Dayton tattoo shop feeling confident about safe reopening

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Truth and Triumph in Dayton says they were somewhat surprised they weren’t included in the Governor’s announcement regarding salons last week due to the fact they already have to maintain very high sanitary practices. But they say those constant guidelines means they will be ready to safely reopen just days after the state gave them the green light.

Kevin Rotramel, a tattoo artist at Truth and Triumph, is busy rescheduling appointments after being closed nearly two months.

“Had two months of appointments booked that I have to try and figure out now and I still have appointments booked that people made before the shutdown. It’s going to be kind of a mess,” he said.

On Tuesday, state leaders announced tattoo shops, massage parlors, and body piercing services could reopen this Friday.

The owner of Truth and Triumph, Brian Brenner, says they understand why they had to close down in the beginning but until this week, there was no end in sight.

“Figured we’d be closed a week, two weeks, three weeks tops. Then we saw four, five, six. I think the worst part was a lot of time closed with no answers,” Brenner said.

They say they are often lumped into the same category as salons but that tattoo shops have much more limited interactions with the public.

“We don’t see nearly as much people as a barber shop or hair salon. We may see only one or two people a day where they’ll see ten plus a day,” said Brenner.

Plus, they say tattoo shops already have to follow extremely strict health codes. So they were surprised it took this long for the state to include them in the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

Rotramel said, “We follow strict safety protocols, cross contamination, protective barriers, things like that, so we’ll have to wear masks, maybe not let people bring in visitors but it won’t change much for us. We’ve always been a very safe business, safer than a lot of businesses that have stayed open the whole time frankly.”

He says he’s been using savings to support his family of four these last few months, but being closed for so long has really hurt his coworkers.

“I haven’t talked to any artists that have seen unemployment money as of yet. It’s kind of a new thing for us so I haven’t heard about any of that. I’m sure there’s a lot of artists that hadn’t saved any money,” Rotramel said.

Just like many other trades that are starting to reopen, Brenner says while he is thankful, April is normally one of, if not their busiest month. They’ll see the financial impact of this two-month closure for the foreseeable future.

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