The Ivory Rose

The Ivory Rose 2

A leg tattoo by Kyle Harrison inspired by the Tim Burton movie “Mars Attacks!”

The Ivory Rose
90 Washington St., Suite 303
Dover, NH

If you’re seeking bold, traditional American and Japanese tattooing styles, The Ivory Rose is worth exploring. Unlike your stereotypical, massive walk-in shop that usually scratches that design itch, The Ivory Rose is small and private.

Kyle Harrison and Steve Minerva opened the shop in 2020 after working together for eight years at another location. “We found that we had a very similar style, and our clients were the same type of people,” Harrison says. So, opening a specialized space together made sense.

At 33, Harrison grew up during the early-aughts heyday of Myspace, Inked magazine and the TV show “Miami Ink,” so he never questioned the legitimacy of tattooing as a career. “I’ve always been a tattooer,” Harrison says. “I’ve never really had other jobs.”

Both his and Minerva’s styles draw inspiration from classic designs, though Harrison says he’s more likely to stray away from the style. Harrison prefers to draw his designs from scratch instead of tracing or building off existing flash. As he describes it, his work has “all the language of a classic tattoo, but it’s done a bit differently.” In his portfolio, you’re just as likely to find a bleeding heart or crawling tiger as a Dunkin’ donut or “Mars Attacks!” martian. Even when he leans toward pop culture, Harrison likes using classic tattoo techniques because of their tried-and-true durability.

The Ivory Rose

This upper-body tattoo from The Ivory Rose is inspired by the bold, traditional styles of Japanese and American tattoos.

“People are surprised at how good a traditionally applied Japanese tattoo looks when it’s done well,” he says. “When I decide on a design, I’m anticipating what it will look like in five years.” Creating lines of similar thickness, focusing on even spacing and picking the best placement on the body for a design are key to a tattoo’s longevity, according to Harrison.

Though Harrison says he has enough repeat clients to be booked out a year or more in advance, he prefers to “be more nimble with booking — so I have it booked down to about the three- or four-month mark,” he says.

If you want to get in sooner, having a flexible schedule is the best way to make that happen — clients who, for example, are open to a Wednesday morning appointment have a better chance of getting on the books quickly than the many people who are only available on Saturday afternoon. Those who’ve already started collecting traditional tattoos might welcome the change of pace Harrison’s and Minerva’s space offers. “It’s not a gigantic tattoo shop,” Harrison says. “The door isn’t opening for anybody who isn’t getting tattooed, and the phone’s not ringing off the hook, because we handle it all through email.”

For the first time in his career, Harrison says he’s able to only focus on the tattoo appointments he has that day. “I only work on a couple tattoos a day,” he says. “It’s the perfect speed. My clients can hang out.”

The Ivory Rose Steve Minerva

A recently completed belly tattoo by Steve Minerva combines floral, wings and insect ink work.


Note from the editor: 01 Nhm Cover Sept No Upc

This profile appeared as part of a larger article in the September 2023 issue of New Hampshire Magazine highlighting some of the wonderfully talented tattoo studios in the Granite State.

To learn more about the other studios, click here.

Categories: Tattoo Studios