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Arkansas tattoo shops see surge in business after reopening

“Getting a tattoo, to a lot of people, is like a freedom thing. They get out, they relax, get a nice piece of art.”

SHERWOOD, Ark. — Tattoo shops in the state have been allowed to open for almost a week now, but new rules have changed the way businesses are operating.

On May 6, Arkansans were allowed back in the parlors.

“People sat at home for 40+ days,” said Chris Thomas, owner and artist of Golden Lotus Tattoo.

RELATED: Barbershops, tattoo parlors in Arkansas to reopen May 6th with restrictions

They have seen lots of customers.

“Getting a tattoo, to a lot of people, is like a freedom thing. They get out, they relax, get a nice piece of art,” Thomas said.

He said closing doors put a strain on the business.

“No one can actually just withstand, you know, shutting a business down for such a prolonged period of time. The bills don’t stop, but the money does,” Thomas said.

So, he was prepared when the governor gave the 'ok' to open under new regulations.

“We had already ordered a few boxes of PPE for masks and gloves and we were just kind of preparing for whenever he said go, so we were able to do it,” Thomas said.

He said changes make the artists and clients feel safe.

“We do temperature checks at the door. Artist and client both wear masks, we have no visitors, our door is locked, we are appointment only,” Thomas said.

However, he now must budget in extra supplies, like face masks, which leads to higher minimum prices.

“You can deal with the change or you can cease to exist. You know, you just gotta make it work,” Thomas said.

All their visual consultations are now done by email.

“We’ll go back and forth, whether it’s 10 emails or 30 emails,” Thomas said.

He’s just glad they’re able to operate.

“I know across the country there’s a lot of places that aren’t even able to open. So I mean, Arkansas has been very gracious to us. Even just giving us the opportunity,” Thomas said.

RELATED: Arkansas barbershops, salons reopen under new rules

Remember, if you have an appointment with a tattoo shop, make sure you call and reschedule if you feel sick.