The thought of getting a tattoo has been with me for a few years at least. I’ve had an idea of what I want and why I wanted it but hadn’t really ever been happy with design or ideas for placement until a few months ago.
It’s worth noting for this review that I am talking about my first tattoo, which I ended up mainly designing myself. Therefore I’m not going to comment too critically about ability and such like, but more the experience. That’s really why I wanted to write this anyway.
Chances are, if you’ve been debating a first tattoo, you’re a little bit nervous and that studio on the street that only seems to have a desk in it is quite a daunting place to enter.
I originally went to a different place in Manchester after finally plucking up the courage. I didn’t know how these places worked and was kind of surprised that about how much preparation I was expected to have already done. I thought it would have been possible to sit and talk and draw, but I was basically told to go away and come back when I had more.
I’m not an artist so a quick sketch would have taken me all of 2 minutes, and the receptionist knew that. Despite the reputation of that first place, I wasn’t inclined to go back because the experience of something that will stay with you for life was quite important, I thought, and that first experience wasn’t great.
So I went to Manchester Tattoo Emporium instead and immediately the greeting was different. They seemed happy to have someone in (not that I’m saying they aren’t busy – I don’t know either way how busy they are) and were happy to do all the things I was expecting. I wasn’t asking for the earth, so after 10 or 15 minutes I’d booked an appointment.
The day came and this is where I was made up with the experience. My appointment was for opening time at 11 but we were late to start. That was partly my fault as they suggested I go to get Lucozade and biscuits for the session because it would be tough!
Holly on reception and Greg who did the work were great. Holly helped to put me at ease and the impression I got, with no prior experience, was that they knew what they were talking about. The feeling I got there was that they were working for you and they wanted to help you out. The difference at the first place I went was that they made it feel like they were doing you a favour. If I was comparing it to getting a hair cut, it’s the difference between the stylist wanting you to look great rather than just reluctantly giving you a trim because otherwise you’d look a state.
Right, seeing as I’m writing this to people who haven’t had a tattoo before… Everything was explained to me. I knew what would happen and, as I say, I was told that it would be a tough sitting but I didn’t have any issues. A few bits nipped, but I guess that’s to be expected. I was given an aftercare sheet and told how to look after my new tattoo.
Now, I don’t know why, but a little bit of my design came out while it was healing. The tattoo is on my ribs and it may have happened while I was sleeping. I was concerned but, again, a quick e-mail and Holly had put my mind at ease and I was invited back for a free touch up, no questions asked.
A lot of this review, as you’ll understand by now, might well be normal practice, but for someone who knows no better it was fantastic. That’s why I can’t recommend Manchester Tattoo Emporium highly enough. They offered and exceeded the personal and professional experience I expected when getting my first tattoo.