SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WSAV) – A father and his two daughters are making history, opening up the first tattoo parlor in Effingham County.
While Springfield city officials did not oppose the opening of Harley Ink, many people associate tattoos with bad people. Tim Harley and his two daughters, Chelsea Weaver and Ashton Harley, are not worried about being the talk around town.
The two sisters, who are the tattoo artists, do not want to disrupt the quiet small town but add value to it. They want to erase the stigma surrounding tattoos.
“That’s really all we’re trying to do… show the way it makes people feel, whether it’s memorial pieces or really just things that they like,” Ashton said. “They could look at a tattoo and bring back memories.”
Ashton learned tattoo services under the guidance of Chelsea, who has been in the business for several years.
“We decided that we didn’t want to work for anybody else,” Chelsea said. “We wanted to kind of be our own bosses and do what we felt needed to be done in a tattoo shop. So, that’s when we went to our dad and said, ‘Let’s see if we can be the first ones in Effingham.'”
But, some in the area do not want to see this kind of business succeed. Harley says Rincon officials have not allowed tattoo shops in the city.
“We approached Springfield about coming in and wanting to start a tattoo shop. Springfield was more than welcoming and told us they had no problem with us coming in,” Harley said.
The county does not have its own ordinance relating to tattoo shops, so Harley Ink is following state guidelines. The sisters now have to take their state tests and pass final inspections.
While many people see tattoos in a negative light and have concerns about a shop coming into their city, Harley says, “Go to any police department. Go to any fire department. Go to any Emergency Medical Services building. Go to your churches. You’re going to find that everybody in this walk of life has embraced the tattoo.
“It’s a personal choice. A lot of tattoos mean something to everybody.”
The shop is located at 507 North Laurel St. Unit D in Springfield. You can make your appointment at their grand opening next Saturday, Aug. 19, starting at 10 a.m.