As tattoos gain acceptance, the parlors that create them have begun migrating from the edgier parts of town to suburban malls and exclusive boutiques. The parlors aim to capture more of the growing market of young people: Some 36% of 18- to 25-year-olds now have tattoos, compared with only 10% of their parents' generation, according to the Pew Research Center. Matt Rosenthal tattoos Jesus Quiles at Tattoo Nation at Willowbrook Mall in New Jersey. But local government officials are queasy about possible health risks, and some traditional tattoo artists have resisted the move to the mall. Tattoo Nation LLC had to tackle such issues when it set out several years ago to be the first mall-based tattoo-parlor chain in the country. It opened its first location in 2006 in the Woodbridge Center Mall in Woodbridge, N.J., 200 feet from Bloomingdale's. Early next year, it will open two stores in New York -- in the Staten Island Mall and the Queens Center mall -- and it is in lease negotiations at more than a dozen other malls around the U.S. Tattoo artist Mario Barth is also developing a tattoo-shop chain. He was able to open his first two stores, in Fairlawn and Paterson, N.J., despite bans on tattooing, but had to sue in 2003 to overturn a ban in Rochelle Park, N.J. He now has four Mario Barth's Starlight Tattoo outlets in New Jersey, as well as one in Malaga, Spain, and one inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. But his battles aren't over: Beverly Hills, Calif., isn't zoned for tattoo parlors, and he wants to lease space there. Hart & Huntington -- named after its owners, freestyle motorcross star Carey Hart and nightclub promoter John Huntington -- is also trying to launch a high-end tattoo-studio chain. It opened its first one five years ago in the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and now has three others, in Honolulu; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and Orlando, Fla. Mr. Hart says he gets calls almost daily from developers who want him to open a shop in their town. He credits the reality TV show "Ink," which he produced for the A&E network, with helping to reduce the tattoo taboo. "It helped people realize it was an art form, a great way for self expression and that the environment is very clean," he says. So far, some traditional mall customers have responded well to the tattoo parlors. Geralyn Stanley, a 32-year-old high-school art teacher and mother of two young girls, wanted a tattoo but was leery of patronizing traditional parlors. When she came across the white-tiled, rock-music-playing Tattoo Nation in the Woodbridge Center Mall, she felt more at ease -- so much so that she has gotten three tattoos in the past year. On one visit, she brought along her mother, a 52-year-old librarian, who got her first tattoo. At a mall in northern New Jersey, a tattoo shop is hoping to become the first mall-based chain of tattoo parlors in the country. WSJ's Ann Zimmerman reports. (Oct. 27) Tattoo Nation says it has enough funds set aside to open at least three more stores immediately and hopes to raise more capital as additional leases are signed. "Our goal is to have 400 stores -- to be as common as Victoria's Secret," says Chief Executive Heath Wolfson, 31, who has a Chai -- the Hebrew symbol that signifies life in Judaism -- tattooed inside his lip. The company's fledgling success -- it turned a profit after 18 months and its sales rose 27% between January 2007 and September 2008 -- hasn't come easy. Nor is its long-term goal guaranteed. The founders realize that raising funds will be harder in the uncertain economy. Company partners, including the founders of an upscale self-service laundry chain and an investment fund, planned to bring standardized business practices to the tattooing industry in locations that were more appealing to mainstream patrons. To win over mall owners, the company has armed itself with statistics to inform skeptics of tattoos' growing cultural acceptance. Louis Wachtel, a longtime retail consultant who serves as the company's leasing agent, emphasizes the growing list of high-profile people getting tattoos. Recently, for instance, he circulated to developers a New York Post article about the blue-star ankle tattoo of Meghan McCain, the 25-year-old daughter of Sen. John McCain and an aspiring fashion designer. The tattoo chains have had to challenge attitudes inside the business, too. Traditional tattoo shops treat artists as independent contractors who supply their own ink and needles and split the proceeds 50-50. Persuading temperamental, independent-minded tattoo artists that they wouldn't be selling out to join mall-based shops hasn't been easy. CEO Wolfson was looking for top-quality artists who were specialists in the different tattoo techniques -- black and gray tattoos, traditional colored designs and Tebori, an ancient Japanese design method in which the color is inserted with a hand-held needle instead of a machine, as traditional tattoos are applied. The company lured the artists by providing health insurance, two-week paid vacations and supplies. After six months, it abandoned the 50-50 pay model because Mr. Wolfson felt it made the artists less accountable. Instead, he put them on salary and paid commissions and bonuses if they hit certain productivity targets. Two of the three original artists quit after the changes, but in the past 18 months the company has had no staff turnover. "Initially I was worried about being micromanaged by people who didn't understand the art, but it didn't happen," says Dan Castellano, who specializes in Japanese Tebori tattooing. Tattoo Nation continues to evolve. The company plans to rebrand itself and its stores with the name Inked. It is also designing new shops with wood-paneled walls, and it has bought Inked magazine to be a larger part of the tattoo culture. Mr. Barth, who pitches his parlors as more upscale and exclusive than those of Tattoo Nation, also offers employees health benefits and even a 401k plan with a 4% match. "Most people in this industry retire when they're dead, because they are uneducated about finances," he says. Mr. Barth claims the tattooing he does himself has a two-year waiting list and costs at least $1,500. He has also developed a line of tattoo inks, which he sells to other shops, called Intenze Ink. They come in 54 colors, including "grasshopper," "snow white" and "cherry bomb." And he drives a Bentley Flying Spur and a Lamborghini Gallardo.