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It’s a Christmas miracle! It’s Christmas now, right? Or a Halloween miracle? I’m not really sure. I’m unemployed, so I’ve lost all sense of time. After several months of trying to find a space to open a high-end tattoo studio, we are officially under contract!!!!! It’s been a long, strange trip, and it’s not over yet, but we’re farther along than we’ve been thus far. Let me back up a bit and explain.

We’re opening a tattoo studio. But maybe you figured that out from the first paragraph? I’ll be training to do permanent make-up, scar camouflage, and other para-medical tattooing (like giving women areolae following reconstructive surgery post-mastectomy, and giving people eyebrows after they lose them to chemo), as well as traditional tattooing. While I’ll be doing pretty much any kind of tattoo people ask for, my goal is to focus on transformational tattooing, helping people document life transitions. I’m super excited, because it means learning a new medium, and it’ll hopefully mean that I’ll be doing something meaningful for my customers. We’ll have a couple other artists there, too, that I’ll be learning under, and between all of us, we should be able to handle just about any style requested.

But first, we had to find a space. If you’ll recall, we had to close our paint and sip studio because our new landlord decided to double our rent when we tried to renew our lease. We really didn’t want to go through that again, and we’d already run into an issue with trying to lease a space for the tattoo studio and getting rejected because tattoo studios, are apparently, portals to hell. So we decided to buy a space.

We fell in love with one in Cary, NC, and put in an offer. The seller agreed to the terms, then emailed that he was un-agreeing. Apparently that’s a thing? So that fell through. We licked our wounds and resumed the hunt. We found two spaces in a plaza in Wake Forest, NC, one of which was going to auction. So we decided to bid on that space but given the issues we’d run into regarding plaza’s not wanting a tattoo studio, we sent out a letter explaining our vision so that the other owners would know we weren’t opening something seedy. But the other business owners really didn’t want us in there. Not only are tattoo studios portals to hell, but our clients are actual minions of the devil. Here’s a quote from one of the nastygrams we received:

“As property owners and fellow professionals, we have all worked to maintain the professional atmosphere of our buildings. In our opinion, the placement of a tattoo parlor at this location is wholly inappropriate and will diminish the reputation and image which we have sought to cultivate. In addition, it will bring a clientele into the area that will not enhance our reputation, and in our opinion, damage our  financial investment.

The commingling of the typical tattoo parlor clientele with business professionals, patients of medical providers, individuals and families seeking counseling services, and many others does not create a welcoming or professional atmosphere.
This situation certainly will not attract desirable owners or tenants in the future.
The letter sent by Attorney Herman is manipulative and disingenuous in that it commands those who object to remain silent and only those in agreement with their plan to speak up.

In addition, the letter from you, the proposed owners of the tattoo parlor, seeks to mislead and whitewash the true nature of this type of business. Despite the carefully chosen wording, this is not an upscale spa regardless of the reasoning behind the tattooing.”

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I was sorely tempted, after that one, to send a newsletter out to my 10,000 person email list letting them know that, if they have tattoos, their money isn’t wanted by any of the medical providers, counselors, or other businesses in that plaza. But no, I’m taking the higher ground.

While, legally, they couldn’t stop us from moving in, but we decided not to bid because we didn’t want to walk into so much negativity. The same day we made that decision, the owner of the original space we’d wanted in Cary reached out to our real estate agent and said he’d resolved the things he’d gotten stuck on before, and would like to revisit our offer. So we sent over another offer (that’d he’d agreed to on the phone and via email), which he promptly refused to sign again. So we modified and tried again. And again, he turned it down. The whole thing was getting kind of ridiculous, and everyone was getting pretty pissy with each other, but S and I sat down and talked it out and we decided to compromise one last time. And, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, the seller finally signed. So now we have to go through inspections and the other due diligence stuff.

Jeez, I feel like such a grownup. Cross your fingers and elbows and toes and knees and eyes that the rest goes smoothly and I can stop feeling like I could vomit any second and maybe not actually become the alcoholic this whole thing has tempted me to be. Thank goodness I had the cats to snuggle away the stress.