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By Carmen Ensinger
Tattoo studios are often thought of as places where big, burly biker dudes covered in tats hang out waiting to get the last three inches of skin on their body covered in ink while heavy metal music plays in the background.
However, a Carrollton couple is shattering that image with the opening of Do Good Ink, which offers not only tattooing but also piercings. It is nothing like what you would expect a tattoo parlor to be.
Cheyenne and Joel Diuguid (pronounced “do good”) rented two units in the Yonder Works building, located on the corner of 5th and North Main on the Carrollton Square. One room is the office and the other room contains the chair where the client sits and all the necessary inks. There is no loud music playing. No pictures of tattooed bikers on the wall and no smell of illegal substances wafting in from the back room. It is just a nice little, normal shop ran by two nice, young, normal people.
“We are definitely trying to break the negative image that tattoo shops have gotten over the years,” Joel Diuguid said. “We wanted this to be a welcoming environment for everyone. We want this to be a place where an 18-year-old and her mom can come into.”
The name of the studio itself is a play on the family name.
“We knew we wanted to play off our name because everyone always mispronounces it anyway,” Joel Diuguid said. “I came up with the name ‘Do Good Tats’ but Cheyenne didn’t care for that. She came up with ‘Do Good Tattoos’ but I wanted to keep it all one syllables, so we settled on ‘Do Good Ink.’”
Cheyenne is the artist of the family.
“I have always been an artist and dabbled in different mediums over the years,” she said. “I’ve done wood burnings and paintings, but it wasn’t until my husband, Joel, brought it up to me that I ever even thought about becoming a tattoo artist.”
Joel admits he is the extrovert of the family and his wife is more of an introvert. In fact, he admits that he kind of pushed her into the business.
“She was getting a cover up done at a tattoo studio and when we walked out of there I looked over at her and said ‘you are going to start doing tattoos,’” he said. “This is coming from a man who has no tattoos at all – in fact I have a phobia of needles. She didn’t think I was serious but I told her she has a natural talent – a God-given gift and it is something she needs to do and I think we needed to try and explore it. And a year later here we are.”
In case there are those wondering what a cover-up is, it is a tattoo covering up another tattoo, for whatever reason. While Cheyenne went to the tattoo studio for the one cover-up, she did the second one herself. Using a mirror, she tattooed the back portion of her shoulder blade.
So, did you ever wonder where people come up with the ideas for some of the tattoos out there?
“Some people see them on the internet and will bring it up and show me and I will then do a stencil and transfer it to their skin and then do the inking,” Cheyenne said. “Other times, they might want something specific, like a memorial to someone, which I might do a stencil on but sometimes, with the florals, I will draw directly onto the skin.”
For those wondering why it costs so much to get a tattoo, Joel explained that there is so much more than just what goes on when the client gets in the chair.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that even if they send her an image of something they want, she still has to tweak it so she might spend three or four hours on her tablet before the person comes in,” Joel said. “Then she has to spend another hour setting up shop, going through the whole process of putting the stencil on the person, so then you have put in four hours before you even have the needle touch the skin, which is when the timer usually starts.
“So, people are like, why are tattoos so expensive. Well, the tattoo artist has already spent four hours doing all of this other stuff so you are not just paying for the actual tattoo so that is one huge misconception as far as tattoos are concerned.”
Do Good Ink charges $80 an hour for a tattoo, which Joel says is a lot less than in some of the bigger cities. They have a $50 minimum charge for smaller tattoos that take 30 minutes or less.
“In Edwardsville, for example, some of them charge as much as $150 an hour,” Joel said. “So, compared to them, we are very much on the lower end of the spectrum. We don’t want to outprice people, but we do have people driving up here from Bethalto for an appointment. You have to find that happy medium where we are making a profit but yet we are not so expensive that some people in the area can’t afford us.”
One way they are keeping their costs down is by keeping their overhead down. Originally, they were looking at opening their studio in Jerseyville, but, at the last minute, that fell through. Then, by chance, they met Nick and Carrie Graham, who own Yonder Works.
“The space in Jerseyville was just way too big for us anyway and then we just ran into Carrie and they were incredibly receptive to the idea of a tattoo studio which, quite frankly, shocked us,” Joel said. “We didn’t even know this place was here. We walked in here, looked at it and right then and there rented two of the spaces.”
Cheyenne agreed that it was the perfect fit.
“We didn’t need 1,200 square feet for just the two of us and our one or two clients that we might have at one time,” she said. “So, it was going to be really challenging to find a place that wasn’t too large and these are like the perfect size for us. Plus, everything is included in the rent – electric, water, internet and we have a huge conference room we can use for our clients. This is truly a hidden gem here in Carrollton.”
While the Diuguid’s are trying to change the stigma associated with tattoo studios, the stigma typically associated with tattoo’s has already changed drastically within the last five or six years.
“Tattoos are no longer for just the meathead bikers or for the guys in the military,” Joel said. “She has done them on doctors and nurses and teachers. They are actually becoming quite common.”
There are some people who can’t stop with just one tattoo and keep coming back for more and more and more – some until their entire body is covered. Cheyenne was asked why she thought this was.
“I think some people see it as like a creative outlet,” she said. “It is like decorating your body.”
Joel had another idea.
“I think some people just kind of dig the pain,” he said. “It is pain therapy for them. It is almost like a stress reliever for them.”
Joel said he feels like they are providing a unique service that will bring people to Carrollton that will, in turn, help other businesses.
“We are having a flash sale Friday, and we have people driving an hour to come to us and another person coming from Springfield,” he said. “To me, that is drawing people into Carrollton. And when they get done here, they might stop in and get some pizza at Alfonso’s or stop at the Dairy Bar or Brass Door or get gas at Moto, so it will be helping out other businesses as well.”