'A baptism of fire' - Family switches engineering business for tattoo studio

Howlin Wolf Ink North Walsham staff

Clockwise from top left: Logan Reed, 42; Sally-Ann Reed, 51; and Sophie Wright, 22 who work at Howlin' Wolf Ink, a new tattoo studio in North Walsham. - Credit: Submitted

A north Norfolk man has seized the chance to fulfill a long-held dream after selling his 12-year-old engineering business.

Logan Reed, 42, who lives in Hoveton, had always dabbled in tattoos but it wasn't until he sold his precision machine shop to a Burnley-based company that he decided to take the leap and open his own studio.

Howlin' Wolf Ink, a family-run business, opened at the end of October on Stanley Road in North Walsham.

Howlin' Wolf Ink, on Stanley Road in North Walsham

Howlin' Wolf Ink, on Stanley Road in North Walsham, is the town's second tattoo studio. - Credit: Submitted

Mr Reed's wife, Sally-Ann, 51, said: "At school Logan was told he would never own his own broom but he qualified as an engineer."

He then set up Hellbent Engineering, a precision machine shop in North Walsham which he ran for 12 years.

Logan Reed from Hoveton

When he was at school, Logan Reed, 42, was told he would never own his own broom, but he went on to open an engineering business and now a tattoo studio in North Walsham. - Credit: Submitted

In 2018, Mr Reed was suffering from back pain and was told he would need a wheelchair, so the couple put the shop on the market but when his diagnosis improved, they decided to not sell the business.

But then, in January this year, a company from Burnley approached the Reeds and said they would like to buy their business.

Mrs Reed said: "We were like 'what? Great!' But it was quite a thing to let go of for Logan. We had built it up for 12 years."

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The sale completed in April.

Sally-Ann Reed, 51, who works at Howlin' Wolf Ink in North Walsham.

Sally-Ann Reed, 51, who works at Howlin' Wolf Ink, a new tattoo studio in North Walsham. - Credit: Submitted

"We thought it was a wind-up, some sort of scam, but they bought the business and moved it up to Burnley.

"After that we were basically at home wondering 'what now?' People asked us had we retired? We said no. And Logan said he had always wanted to do tattooing properly so he went and got his qualifications."

Sophie Wright, 22, does piercings at Howlin' Wolf Ink in North Walsham.

Sophie Wright, 22, does piercings at Howlin' Wolf Ink, a new tattoo studio in North Walsham. - Credit: Submitted

The couple are joined at the studio by their sons' girlfriends, Sophie Wright, 22, who works for two days a week doing piercings, and Courtney Osborn, 23, who cleans the premises.

Running the tattoo studio is completely different from their previous roles.

"At the machine shop everything was done by email but now we're dealing with the public face to face," Mrs Reed said.

A selection of tattoos drawn by Logan Reed, 42, at Howlin' Wolf Ink

A selection of tattoos drawn by Logan Reed, 42, at Howlin' Wolf Ink in North Walsham. - Credit: Submitted

"It's been a baptism of fire. But it's been really good. We are booked up until Christmas Eve.

"We've been quite blown away by the people who have come in and they lovely things they have said."

Howlin' Wolf Ink is open 9am to 6pm six days a week


  

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