Tattoo companies in San Antonio see appointments increase this year

SAN ANTONIO – After an economically and emotionally stressful year 2020, things are starting to return to normal. For tattoo artists in the region, the business is booming.

Jeffrey Riddle has had a tattoo since his twenties. He’s four, but now at 31, he’s finally getting into the ink sleeve he’s always wanted.

Riddle is a communications consultant, and he said he was fortunate enough to keep his job and work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said his stay at home helped him reflect on his life.

“It gave me a lot of time to think and make lists of what I wanted to do. And that tattoo was one of them, ”Riddle said.

Riddle isn’t the only one who decided to get some more ink after the tumultuous 2020.

Tattoo artist and Nostalgic Ink owner Nina Alvarez said the pandemic forced them to close for about two months last year. She had already been booked for four months and said people kept making their appointments.

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“In February, March, April of this year… I went from six months to a year in no time,” Alvarez said.

She believes the rise in appointments is due to several reasons. Alvarez said tax revenue season is always a busy time for tattoo artists, and she believes stimulus checks have played a role as well.

Alvarez said people don’t just get tattoos for purely cosmetic reasons either.

“It’s very therapeutic, and often when they come just because they want to put art on their body, it turns into a therapeutic session,” she said.

Alvarez said she believes the tattoo gives people a safe space to be themselves, similar to bartenders, but more intimate.

“We also tell sober stories, so that makes a difference. There are a lot of times we’ve also talked about getting a therapy license because that’s usually what happens, ”Alvarez said.

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