By Terry Rogers
On Wednesday, December 3, Milford welcomed its newest business when Delaware Branding Inc. opened in the historic Geilinger Building next to M&T Bank on Northwest Front Street. The new company will offer tattoos, piercings and graphic design services for business.
“We loved the downtown feel of Milford,” said co-owner, Amy Perfetti, who opened the business with her husband, Mike. “We specifically wanted to open our new business here and we reached out to the Delaware Economic Development Office to see what we could do to begin our newest venture in this town.” The Perfetti’s owned a successfully tattoo and piercing business in Pennsylvania.
“There was a time when people did not want to come downtown,” Mayor Bryan Shupe said. “The fact that you sought the downtown area to locate your business is a tribute to what we have done to improve the downtown area. The Riverwalk and other attractions are giving downtown a new life. As a business owner myself, I understand the challenges that come with starting a new business, and am excited that you chose our town to begin yours. If there is anything the city can do to help, please let us know.”
Mr. Perfetti is a graphic artist by trade who began tattooing about six years ago. Ms. Perfetti says he will continue doing graphic design, but at their home as the building they are in is not quite large enough for the equipment he needs. Mr. Perfetti also teaches life-skills classes at Howard T. Ennis School in Georgetown.
State officials Diane Laird and Ken Anderson from the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) were in attendance to celebrate the opening. “The downtowns we work with are all my children, but I love the level of humility and support that exists in Milford,” said Diane Laird. “The public and private partnerships here are unlike any other small town in the state. It is clear that a good downtown brings people to the area and Milford’s downtown is becoming a destination location for many.”
Ken Anderson, the Director for Entrepreneurial Support at DEDO, said that he was excited about the things that were happening in Milford. It was Mr. Anderson who helped the Perfetti’s get their start in Milford. “They came to me after our Project Pop-Up program had already closed for this year,” Mr. Anderson said. “They specifically wanted to be in Milford. I made a few phone calls and, within three weeks of them coming to me, we are standing here today at their grand opening.” Mr. Anderson and Lee Nelson, Director of Downtown Milford, Inc., specifically thanked Dan Bond, the landlord of the Geilinger Building, for his assistance in helping get Delaware Branding started in the town.
“Dan has been extremely supportive of new businesses in Milford,” Mr. Nelson said. “One of the businesses that opened in a building he owned grew so rapidly they had to move to a larger space within the year.”
In addition to offering tattoos and piercings, Delaware Branding will feature the “Artist of the Month.” The artists are not tattoo artists, but work in other media, such as photography, watercolor or oil paintings. The Perfetti’s wanted to connect with the artistic community in Milford, which is why they chose to feature the works of artists in the shop. Each artist will have their work on display in the tattoo parlor and at the end of the month, the owners hope to hold a wine and cheese reception to introduce the artist.
For December, the artist of the month is Julie Denney, an artist who moved to the Eastern Shore in 2001. Ms. Denney channels her passion for beachcombing and vintage jewelry collecting into one-of-a-kind art pieces. She creates art using mirrors, vintage jewelry and other eclectic items, and many of her items will be on display at Delaware Branding throughout the month.