Pekin’s Maiden Voyage Tattoo Studio relocated to Peoria last month to take advantage of that city’s business district.

Maiden Voyage re-opened Aug. 7 at 5901 N. Prospect Road in Peoria. The move came after the studio had operated out of the 409 Court St. location for two-and-a-half years. A bonus of the change of venue is that Maiden Voyage co-owners Karin and Jax Janssen live in Peoria, and the new location significantly reduces their daily commute. More than that, though, they believed that the new Junction City site is in a more vibrant business district than Pekin’s downtown area, which will bring in more customers.

“The activities that occur here are phenomenal,” Jax Janssen said while in the studio Tuesday. “From the Wine and Whiskey Walks to the Art Walks to Friday Night Lights, there’s always something going on, and there’s always a great turnout. The boardwalk fills up with people.”

A significant portion of Junction City’s consistently abundant foot traffic has already found its way into Maiden Voyage, said Karin Janssen, who is also one of the studio’s tattoo artists.

“Our sales have gone way up over the past month,” she said. “A bigger city is going to lead to a bigger (client) base, and Junction City has been an established shopping area for 50 years.”

Although the Janssens appreciate ongoing efforts to renovate Pekin’s downtown area and make it a shopping destination, Jax Janssen believes that the city has not yet established itself in that respect. It is convenient location for a Pekinite in need of a lawyer or having business with the city government or the Tazewell County courthouse, but the city has not been able to attract enough small businesses to the area.

“When we were in Pekin, there was a lot of hope for development, and we were very enthusiastic about that,” Jax Janssen said. “It seemed like a lot was starting and I think there were a lot of great intentions, but then it seemed like people got tired.”

The Janssens said they will miss the friends they made while working at their Pekin location.

“We had some amazing neighbors,” said Karin Janssen. “We were really close with Todd Thompson, the developer who was working on revitalizing Pekin, Paula (Bayer) at Yoga Happens Here and Karen Walker from Muse Salon.”

Besides Karin Janssen, there is one other tattoo artist, Sam Lott, and two apprentices, Alli Davis and Shannon Burns. Shop assistant Julia Burns will begin her apprenticeship in October. Maiden Voyage is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“This just ended up being a really good move for us,” Jax Janssen said in a Facebook private message. “We loved our (little) spot in Pekin, but there just wasn’t anything bringing people to the downtown there. Here we can give them good art, and they can turn it into a day long experience of good art, eclectic shopping, great food, delectable desserts (and) endless drinks.”