thought why not take a trip down memory lane? The Torchbearer was not an easy venture for us, in fact this was not our original plan for the shop.

Due to city politics, we widened our search to Rhode Island. We found a few spots available in The Hope Artiste Village in October of 2013 and signed a lease then and there.


Due to even more city politics, we were not able to start building until January 2014.

Thanks to a lot of hard work and determination we were finally ready to open to the public on April 7 2014.

After years of talking, months of searching, weeks of city hall paper work, and days of geting the shop decorated it was amazing to finally open our shop. We knew we were taking a gamble by opening an appointment only shop tucked away in an old mill. By sheer determination and the support of our friends, family, and clients we made it work.

opening party

After a few months, we were able to add to our shop. We were not looking to bring in people but wanted to surround ourselves with other great tattooers and people. Torchbearer grew with the addition of Cathy Johnson and Erik Rieth. Cathy has been tattooing in MA and RI for over 14 years. She had been working for the last 10 years at Regeneration Tattoo in Allston MA. She has created a style of tattooing that 100% her own and adds cheer and smiles to the shop.

Erik has been tattooing for over 25 years and up until he left CA was a con-owner of 7th Son Tattoo. Erik needed a change of sceneray and found himself on the East Cost. He has brought some amazing Japanese tattoos into our shop, and a great head of hair.

When we hit our 1 year anniversary, we decided to do something special- we had Erik school our asses with a great dragon seminar. That seminar was a hit and later lead to Erik doing a second dragon seminar in January 2015 and later a 3rd in September 2016.

Having events like the seminars helped to bring local and non-local tattooers together in the tiny state of RI. One thing we want to foster is a healthy connection to the tattoers around us. We always welcome and enjoy tattooers coming by to say hello. In the vein of bringing tattooers together, we were blessed again to host another seminar this time with Brian MacNeil. Brian wowed us with his amazing oil painting skills.

Over the past few years we have also had some great guest artists come through. Noah Moore

Dan Troccio

Myles Karr

Shawn Brown

Heather Bailey

Emmanual Mendoza

Jenn Lee

Chad Koeplinger

We will continue to host guest artists in the coming months and years. All of these people have helped us cultivate what The Torchbearer is today. We also owe a lot to our friends and families who stood by while we went a little insane opening a shop. A special thanks goes out to Kate Wells who was not afraid to help out with paperwork or painting the shop. She was extremely instrumental in the shop opening, thank you Kate. We also have Jess Lynn who has helped keep the shop looking presentable for us. She is always ready to work no questions asked. Of course it can’t go with out saying that we owe all of this to our great clients. People have followed us from all over New England and even father to get tattooed. We are very honored to know we have a loyal crew of cleints that were willing to follow us into this experiment. Thank you all for an amazing past few years years. We can only hope the up coming years can compete with the pace we set so far.