Tattoo shops ready for fall rush of students

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It’s been three months since Ink and Needles West has opened its doors to the public after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer enacted the Stay-at-home order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan.

Amber Watson, 23, a student at Michigan State University, said “I was really excited that Ink and Needles were opening up after being closed during COVID-19, three months is a long time to get a new tattoo.”

Ink and Needless tattoo shop closed on March 22 and was allowed to open their business on June 15. The state requires tattoo shops to have guidelines to reopen and to service customers including; wearing gloves, everyone being serviced have on a mask, social distancing of 6ft apart or more and cleaning the stations after every use.

Moya Maffett, artist at Ink & Needles West and East in Lansing said, “It’s nice to get back in the groove of things, because we get to meet people and interact with them and see why they get the tattoos they get.”

She said, “we’ve marked everywhere six feet proximity so that clients can social distance, we have been using shields or face masks when we tattoo and speak to our clients to make sure everyone is safe.

Ink and Needles at both locations have enforced their own rules additional to the state rules to service their clients. These rules will occur now and throughout the fall when students return to campus because COVID-19 is expected to continue.

 All clients must also wear a mask when entering the building, Ink and Needles will provide disposable face masks for customers if they don’t have access to one and clients will be required to wash their hands.

“This is my second service at Ink a Needles since I’ve been in college and it’s so different from my first experience because there was no Covid,” MSU senior, Alexius Burg, said. “Getting a tattoo during the pandemic can be very scary and nerve wrecking, my friend was told to wear a mask even though she was a guest to in order to enter the shop.”

Maffett said, “a lot of our clientele is college students, our East location is located right on Michigan State campus on Abbot Road.”

Maffett said she is still seeing many MSU students have still been getting serviced at Ink and Needles during COVID-19. The tattoo artist there are still wondering what to expect in the fall if classes are cancel again and students are returned back home.

As of now MSU has stated publicly that in person classes are in effect for fall semester but Maffett has still expressed her concern if MSU decides to cancel classes again.

“We’re worried about the return of students in the fall and how it will impact us,” Maffett said.  “Especially at our east location where majority of our customers is college students.”

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