For most, the path of entrepreneurship begins because of passion or profession, but for Raquel Centellas, owning a business means preserving a piece of history.
“Coming to own Drunken Monkey Tattoo didn’t happen because of the career opportunity as much as just wanting to keep this place here in Saginaw,” she says. “When I was younger, I knew about Drunken Monkey, had friends who worked here and still do, and I wanted to see this place thrive. I didn’t want to see it close its doors. The passion for this place didn’t come from me being in the tattoo profession, but having an opportunity to save a business that had been loved by the community for so long.”
Byron Cronkright opened Drunken Monkey Tattoo in 1997. The business moved to Old Town in 2000, and Cronkright was looking to sell in 2014. Centellas purchased the business, and the two remain friends and keep in contact to this day.
When Centellas took over Drunken Monkey, it was her first venture into entrepreneurship.
“I became an accountant, I became a lawyer, I became a manager,” she says. “I became a member of the community who had never been in the spotlight before like you are when you own a business here. It was also learning to understand the dynamic of how a community works together. It was all new.”
For Centellas, the most important part of being a business owner is being part of the community.
“I don’t see how you can live in this community and not love it,” she says. “That’s what drives me and I think a lot of the business owners that I know here - we love our city. We want to see it do well because the businesses are made up of our friends, our family. Our future is here, and it’s a good one.”