A recent move has provided a change of scenery for artists at Pinz Tattoo, and for people passing by the studio’s new downtown Salmon Arm location.
Seated at his station in the open-concept work space at 91 Hudson Ave., Pinz owner Rob Jobe comments on the new street view that allows passersby to have a look at what’s going on within.
With a laugh, Jobe said sometimes people driving by will slow down and do a bit of rubbernecking as artists work. He explained there are portable partitions that can be placed around workstations when privacy is called for.
Five people work out of the shop and each is a private contractor.
“I own the business and I provide a space to work but everybody runs their own business,” said Jobe.
“There’s more than 60 years of experience in the shop…We kind of all specialize in our own thing, work on our own schedules….
“It’s a modern way of working and it works really well for us.”
For 14 years, Jobe operated Pinz a couple blocks away from a second-floor space at 321 Hudson Ave.
A lease dispute prompted the recent move, while COVID-19 influenced the layout of the new studio.
“This buildout is 100 per cent with COVID-19 in mind,” said Jobe, explaining new cabinets and larger tattoo boxes mean less trips to the stockroom while everything can be put away so nothing is exposed.
“Even the hadwashing station. B.C. health regulations state you only need one hand washing station in close proximity to where you do procedures, and we put in two in hopes the clients would use one and we use the other.”
In addition to the layout, Jobe and fellow artists have also stepped up their health and safety game in response to the pandemic.
When clients walk in the door their temperature is taken. If their temperature is high clients are asked to rebook.
Next, clients use the hand-sanitizing station. Clients and artists wear face masks during tattooing, partitioned touchless handwashing stations are available and there is even a phone sterilizer available.
The artists have about 200 square feet each to work in.
Although there are five who work at Pinz, only three or four artists will be in at one time.
“It comes down to mitigating risk, that’s what we’re looking to do – lower the amount of risk, lower the amount of exposure,” said Jobe.
“It really hasn’t changed our business model much because we already take such stringent cleaning standards and stringent disinfecting standards for every client, and everything we use is single-use disposable.”
Preparing for a client booked for noon, Jobe’s already contagious enthusiasm grows as he begins to display different tattooing tools and related products from Good Guy Tattoo Supply, a brand started by Pinz artist Lucas Ford in 2008.
Now a partner in Good Guy, Jobe demonstrates a Good Guy tattoo pen grip, stencil supplies and other products designed and sold worldwide by the locally run e-commerce company.
“Innovation is happening right here in this small town and people don’t have a clue – it’s kind of funny,” said Jobe.
“We’re trying to grow ourselves and do it here in Salmon Arm, so we can enjoy the lifestyle of where we live…
“With technology and travel, we’re able to do anything that anybody who lives in a city can do. And also tattoo every day.”