MOORESVILLE – From a blossoming rose hidden away on an ankle to a sharp-fanged snake spiraling up a bicep, the tattoo artists of Anything's Possible Tattoo adorn bodies with all sorts of artwork.
Husband and wife Mike and Johanna Jones have maintained a shop on Main Street for the last 20 years. They've also owned a store in downtown Salisbury, Inksane Tattoo & Piercing, for 14 years.
On Dec. 17, the Salisbury City Council granted Inksane a special use permit to sell alcohol on the premises.
The couple is applying for a permit through the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission to run a small bar at the Mooresville shop, as well. Johanna said the building is already zoned to allow for alcohol sales, and she hopes the permit will come through by early January.
"It's not like you're letting people come in and get really intoxicated,” she said. “It's responsible adults just wanting to take the edge off and relax before getting a tattoo.”
The bar will only be for customers and their guests, not for the general public.
Customers generally frequent other bars along Main Street to calm their nerves before coming in for a tattoo, Johanna said, so now everything will be offered in-house.
"We'll put a little bar up front and get some local microbreweries on tap," she said. "It's something that's kind of a growing trend in our industry."
Johanna is responsible for managing daily operations at both locations, but Mike still tattoos patrons in Salisbury.
“I like the permanency of it,” he said. “You're selling somebody something that you crafted for them and that they'll have forever."
Mike, a Huntersville native, was one of the primary people who lobbied the General Assembly in 1995 to put the laws that currently govern tattooing into effect.
His main concerns were pushing "scratchers," or those who tattooed from their homes, out of the business and making sure needles and shops were clean and sanitary.
Anything's Possible employs seven tattoo artists who must receive a permit to work through the state's Department of Health and Human Services' environmental health division.
“We have seven really talented artists so that no matter what you put in for, there's going to be an artist who can deliver,” Johanna said. “It holds up, too. You're not going to get a tattoo that looks bad a year from now. It's going to look good 20 years from now."