Killeen tattoo and piercing shop joins statewide movement by reopening

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 19:35:41-04

KILLEEN, TX — The statewide movement to reopen tattoo shops across Texas continues.

Holey Moley Tattoos & Piercings in Killeen has joined a movement to reopen tattoo shops across Texas, despite the executive order for them to remain closed.

"No money coming in and you know we just had to do what we got to do," said Moley, owner of Holey Moley Tattoos & Piercings.

25 News first followed this movement with Infamous Ink in Waco.

"We can't just sit around and hope any longer, we've got to do something," said Tori Birkert, body piercer, Infamous Ink.

The shop reopened on Friday.

Customers like Desirre Nino were eager to get work done.

"They're really close to you and they're piercing and tattooing so besides the pandemic they have to be clean," explained Nino.

The owners say they already operate under some of the most strict guidelines, but they are also taking other steps like social distancing.

When Governor Abbott announced the reopening of nail salons and hair salons, tattoo parlor owners like Chris Reese with Mighty Jackalope Tattoos expected to be included in the list.

However, that did not happen.

He says he is doing his best to hold tight.

"It would be nice to know when we'll have the opportunity to go back to work, be able to pay for our bills," said Reese. "I understand why there are some shops opening right now. I don't hold it against them."

Advocacy group Freedom Initiative Texas has joined a nationwide movement of their own for the entire country to peacefully open back up. They also stand with tattoo shops.

"I think they should continue to stay open, you know I don't know if you've ever been inside a really awesome tattoo shop, but they are very sterile," said Philip Archibald, creator, Freedom Initiative Texas.

In the meantime, Moley is serving his community, one client at a time.

"Everybody's got to wear a mask and we're limited to one customer per artist and limited to two artists at a time," said Moley.

Moley says they have not received a citation for reopening and he is not worried about that.

He says he tried applying for a PPP loan with no response.

However, if he would have been able to get his hands on that money, he would have waited before reopening.

So far, Infamous Ink has received a total of four citations from code enforcement.

They have been asked to shut down and refused.

They say public support has been overwhelming and they will remain open, even if it means taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court of Texas.