FORGET about burly bikers and heavy metal fans, suburban moms and daughters are becoming regular clients at a Walmer tattoo parlour.
Otherworld Tattoo Studio owners Llewellyn and Jacqueline Calitz, say they even get doctors and lawyers coming into their Villiers Road studio.
The husband and wife duo of Lu and Jac , as they are more affectionately known, have a decade of experience between them and say have seen it all.
“Things have changed,” said Jac. “People who were anti tattoos years ago are now getting them.”
She said they were seeing a lot more housewives coming in, usually to get something symbolic, or their children’s names.
“We have had women coming in without their husbands knowing, usually to surprise their spouse with something cute or sexy,” said Jac.
Lu attributes the new wave of clientele to television programmes such as Miami Ink – a reality show about a group of tattoo artists.
“These shows have changed people’s mindset towards body art, and have made it more acceptable to those who would not normally have considered it.
“Also, tattoo shops used to be hidden, but now they are in the middle of the suburbs.”
Walmer housewife Catherine Goddard, 46, got her first tattoo about two-and-half years ago.
The Prospect Road resident, who now has three tattoos, said it had been on her bucket list but she had never found anyone she trusted enough to do it.
“I then found Lu on Facebook. I thought his work was phenomenal,” said Catherine.
The mother of two said men were less likely to be judged for having tattoos than women, especially in Walmer.
“But I will be getting more,” she said.
Lu, an avid painter, and Jac concentrate more on creating works of art than making money.
This is why the couple feel it is up to them to advise clients on their choice and placement of their tattoos.
“It is our responsibility to make sure they have thought about it,” said Lu, who warns against making snap decisions.
“When in doubt, go without, we always say.”
There have been times when they have recommended clients come back once they have given it some more thought. This was because of either a questionable placement or design.
“They usually come back with a totally different tattoo idea,” said Jac.
Lu said his major concern, being an artist, was that most people cared what others would think.
“Some clients want a tattoo where it can be easily hidden,” he said.
“But once you get your first tattoo, it is hard to stay away.
“Nine out of 10 people come back for more, they do not usually stick with one. They like the feeling and the experience – it gets addictive.”