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How Helen became Mansfield's first five star tattoo artist

A tattoo studio in Mansfield has become the first in the area to be registered with a new county-wide registration scheme - and has achieved the top rating of five stars.

Helen Molloy has been a tattoo artist for two years and has been running her own business, Trinity Ink, from her home in Eakring Road for the past three months. 

She said:  "I feel that the star rating gives the customer a better opportunity to make an informed decision about where they would like to be tattooed. I decided to apply because I thought it was important to set a high standard when it comes to cleanliness, hygiene and safety, due to it being a home studio. 

"In the past home studios have been frowned upon but by setting high standards, I feel that clients can feel reassured when they visit.  No customer should have health concerns when getting a tattoo."

Other businesses that use needles and blades are being urged to sign up to the Nottinghamshire Hygiene Accreditation Scheme which is being co-ordinated by local authorities across the county who are responsible for licensing tattoo, body piercing and beauty treatment businesses.

The voluntary scheme aims to improve hygiene and safety standards and is part of a wider strategy by Mansfield District Council to make the district a safer place to live, work and visit and improve the wellbeing of its citizens. 

It supplements the inspections of tattoo studios which are carried out by the council as part of the required licensing process for these types of businesses to ensure a mimimum standard of hygiene is achieved.

Operating in a similar way to the national food hygiene scheme for restaurants, the scheme costs £120 to join and for the initial inspection, and £60 for a re-inspection and re-rating. 

The process last month of becoming rated took Helen about two weeks from application to being accredited.  

"The inspection itself took about an hour and was really informative," she said. "Even though I got five stars I learned a lot about other techniques and practices which I found very helpful.

"I was a bit nervous as this was my first business and I really wanted to break the stigma that surrounds home studios. I am very pleased to achieve five stars which demonstrates to the customer that they can be tattooed in a clean and hygienic environment. I was proud to be called clinical when I had the inspection.

"I've had clients who are impressed with the rating and have since gone on to recommend me not just for the work I have done but also on the hygiene rating. 

"Being a tattoo artist is something I have always wanted to do since I was very young. I love art and drawing and this profession offers opportunities for people to express their artistic side. I like that it also gives customers the freedom to express themselves however they like." 

Cllr Bill Drewett, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, added: "Well done to Helen for achieving this five star rating. We hope other salons and parlours offering these kinds of services will join the scheme too, because public safety is something we take seriously in Mansfield.

"Hygiene at tattoo and body piercing parlours is so important  because the damage that can be done to customers at the hands of poor operators can be horrendous - and sometimes permanent.

"I would urge local studios to sign up because it should help to enhance their business by increasing consumer confidence."

Businesses interested in the scheme can contact Environmental Health at Mansfield District Council on 01623 463492 for more information.

Published on 20 September 2018

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