After spending years as an apprentice tattoo artist to better your skills and learn new ones you are now ready to move on and set up a shop of your own. You have the skills you need and enough background knowledge to get your feet firmly under the table. Your one worry is how will you finance it and even if you manage to will it be a success?
Hopefully after spending years as an apprentice you yourself will have gained a number of loyal customers who have kept coming back to you for new art. If this is the case they will no doubt follow you should you move premises. Customers can be very choosy over who inks them, in a similar fashion to having a haircut, you stick with who and what you know for the results you desire and enjoy. With the comfort of knowing you already have customers for your shop, and the hope that they will tell others you can feel more comfortable about finding your own premises.
With that out of the way you are probably also concerned about tattoo supplies, tattoo furniture and much more. Again you should hopefully have some of this sorted already. No doubt you have already got tattoo machines, needles, tips and grips, inks and other necessities for tattooing. You may even have your own furniture as many shops require you to rent out a space and therefore have your own belongings. If not, don’t panic, tattoo furniture can be picked up second hand or even new for a reasonable price.
The things you are most likely going to need to buy for yourself are autoclaves and ultrasonic machines for cleaning your equipment properly. You will also need to arrange for the correct disposal methods to be in your shop for the likes of used needles and what not.
With most of your needs already catered to the real big worry is the shop itself. Finding somewhere big enough and in the right location can be difficult for the amount of money you want to spend. Renting is always a good idea, particularly if you are just starting out. That way you can opt into a 6 or 12 month contract depending on your commitments.
By taking the time to search and negotiate it is possible to find somewhere that you can afford. Remember having your own shop will mean that you need to make it look the part. This means decorating it, inside and out so that people are fully aware that it is a tattoo shop. Flash art is usually a common sight in a tattoo studio, start small and over time you can add to this and build up a collection. Whatever you do make sure that you have portfolios of your own work in the studio and examples of work you have done on the walls.