LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — The owner of Tattooing By Mee in Lancaster City said his shop is finally starting to settle into normalcy after an increase in appointments throughout the pandemic.
Mee Feld said during tax season when people received their stimulus checks, many people were seeking ink. He recalled a Saturday where the shop’s artists did 25 tattoos and just couldn’t do anymore.
“I turned over 40 people away just in one day,” said Feld who said customers were willing to drive far distances and offering to pay triple to get some body art, according to Feld.
The tattoo industry continues to boom and is expected to increase by 6.6% this year. According to Ipsos, more Americans have tattoos today than in early 2012. Reports also say three in 10 Americans have at least one tattoo, which is an increase from 21% in 2012.
“The last couple weeks, we’re literally just starting to get back to normal to be able to breathe,” said Feld.
Feld said he commonly works on body art for clients that are a creative expression for them or their loved ones. These include faith-based tattoos, which Feld said people couldn’t get for a while as a result of month-long COVID-19 closures.
“Some [tattoos] were COVID related— some weren’t,” said Feld.
Feld said to help with the high demand for ink, he opens the shop between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Feld thinks body art can be an outlet for people to simply get a release from tiring times.
“People get tattooed for different reasons,” said Feld. ”Sometimes you see people at their worst — I mean their absolute worst moment in their life and they just need to get a tattoo,” said Feld.