Scott’s Addition tattoo shop Moving Mountains on the move to Arts District



Lake Stephens, the creative force behind Moving Mountains Tattoo Collective, has embarked on a new chapter in Richmond’s Arts District—the relocation from Scott’s Addition to 20 E. Broad St. was sparked by the impending redevelopment of their former space and a desire to find a home that resonates with the shop’s unique aesthetic.

In the ever-evolving tapestry of Richmond’s tattoo culture, Moving Mountains Tattoo Collective, under the guidance of owner Lake Stephens, has found a new canvas in the vibrant Arts District. The journey to this unique locale was spurred by the imminent redevelopment of their former Scott’s Addition building, prompting a quest for a space that accommodates their craft and resonates with the spirit of Moving Mountains.

Previously nestled in the Dairy Building at 1600 Roseneath Road, Moving Mountains Tattoo Collective recently reopened its doors at 20 E—Broad St., marking a significant shift in its artistic landscape. The decision to relocate was prompted by the pending demolition of the Dairy Bar property, an unfortunate fate that led to the closure of neighboring establishments over the summer.

The tattoo parlor now occupies approximately 1,400 square feet in a space vacated by Hickok Cole, an architecture firm that moved its office to Scott’s Addition earlier in the year. The fate of the available space aligning with Stephens’ vision for the future decided to settle in the Arts District an easy one.

“I fell in love with Scott’s Addition while we were over there, so I was trying to look for spots there. But I originally wanted a shop in the Arts District. I love being over there. The community, the culture, and the general vibe fit us. I didn’t even look at other spots once I saw (20 E. Broad St.). I just knew this is it for us,” Stephens expressed.

Lake Stephens, whose tattoo journey began in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and continued in Richmond for the past eight years, established Moving Mountains Tattoo Collective in 2021. Despite the looming possibility of demolition, the initial location allowed Stephens to transform the space into a whimsical realm reminiscent of a Bob Ross painting. Lush forest landscapes adorned the walls, creating an interactive experience for patrons.

As Moving Mountains transitions to its new Arts District home, Stephens continues her artistic exploration, contemplating a shift from her signature black-and-white work to embrace color. The new space is undergoing a similar transformation, ensuring patrons step into a rustic atmosphere that echoes the beauty of nature.

Currently operating with Stephens and artist April Raine, Moving Mountains anticipates a grand opening in the spring, inviting the community to explore the fusion of art and ink in their new space.

Beyond tattoo artistry, Stephens is venturing into e-commerce with a meaningful cause. A prosthetic leg in need of replacement has inspired a fundraising initiative. Shirts featuring Stephens’ art are available, with proceeds contributing to acquiring a new prosthesis. Her foray into e-commerce, driven by personal necessity, adds community support to Moving Mountains’ journey.

The convergence of relocating the shop and the prosthetic leg fundraiser has made the second half of 2023 a busy period for Stephens. Despite the challenges, she remains grateful for the support and assistance received during this transformative time.

As Moving Mountains Tattoo Collective breathes new life into the Arts District, it arrives just as another tattoo shop, Unkindness Art, prepares to bid farewell to its longstanding location at 220 W. Broad St., marking yet another shift in the dynamic tapestry of Richmond’s tattoo landscape.

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