Samantha Maitland, Campbell Marks and Nathan Marks from Dirty Deeds Tattoo at Raceview.
Samantha Maitland, Campbell Marks and Nathan Marks from Dirty Deeds Tattoo at Raceview.

Tattoo business forced to close after $23,000 insurance bill

A TATTOO artist is hoping for a "miracle" to save her business after being told she would have to pay a $23,000 insurance premium or be gone from her shop after the weekend.

Samantha Maitland, who runs Dirty Deeds Tattoo and Piercing with husband Nathan, said she could not afford to pay the sum and had to cancel months of customer bookings.

It means they will have to vacate the shop in the complex on Raceview St as the business has been classed by insurers as 'high risk'.

"The insurance premiums have gone up for the whole complex because they consider me a high risk tenant," she said.

"They think I'm going to be firebombed or vandalised or something like that because I'm a tattooist.

"My landlords have tried their hardest to try and sort things out for me. It's all coming down to insurance companies.

"Some of the insurance companies were trying to charge them $80,000.

"Their excess has also gone up to $10,000. So if a car crashed into another shop that has nothing to do with me, I've got to fork out the extra for the excess."

Ms Maitland started Dirty Deeds in January last year and moved from Wynnum to set up her first business.

It is a hard decision to stomach after 18 months of hard work to build the business from scratch, especially after being given such short notice.

Ms Maitland said she found out about issues with insurance last week but was only told on Wednesday of the amount she would need to cough up.

"The reasons I've been given and (the landlord has been given) is basically because I'm high risk," she said.

"Apparently we attract undesirables and because there's other tattoo shops around we might be in competition with each other and start vandalising each other's properties.

"I'm just a mum who wants to do art. I've got customers booked in until October.

"I'm the breadwinner of my family. I stand to lose thousands of dollars.

"I've worked hard to make a profitable business and it's all being ripped away.

"Unless some miracle happens it looks like I'll be shutting up."

Starting all over again somewhere new could mean another difficult and lengthy process getting council approval.

Mr Marks said it was ridiculous to stereotype tattoo parlours as 'high risk' and it was heartbreaking for a couple just trying to provide for their two-year-old son.

"I'm sure this is going to happen to other tattoo parlours," he said.

"We're both law abiding citizens.

"We've jumped from what a florist would pay to this.

"It's not fair."

Mr Marks said the business will welcome its final clients on Saturday and his wife cannot operate from home or risk losing her licence.