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New Dagenham tattoo parlour is a cut above the rest

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 April 2017

Tattoo artist Kevin Haggis has opened a unisex hair stylist with attached tattoo parlour. Pictured with Vikki Cox and Sammie Aubrey

Tattoo artist Kevin Haggis has opened a unisex hair stylist with attached tattoo parlour. Pictured with Vikki Cox and Sammie Aubrey

Archant

A tattoo artist has departed from the stereotype of dingy parlours with a light-filled, modern workspace.

Kevin Haggis has teamed up with business partner Bill Stratford to transform Sweeney’s barbershop in Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, into a unisex hairdresser with a tattoo parlour on the side.

“We wanted to do something that no one’s done before, there’s nothing like this here,” explained Kevin of Sammie’s Unisex Hair Salon Empire Ink, which launched at the end of last month.

“Clients can have their hair done and have tattoos done in the same visit.”

The internal transformation is dramatic – from a dark, airless shop to a salon fitted with gold, copper and white tiles.

Sammie Aubrey, a stylist from Dagenham, will manage the salon while Kevin will be in charge of his eclectic parlour through a glass panel.“In my room there are skulls everywhere,” laughed the 36-year-old, of Tilbury. “I’ve got all sorts of things there to keep the client’s mind off the procedure.”

The dad-of-two believes the business has the potential to grow.

“Hopefully we’ll get to expand,” he said. “In a few years we want to open in Brentwood and Brighton, they’re up-and-coming areas.

“This isn’t a biker, dodgy, rock and roll tattoo place, it’s more of a fashionable place to go.”

Kevin was first inspired to take up his passion professionally with the birth of his first child in 2009.

“I thought, how can I tell my boy to follow his dreams when I don’t follow mine?”

To find out more search Sammies Unisex Salon Empire Ink on Facebook, or call 020 8127 8680.

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