Business booming for a Banbury empire

Empire Tattoo and Piercing Studio opens this Saturday
Empire Tattoo and Piercing Studio opens this Saturday

A long empty retail unit in the heart of the town has been given a new lease of life after the expansion of a Banbury business.

Established in April 2008 as S&D Tattoos and located in a small studio above a hairdressers on George Street, Empire Tattoo Studio started out with Leon Cornish as its sole artist. Lewis Preece joined the team six months later and Empire Tattoos have continued expanding ever since.

Saturday, April 13, will mark the beginning of the studio's next chapter as they open their much larger headquarters in Church Lane in the building formerly occupied by Swag Shop.

The move will allow them to hire more artists and staff to man the front of house and the new juice/coffee bar, Blend, that is open to anybody.

Lee Davis, co-owner of Empire, said: "We've got six tattooists and we have three staff members that work between the reception and coffee bar and me, so there'e ten of us all together.

"We've got six tattooing bays and what we're looking to do is add more artists who do one or two days a week. In this business its really hard to get good tattooists, especially local, so in order to grow our business we need to bring them in from elsewhere."

The studio will open to the public for the first time this Saturday, April 13 with a few special offers available.

Lee said: "They'll be half price piercing and we'll be giving out a few free drinks and there may be a possibility of a few walk in appointments.

"On Saturday we'll be open from 8am until 5 or 6 pm. Our tattooists hours are 9.30am until 5.30pm everyday but we open half hour before but the Blend bar will be open from 8.30am so the doors to the shop will be open from 8.30am for people to come in and get coffees and stuff."