BURLINGTON, Vt (WCAX) During the shutdown, many people were anxious to get back to see their hairstylists or go to the gym.
Tattoo shops were one of those desirable places.
Since getting the OK from the state to reopen on June 1, tattoo shops have been absolutely slammed.
So busy in fact, that most of the ones Elissa reached out to were too busy to meet - trying to make up for 3 months of canceled appointments, and cure some pandemic boredom.
Many on social media expressed excitement for tattoo shops to reopen for business.
Now that they’re open again in Vermont, the follow-through has been remarkable.
“Booked up for all of July and now, it’s the end of June and I’m currently booking out until the beginning of September," says Rick Meyer of Sugarwood Tattoo.
Rick Meyer owns Sugarwood Tattoo in Burlington. They reopened on June 2 – just one day after getting the OK from the state.
“A lot of the tattoo artists in town did figure that we would be one of the last to reopen because we are such close contact business," Meyer says.
While they are close contact, Meyer says shops are a safe environment… as tattoo artists are required to be trained in bloodborne pathogens and cross-contamination.
“Everything that we touch has barrier film on it. The table is plastic-wrapped, the table is plastic-wrapped, the pillow is plastic wrapped and it’s safe to get tattooed," says Meyer.
“I feel definitely proper precautions have been taken and the temperature and the mask and everything being sanitized definitely makes me feel a lot better," says client Tori Gariboldi of Barre.
Tori Gariboldi has been waiting since April to get her tattoo done.
She says she’s excited to be back, despite the circumstances.
Meyer’s clients aren’t the only ones facing a wait.
A few streets over, Brandt Newton of Event Horizon Tattoo has a packed schedule, too.
“I personally usually book about three months out, so I had an entire three months’ worth of people to rebook, and then we had about three months of people to rebook who would have gotten tattooed during the shutdown," says Newton.
After reopening on June 3, the shop was getting around 25 phone calls per day. That number has since died down a bit to about 15.
But most clients, he says, are excited to treat themselves and cure a little boredom with some ink therapy.
Many tattoo shops also offer piercing, like Yankee Tattoo.
While tattoo sales are up, piercings are down, as artists can’t pierce anything under a mask, like lips, nose, or tongue.
They say all they can do is wait for that business to bounce back.