1621 W St. Germain St
St. Cloud MN 56301

You don’t need to cleanse yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka before visiting this tattoo shop—just stepping through the door is enough to be faced with Minnesota’s treasure: Prince. Even the building itself tells visitors what to expect: from its purple-painted trim to the stained glass dove in the attic windows (and yes, the window was like that when the building was bought).

Stepping inside the building, one is presented with all things Prince—from photos, to tour posters, and even a replica guitar. Alongside Prince memorabilia sits a variety of other pop culture references from movies and television. It is clear from the start where the shop owner’s interests lie.

The studio was opened by Erik Cagle following the death of Jeff Hunstiger, owner of Jeff’s Tattoo and Total Body Piercing, in 2017. Jeff and his wife Judy played a large role in helping St. Cloud become more regulated in regards to tattoo shop safety before there were state regulations in place. These regulations assured that artists were qualified and their shops remained sterile.

Erik apprenticed under Judy, ultimately tattooing alongside her and Jeff for 18 years. Though Jeff’s Tattoo closed after his death, Erik and Judy have carried on his legacy at Purple Pain.

Judy (L) and Erik (R), February 2019

Erik doesn’t want to be boxed into one particular style with his tattooing—he becomes what the customer needs at the time. There are a few things he doesn’t do, such as portraits or watercolor tattoos, but for the most part he finds that being flexible works best both for the tattoo artist as well as the person they are tattooing.

Judy primarily works in coverups and reworking older tattoos, but finds herself most influenced by traditional Native American art.

See more photos from our visit to Purple Pain below!