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Tattoo artists upset, frustrated after being left out of reopening plans

Posted at 9:26 AM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 18:23:56-04

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Next week, hair salons, barbershops, and day spas will all be able to re-open for business, but tattoo shops are still in limbo, leaving tattoo artists frustrated. Some tattoo shop owners don’t believe they’ve gotten a fair chance to prove they’re safe and ready to open their doors.

Some tattoo shop owners say they’re already required to keep high standards for hygiene and cleanliness, but feel like state officials are overlooking those guidelines. While they wait for the green light, it's hurting their businesses, employees, and other artists across the state.

“Our customers are going crazy. I mean, I'm getting nonstop calls, nonstop texts, when are we opening it up, what's going on,” Jimmy Hayden, the owner of Focused Tattoo in Cleveland Heights, said.

Those are questions that Hayden doesn’t have the answers to.

“Its frustrating,” Hayden said.

Hayden and his brother, Jonny Hayden, own Focused Tattoo in both Cleveland Heights and Euclid. They were dismayed when tattoo shops were left off the list of businesses being allowed to reopen next week.

“At first, I thought we were all grouped in together and then when they when they When I kind of read into the details, it just, it definitely hit us wrong,” Jonny Hayden said.

They believe state officials have a misunderstanding about the cleanliness of tattoo shops, which already have strict hygiene protocols in place regulated by local health departments.

“We have to be very clean throughout the day, non stop washing our hands all like I said, and all of our needles, all of our tubes, everything's disposable one use only,” Jimmy Hayden said.

They’re hoping Governor Mike DeWine takes another look at those protocols and let’s artists get back to work, and back to being able to take care of their families.

“Talk to the individuals we've been tattooing from athletes to doctors, to nurses from all over the spectrum when it comes down to the professional world,” Jonny Hayden said.

“When you've been tattooing for anywhere up to upwards of 20 years, you know, and this is your main source of income, that this becomes like a real dire time,” Jimmy Hayden said.

To further address those social distancing concerns inside shops, Jonny Hayden says one solution could be getting rid of waiting rooms and making all tattoos appointment only.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.