South Vineland’s Firehouse Tattoo is captivating. Not only have they become a certified Tatt2Away® center, but they’re also actually in a firehouse. And no, there’s no pole. “We get that question a lot,” said Joey Letizia, co-owner with his wife, Marcy. “It was all volunteer so no one slept here.” Last used as a firehouse in 2004 when his grandfather was Fire Chief, the station had been vacant for seven years when they selected it for their shop.
“My parents’ wedding reception was in the banquet hall upstairs where we tattoo now,” said Joey. “My family has a lot of history here.” Interestingly enough, Joey’s mother wouldn’t let him become a firefighter. “She was afraid I’d hurt myself,” said Joey, who instead, drew on himself. “They didn’t like that either,” he said. “Tattooing wasn’t the easiest thing to get into, but now they’re cool with it.”
Tatt2Away caught his eye on Instagram, so he began researching it. “It seemed pretty cool, and I figured we’d be able to swing at least the start up and get it going,” he said. “I’m super happy with it. The results are just absolutely amazing.”
They’ve been at it a couple months. Said Marcy, “We started right away, so most everyone is ready for their second session.” Part of their initial investigation was to use Facebook to ascertain the interest level. “When we began consultations, we took people from that list,” she said. “There was a pretty crazy amount of people who were interested.”
The shop artists excel at coverups – it’s the coverups on top of coverups that cause problems. And it’s on those, the Letizias said, that Tatt2Away becomes such an asset. Said Joey, “I worked on a piece that was tattooed around ten times. Tatt2Away actually pulled out all the ink.” He said a lot of people want a portrait over a coverup, “which absolutely will not work,” or to change a name into another name. “We get all kinds of weird requests so Tatt2Away definitely helps with those.” Or the people who have their new baby’s name and birthdate tattooed and then, as Marcy said, come in two days later because they remembered incorrectly.
“We also run into a lot of situations where they don’t want anything bigger,” said Joey about coverups. “Or they don’t want a tattoo at all. So that’s where Tatt2Away comes in, because we can just completely get rid of the tattoo and they don’t have to have anything. I like to have that option. It makes it 100% worth it.”
In training, Joey and Marcy learned laser removal can cause scar tissue buildup, and because laser doesn’t remove all inks and pigments, Tatt2Away treatments might be a little more difficult. Marcy said her fifth client was someone who had had laser removal 14 times. “It was incredible because he said he’d spent over $9,000 so far and you could still see this huge tattoo of this face on his forearm.” She’s finished one treatment on him and said it worked. “He has these little red pinkish spots everywhere, and the ink came out in all the spots that I treated,” she said. “He’s ecstatic.”
Bringing a laser into the shop was never an option. Marcy had looked into it for a tattoo she wanted to get rid of, but opted for a coverup instead. “But I still know it’s there. I hate it,” she said. So naturally, she opted for Tatt2Away. “It seems to have worked, and it’s been tattooed over many times. That’s pretty amazing to me.” She was skeptical about Tatt2Away when Joey first showed it to her. “I said there was no way something like this can exist. How come I’ve been walking around with a couple of bad coverups for years?”
Now she’s especially thankful she didn’t undergo laser, as Tatt2Away training also educated her about how inks can contain dangerous components, amplified by laser removal. “So many young kids go somewhere they shouldn’t to get tattooed and then they have it laser removed,” said Marcy. She said they’d seen many clients come in who had been through laser treatments. “Their skin looks kind of melted. At training we learned that some inks contain components of plastic and other things they shouldn’t. It dawned on me that could be why.”
Marcy is currently working with two clients who are opting for pattern disruption to facilitate a coverup. “It’s amazing how it works,” she said, remembering their initial research into the product and looking at the feedback before they made the decision to become a Tatt2Away center. “We saw some good feedback and some bad feedback, but the bad feedback was all pictures of removal sessions that were done way too close together,” Marcy said. “You could clearly see that they misused the Tatt2Away product. They were trying to treat a larger area or didn’t have the spacing right. If you actually follow it by the template you’re good. Everything seems to be great that we’ve done.”
South Vineland’s Firehouse Tattoo is now scheduling consultations in their studio. New art, coverups, and tattoo removal all under one roof!
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