Portland man overcomes homelessness to open tattoo shop

Steve Marzza overcame homelessness and drug addiction to open his own tattoo shop in Portland, Broken Crow Collective.

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There's a new tattoo shop in Portland that found itself a prime location. One of it's owners had to overcome a lot to open his own business.

It's at the meeting point of Free and Congress Street in Portland where the front door of Broken Crow Collective leads upstairs to the new tattoo shop. Opening day was when Beth Gomberg decided she would get her latest body art. Trusting artist and shop owner Steve Marzza at the other end of the needle.  

"I've seen some more of like his decorative work and his floral work that I liked and was kind of the style that I was going for," said Gomberg. 

Marzza has two years of tattoo experience under his belt, but Broken Crow Collective is his first business venture. It was a difficult road to get to this point that started with couch-hopping as a teenager. 

"All of my friends and family slowly kicked me out of their houses, so it led to me sleeping on the street, sleeping in the woods, wherever I could find a place to crash," said Marzza.

He spent about three years of his life homeless, in and out of shelters. A tough time that led to the wrong decisions and his eventual addiction to prescription pain pills and heroin. Trying to fix things on his own never seemed to work, but when he made the choice to sign up for the detox program at Milestone Foundation the help of others made the difference.

"I started listening to other people who had gotten out of the situation I was in before I was in it and started taking their advice," said Marzza.

He's now clean with a roof over his head and full time job. An artist who once who once had trouble finding a home, now makes ends meet through the permanent ink he traces onto his customer canvasses.

"If he can reach out to other people and hopefully they can look up to that story and see that there is hope," said his wife Jessie Marzza. 

There are four tattoo artists working at Broken Crow Collective in Portland. They're open seven days a week from 11 am-6 pm.
 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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