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Local tattoo shops merging due to COVID-19



MONROE, La. – Fat Mermaid Tattoo Boutique stepped into 2020 having their best year ever.

After two years of struggling financially, the tattoo shop started to turn a corner, but then the pandemic hit.

“Prior to the pandemic, we were having our best year ever. We were looking forward saying we were going to be in the black, we’ll be able to do all the different things we want to do such as travel and do conventions. You know really get a chance to put ourselves out there, but then the shutdown hit,” said Erica Dean.

Owner Erica Dean says thanks to savings and PPE loans, her family and her workers were able to keep food on the table, but she knew a difficult decision was ahead.

“It’s not going to be smoothed out any time soon and we’re looking down the barrel of another potential shutdown,” said Dean.

Dean decided shutting down Fat Mermaid was the best move, but then a conversation with the owner of another local tattoo shop sparked an idea.

“I had no capital and she needed more people. She made an offer to me that was very reasonable and we were able to combine our advantages,” said Dean.

Dean says they will join forces with Cold Desert Tattoo Studio in West Monroe and move all their things starting next week.

Fat Mermaid’s last day open will be this weekend.

She says it’s sad and scary to see her business shut down, but she’s looking forward to a new beginning.

“All of our crew will be together at West Monroe so anyone’s that’s concerned about losing the family, don’t be worried. We’re just moving in with mama for a little while,” said Dean.