ODESSA, Texas (YourBasin) – As Governor Abbott continues to ease restrictions and allowing businesses to open, restaurants, malls, barbershops, and salons have been able to open their doors. But, tattoo shops seem to have been left in the dark as they are still not allowed to reopen at this time.
“It’s pretty unfortunate that we don’t even know a date when we are going to be open. It would at least be a good thing if we knew at least when we were going to open but as far as I’m concerned we were literally left out in the dark,” says Black Cat Tattoo owner Edgar Armendariz.
Armendariz and his crew had measures sent in place before their doors closed due to the shelter-in-place order. Measures included one client in the building per artist. According to Armendariz, most of the equipment his team uses is disposable.
“We understood we had to close for the right thing, you know, stop the spread. Totally understandable but I feel this is way to much time of being closed,” says Armendariz.
Armendariz sees other services such as barbershops, salons, nail salons, and other shops open their doors and sees it unfair to his business. He says tattoo shops have to follow the same procedures to disinfect and keep the shop clean.
“A lot of people do see us as the same way a barbershop or, you know, salon. Pretty much if you go on the health department website we’re kind of listed around that type of services,” says Armendariz.
For one of Armendariz’s artist, Braden Jones is feeling the effects overall.
“I got four kids and a new house right before COVID hit. It’s just frustrating because I don’t know how I’m suppose to support my family,” says Jones.
Jones having to work side jobs such as lawn work, house work, and other things to stay afloat.
He states that Black Cat Tattoo faces vigorous health codes to pass and work closely with the Texas Health Department and doesn’t understand why they aren’t open.
“There’s no reason,” says Jones.
And for Jones, he is not giving up as an artist stating, “it’s my passion. I don’t do it just for fun. It’s everything. I evolve my life around tattooing and artwork.”
Armendariz and his crew have talked regularly as they prepare to open up even if it is against Governor Abbott’s orders.
“I feel like, definitely, you know we’ve pushed our limit on being closed and you can only push it so far where we might have to just reopen if that’s going to be the case. Other tattoo studios have already been following and just opening regardless of the orders from the governor,” says Armendariz.
Armendariz reminding those that they are self employed. They don’t receive any benefits.
“It is a wise idea to save for a rainy day but a rainy day only last so long and we’re way past that storm,” says Armendariz.