Home Culture UnLucky Rabbit: Inside This Woman-Owned Tattoo Parlor + Oddities Shop in Montclair

UnLucky Rabbit: Inside This Woman-Owned Tattoo Parlor + Oddities Shop in Montclair

by Rosaria LoPresti
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Some combos sound strange at first, but somehow work to create unforgettable pairs. This type of clever thinking is how we have pickleback whiskey shots, a Bloody Mary, lobster mac and cheese, and now, a tattoo studio and oddity shop in downtown Montclair. UnLucky Rabbit is a place where these two worlds intertwine, where it’s not the average tattoo parlor, but a fusion where body art meets a collection of taxidermy. This imaginative blend has come to life at 123 Walnut Street in Montclair, where a new tattoo parlor and oddities shop, UnLucky Rabbit, has recently opened, replacing the former boutique shop, Velvet Lush. Founded by owner and artist Paula Lopez in May 2023, UnLucky Rabbit carries a curated collection of oddities, art, prints, paintings, and taxidermy in the tattoo parlor. Read more to learn about UnLucky Rabbit in Montclair and the owner behind it.

unlucky rabbit montclair tattoo parlor oddities shop

About the Owner

Paula Lopez’s artistic journey was influenced at a young age when her passion for drawing and painting flourished. After attending Parsons School of Art, she transitioned into tattoo artistry, where she now has 25 years of experience After having been a tattoo artist at a tattoo garage for over a decade, Paula felt it was time to pursue a long-held goal of opening her own studio.

unlucky rabbit montclair tattoo parlor oddities shop owner

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Tattoo artistry wasn’t her sole passion. Fascinated by diverse art forms, Paula took an interest in taxidermy. As a taxidermist herself, she envisioned merging these distinct art interests into a singular space: a tattoo parlor where taxidermy and oddities meet. “I’ve always been interested in taxidermy and collecting oddities so I basically wanted to take a shop and make it a combination where I’ve taken two of the things I love and put them into one same space,” Paula said.

unlucky rabbit montclair tattoo parlor oddities shop exterior

Her journey began when she drove by the storefront of 123 Walnut Street that had recently become available. After working closely with the town, she learned that the space was suitable for a tattoo parlor, affirming that Montclair was the ideal place for enacting her vision. “I’ve lived in this area for such a long time and Montclair always had that kind of unique, funky little vibe to it. So I always felt that this would be the perfect place to open it because there’s just a lot of people who can appreciate the artistic value and everything that we have here,” Paula said.

About UnLucky Rabbit

UnLucky Rabbit isn’t a typical tattoo parlor — it’s a space that houses a plethora of oddities, art, and taxidermy situated at 123 Walnut Street in Montclair. From art prints, stationery, large game mounts, and bug displays, UnLucky Rabbit carries a wide selection of oddities in its shop.

unlucky rabbit montclair oddities shop

As an artist herself, Paula is committed to supporting other artists. Paula sources most of the inventory from artisans who own small companies while curating a selection of different media. Some of those products include candles, paintings, oddities, and taxidermy, with a focus on the artistry of a bird taxidermist specializing in felted birds. Paula explained, “Real live birds in the wild are not actually legal for taxidermy, so we actually have somebody who does beautiful felted bird prints as well as butterflies that have been framed, which are some of the most common standout items.” The taxidermy collection at the shop undergoes continuous changes, featuring one-of-a-kind artworks, so it’s rare to find multiple identical pieces in the shop.



A common question regarding taxidermy continues, and that is whether these products are ethically sourced. “All of our stuff is actually ethically sourced. So everything is a failure to thrive, which means that the animals have died naturally before we actually taxidermy them. So we’re not actually harming anything for our artwork,” Paula said.

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What sets UnLucky Rabbit apart from other tattoo parlors within the area is that it is the only store that carries and supports taxidermy artists while also being a custom tattoo shop. “We’re small and we basically work with our customers to create what they want and keep it nice and private,” Paula said. “Many of the sketches found here are either chosen by customers themselves or drawn by them.”

Aside from the artwork and tattoo portion of the shop, Paula aimed to create an education-like atmosphere by providing information about the taxidermy art; animals on display, their habitats, and conservation efforts. Through this fusion, Paula hopes that customers will leave the shop having had a great experience and gained new insights.

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“I really wanted to create a space where people can actually get what they want without feeling like they’re going broke. We try to make everybody feel welcome and like a family. Just come in, learn about some new pieces, learn about the pieces that are here, and I hope they enjoy the pieces for what they are when they come in,” Paula said. UnLucky Rabbit operates from 1PM on Tuesdays through Fridays and opens at 11AM on Saturdays and Sundays. The shop is closed on Monday.

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