The artists at a small Calgary tattoo shop are trying to keep a sense of humour about a bad situation and recoup their losses after robbers cleaned out their business earlier this week.
Justin Kern, owner of Under the Gun at 1715 17th Avenue S.W., said sometime between 8 p.m. Sunday and 2 a.m. Monday — when he was woken up by a call from police — robbers broke into his shop.
They 'cleaned out everything'
"Someone went in through the front door and cleaned out everything we got and took everybody's tattoo machines and their supplies. That was pretty much everything we need to continue in this business," he said.
Four artists had all of their equipment and ink stolen, and multiple envelopes full of cash (proceeds from holiday gift card sales) were also missing. The total value of the stolen items is around $8,000, Kern said.
One artist, Calan Lovstoan, posted a photo of all he had left — a bottle of yellow ink and a lining machine, joking that if anyone wanted some yellow tattoos without shading, he was available.
Kern said it's going to be tough to even cover the shop's rent this month, so he's started a GoFundMe and is holding a "We Got Robbed Sale" with all tattoos on for half price ($80 per hour) until the end of the month.
He said in the five years the shop has been open, nothing like this has ever happened.
A shop in Kelowna reached out to donate some equipment and ink so the artists can keep going for the time being.
"Every little bit helps," Kern said. "It's actually pretty humbling to see who's contributing … it's really good."