Are you thinking of opening your own tattoo or body piercing shop? Now may be a great time to do it, as there is a growing acceptance of tattoos in mainstream North American culture; you could even say there’s a spotlight on tattooing thanks to popular TV shows like Miami Ink, LA Ink, and Inked.
Tattoos and body piercings are less taboo today than a few decades ago; before that, they were not always taboo. These very old practices have been around for over 5,000 years in cultures around the world. They were done as symbols of achievement, prestige, and group membership, and they were even believed to be protection during childbirth by some. Until the arrival of new religions in many parts of the world, it was not uncommon for tattooing to be a ritual in many societies. It later became prohibited or discouraged, since authorities saw it as disfiguring and contrary to the design of God. Eventually, tattoos were considered to be something only sailors, criminals, and thugs perpetuated.
In the last few decades, decorative body art has slowly made a comeback from the margins of western society. People now seem to feel that tattoos and body piercings are additional ways to express themselves. It showcases who they are, or sometimes, some important aspect of their lives.
It is quite common to see someone sporting a tattoo or body piercing these days. A 2006 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that almost a quarter of Americans between 18 and 50 have at least one tattoo, and 14 percent have one or more body piercing.
With this more mainstream acceptance of body art, now may be an ideal time to get into this interesting and creative business; the importance of learning about running a safe, clean, and legal studio can’t be stressed enough, however. Many customers (and in some cases, shop owners) have no idea of the consequences that can result from getting a tattoo or body piercing. Aside from possible infections, they can also develop scarring, hypersensitivity to pigments or metals, or embedding of body jewelry (if the jewelry is too tight). The type and quality of ink used in tattooing can also affect medical procedures like MRIs.
That’s why it’s important to get good advice from someone who’s experienced and knowledgeable if you want to open a studio, and to make sure you hire the best tattooists and body piercers with the right training and bedside manner to suit your business.
In their book Start & Run a Tattoo & Body Piercing Studio, Kurtis Mueller and Tanya Lee Howe discuss how to open a safe tattoo and body piercing parlor. It’s based on Mueller’s own experience running a successful shop that’s been operating for nearly a decade. The authors offer step-by-step advice on how to approach the business; from finding a good location, to general information about health regulations, to hiring and keeping good employees.
In this age of body art acceptance, a tattoo and body shop studio is a very profitable possibility, if researched and run properly. The tattoo industry has a habit of guarding its secrets close, but it is still possible for newcomers to gain some insight and join the exclusive club of tattoo and body piercing shop owners.
The book is available in our Web store.