Tattooing and Piercing in 2021
As we can all agree, 2020 was a rollercoaster year that no one expected, filled with a variety of challenges and obstacles. For us at Stick Tattoo, our shop was forced to close for nearly 6 weeks during the early stages of the pandemic in Morgantown, reopening once appropriately cleared to do so. We followed all of the required business guidelines, but also implemented some operational changes of our own, to ensure the health and safety of our team and our customers. However, when we opened our doors, we faced a 2nd round of challenges, and that was rescheduling the 6-weeks worth of appointments that we missed, while also scheduling the large amount of new appointments that were being requested. We appreciate all of our customers for their continued support and patience, as we have worked our way through that initial wave.
Looking into the new year, we find ourselves still facing a number of these challenges, but also optimistic in what 2021 will bring. We also feel that many of our operational changes will now be permanent improvements for our company moving forward. We wanted to take a quick minute to outline what tattooing and piercing looks like at Stick Tattoo as we enter into 2021.
While we certainly miss the interaction and foot traffic of our walk-in clients, we are still operating under an Appointment-only model. Not only are we still working to limit the amount of people in our shop, we are also still operating on a pretty lengthy wait-list. And while we do have cancellations and reschedules, this allows us to contact our waiting customers first, to try and fill the availability. We also keep our social media updated when opportunities for walk-in, same-day or next day appointments arise.
Online Consent Forms
Consent forms are required by the state of West Virginia for any tattoo or piercing and before each and every appointment. Moving our consent paperwork online allows you to submit this paperwork digitally, at your convenience and prior to coming to the shop. Not only does this limit the touchpoints and interaction at the shop, it also allows us to digitally save and organize our consent forms for better organization of our paperwork. We view this as a permanent improvement for our forms and ongoing for the foreseeable future.
We get it, not everyone feels the same about masks, and we respect that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. But at Stick Tattoo, we require all appointments to mask up while in the shop, and during your appointment. This is not only for the safety of our team, but for the safety of our customers, as well. As you know, tattooing and piercing is a very up close and personal experience. So to help ensure an added layer of safety, we required our artists and customers to mask up, unless health conditions require otherwise. (*for those familiar to our shop, know that artist Dan Lewis is required to work while using an Oxygen machine, which limits the amount he can wear his mask.) We also see this as a permanent improvement to our shop for the foreseeable future.
Another one of our current limitations is not being able to pierce (or tattoo) the mouth or nose areas. This is directly related to a safety concern, and are following industry guidelines by the Association of Professional Piercers (APP). This organization is set to help regulate and hold shops to a higher standard of safety and sanitation. Those familiar with our shop know that Harmony takes a great deal of pride in her work, and holds our customers safety as a top priority. This will NOT be an ongoing regulation for our shop, and will be back to providing nose and lip piercings as soon as we are cleared to do so.
One of the things we have implemented in the shop is a sterilization room, directly for Harmony and our piercing customers. While we have always completed our own sterilization in-house, we are following additional suggested steps by the APP, and taking it to the next level of safety and sanitation.
While we highlighted the main aspects of our industry above, we still have implemented a variety of other safety-related measures to the shop, and will quickly list them below:
- Enforce social distancing while in the shop and front lobby area.
- Sanitize the front lobby and common areas multiple times during the day.
- Call-before-entry protocol.
- No guests for appointments.
- Increased time between appointments to ensure proper cleaning and disinfecting.
From all of us at Stick Tattoo, we thank you for your continued support and friendship, but also your patience as our team continues to work with these new operational standards. We recognize the challenges that our customers are now facing, especially with scheduling, but are working diligently to limit our wait time for appointments, while also ensuring the health and safety of our customers and team. We look forward to a better 2021, and look forward to seeing all of you at your next appointment.