Haverhill tattoo studio reopens after a 17-week coronavirus lockdown closure
A Haverhill tattooists that attracts clients from across the UK and Europe has finally been able to reopen after 17 weeks of closure because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Legacy Tattoo has been in town for 12 years, the last four of them in Queens Square, and on Monday it welcomed back its first customers since March 23.
Co-owner Mike Stockings, who was on a work-related trip to Berlin when the news of the lockdown broke, said on Wednesday:"We were fully booked yesterday.
"I think everyone is fully booked for the next couple of months.
"We have seven artists in total. Everyone is in every day so they have their own clients.
"We grab them from all over the country.
"Haverhill is a lovely town to live in but it's not the most populous town so we do a lot of reach online.
"A lot of the artists are quite well established online and we can grab customers from everywhere.
"People come from Europe to get their sleeves done. We've had it for years.
"It was hard for everyone to not even be able to do their passion every day but it was good that we have got a solid client base."
The Government's decision to only allow tattooists in England to reopen last week (Legacy had to delay its opening for another week in order to get some safe distancing markers and other things in place) was not a real bone of contention for Mike, who said he is able to see the bigger picture in that 'saving lives is more important'.
He added: "I remember thinking that because of our social media presence I didn't want to speak and say 'this is ridiculous and we can't do this' because really, public health was my main concern during that period.
"We all got our pay outs from the Government during that period.""
However, given the high hygiene standards already being applied at Legacy Tattoo, where one person is employed full-time solely as cleaner, it was somewhat surprising.
He said: "The shop was social distancing anyway before we had the lockdown.
"We are at high medical standards anyway.
"To be fair a lot of the guys used face masks (already) anyway.
"The masks and the face shields is really the only major change and even that isn't that new to a tattoo artist and really, if I had to tell artists they have to regularly clean their hands they wouldn't be doing very good hygiene anyway."
More by this authorSteve Barton
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