▶️ Bend tattoo parlors see surprising surge in business during the pandemic

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We have seen the struggle restaurants and retail stores have endured since the beginning of the pandemic, but there are other businesses around Central Oregon that had to push through it all as well.

Including tattoo shops.

Bend Tattoo Company owner Seth Rowan says his shop went from being out of work to having more clients than they can handle, some using their stimulus checks for fresh ink.

“We thought people maybe wouldn’t be spending money on tattoos,” Rowan said. “Because it was a rough time for everybody.”

Business was not bad for Bend Tattoo even throughout 2020, but naturally, it came with its share of challenges.

Including PPE availability and costs, Rowan says disposable gloves jumped from a few cents to around 30 cents each.

“The first month or two was pretty sketchy,” Rowan said. “My mom was making masks for us because we couldn’t get masks anywhere and we just kind of had to make it work. Thankfully we have a good glove distributor that’s kept us going the whole time, but it’s probably four times as much as it used to be now.”

Monolith Tattoo Studio manager Delaney Vecqueray says it’s not just price, she has seen the quality of gloves go down.

“A lot of trial and error to make sure that we’re able to keep everybody safe, it is a very sterile environment that we do take super seriously,” Vecqueray said. “Just kind of navigating that has been difficult, but thankfully we have a super rad crew and everything is smooth sailing.”

Not the easiest year for anyone, but business seems to be buzzing for these shops.

“I feel blessed that business is still good,” Rowan said.

If you are looking to get a tattoo sometime soon, keep in mind, many local shops are still going the appointment-only route.

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