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How did Sick Plugs come to be?

Tori Harrison

You might have seen my Facebook profile and I've been talking about "Where to start with my Blog!?"

Well, a few of my customers suggested I go back to the beginning and tell people how Sick Plugs came to be.

So here we are:

For about 3 years I'd been "between jobs" and spending a lot of time in a local tattoo studio.

The lady who owned and ran that studio soon became a friend... became my boss.

She gave me a job as her "Business Manager" which involved everything from Reception/Front of house duties to, eventually, learning to do Piercings.

Obviously, like most people in any job, some days were awesome and others, not so good. Over the 5 years I worked there I came to notice a few "common things";

1) People are rubbish at deciding what they want to get as a tattoo.

2) People think it's OK to bring a baby or child in to get their ears pierced. It isn't.

3) People often left disappointed because we never had any cool plugs, tunnels or body jewellery to sell them.

It was 3) that quickly became the most significant.

I lost count of the amount of "cool alt kids" that would come in, look in the jewellery display cabinets and say "Have you got any new plugs in? I'm after something cool!"

Every time, sadly, the answer was a "No, sorry, just the same clip-art stuff we had last week."

So, I spoke to my boss several times and mentioned something ought to be done about it as there was "a ready-made audience"... Each time the reply was "I don't think it would work", "it would be too much to invest", "too risky" or "why would anyone buy from us when they can get stuff on eBay?"

I'm not a negative person. These responses drove me mad and led to massive frustration.

In an attempt to change the situation, and at her request, I designed and built her an "online shop" where people could buy any item of body jewellery you can think of. And basic clip-art plugs.

Obviously, and rather ironically, no-one bought anything because it was a minefield of choice and didn't sell anything "cool" and the basic stuff we stocked hundreds of was all cheaper on eBay...

Again, "We should try selling less and specialise in cool plugs and tunnels" was my suggestion.

And again refused.

Until one morning in October 2012, when tempers were frayed in the studio over something completely unconnected, and there was once again a (frustrated!) discussion about online selling. A difference of opinion outed itself again and, rather than sit in my chair and discuss it for the nth time, I stood up, told her I'd "Had enough", thanked her for everything she'd done for me and went and got my coat.

I'd just quit my job!

What to do next!?

Well, there was still not enough cool plugs and tunnels being sold. Someone had to sort that out.

It's now just over 2 1/2 years later and Sick Plugs is a name a lot of people know.

I must be doing something right!


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