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Sidney's Janza studio a one stop shop tattoos, piercings, haircuts, and more

Rick and Jane Janzen opened their shop 24 years ago
Rick and Jane Janzen owe and operate a one-stop shop for tattoos, haircuts, and more in Sidney.

There’s a little shop on Sidney’s Fifth Street that’s a bit of a throwback to times gone by – to a time when the local barbershop provided more than a shave and a haircut.

“Back in the 1930’s, it was pretty common to have tattoo artists in the back of a barber shop. I guess that’s what gave us the idea,” said Rick Janzen, who, along with his wife Jane, operates Janza Studio in Sidney.

Of course, you can drop in to the shop for a haircut or to have your hair styled, but, if you’re so inclined, have can have a body part pierced and decorated or sit for an expert tattoo of your choice.

Basically, you could come out looking like a radically different person, although most folks opt for a more incremental approach.

“It was actually my wife’s idea to combine the services. It was a great idea but then most of the good things in my life came from Jane. We’ve been married for 29 years, and she’s always been my rock,” Janzen said.

Although Rick and Jane only opened their shop in 2000, the backgrounds they bring to their respective crafts goes back much further.

“Jane learned to do hair from her father, a master stylist, when she was in her teens, and I started doing tattoos when I was 12. They were just the old poke and ink things and not very good, but I always loved art and my father was an artist and it inspired me to be one as well,” Janzen said.

All that experience has certainly contributed to the rave reviews experienced by the shop, but Rick and Jane offer another feature that is definitely a throwback to an earlier time. They are genuinely nice people and love their work.

They’re also not shy about offering some commonsense advice to prospective clients.

“Sometimes we’ll have someone come in wanting something really bad,” said Jane. “Young girls come in and ask for a tattoo on a place on their body that, well, is a really bad idea. I tell them that later on in life they might not want to be showing off that part of their body.”

“They sometimes take offence and say, ‘You’re not my mother’ and I say, ‘No, I’m not, but I’m a woman and I’m telling you the facts’.”

Rick isn’t shy about offering advice to his customers either.

He’s turned away customers who wanted tattoos that are hate based or just bad ideas. He won’t do the names of girlfriends or boyfriends as those will almost certainly change while the tattoo remains. And sometimes the requests are inexplicable.

In a way, said Jane, the tattoos and piercings, and even the hair styles that people choose are a bit of a Rorschach test.

(For the uninitiated, the Rorschach test is a projective psychological test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning.)

“It tells you about people. They do things and a lot of times it’s an emotional thing. But in a year that emotion is gone, and they’re stuck with their choices,” said Jane. “What do they do then?”

“Other times they don’t think about the future and what their body will be like. A girl who gets a rose bud tattooed on her breast may find that, when she’s older, it’s become a long-stemmed rose.”

All those factors are equally relevant to piercings and the Janzen’s help to guide their clients to make good choices.

“The worst thing about piercings is that people don’t realize that the process can hurt. I’ve been punched, kicked, cursed at and generally abused. I’ve had people pass out, pee their pants and in one case, poop their pants after passing out,” said Rick. “That doesn’t happen with tattoos.”

Still, Rick is fully trained and certified and has a friendly and supportive approach, so those instances are rare.

“The best thing about this job is the smile on people’s faces when you finish giving them what they want and they look at it and they love it,” he said. “That tells me we’ve done it right.”