Dancing for the cameras in the US is a new experience for many tattooists, who often have to compete for the attention of prospective clients.
But not for the better part of a year, as the US tattoo industry has been hit by a spate of recent closures.
On August 3, the US Department of Justice announced that three of its major tattoo artists were among more than 20 businesses in the country that had been closed down due to the opioid crisis.
The artists had worked for tattoo parlors that had either been forced to close or were in the process of closing.
The companies involved had all been owned by the same company, Tattoo Capital, which is owned by John and Denise Ritchie.
The Ritchies bought the tattoo parlor chain in 2013 for $2.2bn, when it was in its infancy, and have been the largest shareholders of Tattoo.
In February this year, the company filed for bankruptcy, with its assets including the business being liquidated and the majority of the company’s shares being sold.
The company’s former chief executive, Mark Dreyer, who had been its chief operating officer for 15 years, left in February and his wife, Susan, took over as CEO.
The bankruptcy court ordered Tattoo to be sold.
“I had been thinking about selling Tattoo for a long time,” said Dreyers widow, Susan Ritchie, in an interview with ABC News.
“It was going to be a massive financial hit for me and my family, and that was a real shock to me.
I think it’s a very sad and difficult time for Tattoo.”
The tattoo parletry has now shut its doors for good, with Susan Riano telling Al Jazeera: “I don’t have to tell my family or my tattoo clients they’ve lost everything.
In September, another tattoo parlier, TattoLab, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying it was unable to make the payments on a $250m loan.
Tatto Lab’s owners have been unable to repay the money owed to the bank, which had held the loan and was paying it back to Tatto Capital.
The court granted the request for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection last month, but Tatto’s creditors have been left with no choice but to sell the company.
“TattooLab is closing its doors,” said Mark D. Ritchie in a statement.
“We are taking our case forward with the assistance of the bankruptcy courts.
We’re disappointed that Tatto Labs is not able to continue to provide quality tattoo services to our customers.”
The Dreyrs said they plan to appeal the bankruptcy court ruling.
“As the tattoo community continues to recover from this crisis, it is imperative that Tattoo’s business model and quality standards continue to be protected,” they wrote in a joint statement.
On October 31, Tattoos first ever national tattoo competition saw two artists competing for the first time.
Two competitors will compete in the first ever tattoo competition in the United States, according to the Tattoos website.
“The competition is an opportunity to showcase our talents, our techniques and our business model,” Tattoos founder and CEO Robyn Gilding told ABC News in a video statement.
A new company, Nails Inc, has announced it is to be the first to host the competition.
It said it had secured a new studio space, and will be able to start production next week.
“At the end of the day, we believe this is an industry that needs to grow, and this competition is the way to get us there,” Nails CEO and co-founder Mike Dolan said in a promotional video.
“Our goal is to bring a quality tattoo experience to the tattoo industry, so we are taking this opportunity to create the world’s first tattoo competition.”
The competition will be streamed on the Nails website, where anyone can sign up for a free 30-day trial.