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Tattoo shops sees a business boom amid COVID

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Adriana Loh
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Matt Spyrou tattoos multiple clients during a flash tattoo sale.

As many shops and businesses shut down from the pandemic, one industry is thriving.

Tattoo shops like Inkings located in Oswego have been doing well with sales and continue to grow with the increase in business they have had since the pandemic.

Tattoo artist, Matt Spyrou, utilized his time during the pandemic to be productive and teach himself how to use a tattoo gun and continue to work on his art.

“Art has always been a passion of mine so being able to put my talent with work has been amazing,” Spryou said. “I started practicing on fake skin, ended up loving it, covered my own leg, and started here.”

With less in-person contact, Spyrou became heavily dependent on social media to advertise his work and promote himself through Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.

“Everyone else in the shop mainly do walk-in customers who wanna come and make appointments. I have 90% of my clientele off social media,” Spyrou said.

Many of his regular clients continue to return as tattoo flash sales randomly occur throughout the month. Sal Vatoresperrazza said one sale timed well with his birthday.

“So me and a bunch of my friends decided to come out and get tattoos from him,” Vatoresperrazza said. "We heard about it from his Instagram. So we all came over here and got some, it was fun.”

While the demand for tattoos continues to grow, precautionary measures are still practiced within the shop. Many customers continue to wear face masks, employees disinfect in between every customer, and all physical contact is made between the artist and the clients has the employee wearing gloves.

Adriana Loh is a graduate student in broadcast journalism at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications and shares reporting time at WAER Public Media.