admin Posted November 2, 2018 Share Posted November 2, 2018 The most popular tattoos so far have been designs of the 850 area code, with the 0 replaced by a small hurricane graphic, or an orange. Residents also been been purchasing art of Florida’s outline, as a reminder of the strength the disaster has demanded of the state and her residents. PANAMA CITY — An 8-foot branch now lives in the attic at Seventh Seal Tattoo. The roof is punctured in three places and evidence of water damage is growing. But still, the whir of tattoo needles can be heard from inside. During normal business days, Seventh Seal operates by appointments only, which owner Jerry Pipkins said pre-hurricane, were lined up until February. Now without places to live, many of his regulars are canceling. Without appointments to rely on, Pipkins has no idea what his monthly finances will look like. To supplement, Pipkins has opened the shop to walk-ins, which has inspired a trend — tattoos to commemorate the disaster. The most popular tattoos so far have been designs of the 850 area code, with the 0 replaced by a small hurricane graphic, or an orange. Customers also have been purchasing art of Florida’s outline, as a reminder of the strength the disaster has demanded of the state and her residents. Tattoo artist Holly Woodnt has done about half of the hurricane tattoos so far. She believes the tattoos have been helping people cope. “You lose a loved one, you go through something traumatic,” she said. Tattoos are a “form of therapy to get through this and stay positive.” She said the tattoos also act as a little badge of honor for many of the locals who have requested the ink. “The body is a journal, and this is another entry.” Pipkins has been tattooing professionally for 11 years and has owned Seventh Seal Tattoo for the past three. Keeping the doors open will depend on the now-modest flow of work coming in to remain steady. The only way the business has been able to promote lately is though a Verizon cellphone, which has been spotty at best. “We can make it to March,” Pipkins said, hopeful. In addition to structural damage and unclear finances, the business also has lost three artists because of damaged homes and has had to absorb its shop in Parker into its Jenks Avenue location. According to Pipkins, the Jenks location had been struggling before the hurricane, and after losing artists and income, he decided a merger made the most sense. The shop on Jenks now has increased its artists from eight to 11. “I’m optimistically going to keep going,” said Pipkins. It isn’t just optimism that is keeping Pipkins going. It’s also his character. Closing up shop would mean lost jobs not only for him, but for all of his employees — something Pipkins is fighting to avoid. Still, Pipkins said he knows the future is dependent on how the local economy rebuilds. He estimates 10 percent of the shop’s business came from Tyndall Air Force Base, which will take years to rebuild after being slammed by the outer wall of the hurricane’s eye. Until further notice, the Jenks Avenue shop is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and also is acting as an area supply drop for people looking to donate post-hurricane supplies. Shop employees will redistribute items to areas on the outskirts of town, which have been more difficult to reach. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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