EDGEWATER, Colo. – All Sacred Tattoo Studio in Edgewater is in the business of decorating people’s bodies with their artwork, but their latest venture seeks to erase tattoos for former gang members and others seeking to turn their lives around.
The tattoo studio is in the process of raising money for a laser machine, with the goal being to hold free tattoo removal events once a month. The free services will be specifically for kids under the age of 18 and those who want to escape the gang lifestyle or some other kind of criminal past.
Visible tattoos, especially those on the face or neck, can make finding work difficult for those trying to get back on the straight and narrow.
“It’s a rough cycle when you want to change your lifestyle but you can’t due to permanent marks,” shop manager Justin Wild said.
Laser tattoo removal isn’t cheap. Prices vary, but one Denver business lists a cost of $50 per square inch for the first four square inches.
About three weeks ago, All Sacred started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a down payment on a laser machine. As of Friday afternoon, they had raised almost $7,000 toward their $30,000 goal.
Perks for those who donate include hats, shirts, and free laser removal sessions. Donate $5,000, and you’ll get a free custom tattoo from artist Aries Rhysing, whose services are in such high demand that he’s booked out until August 2018, not counting his wait list.
The staff at All Sacred would love to see big donations to their cause, but they really just want to see more people pitch in so they can get started removing tattoos.
“If everyone who heard about this donated five dollars, we’d meet the goal in no time,” Wild said. “Five dollars is the cost of a cup of coffee.”
This is just the latest community service venture for All Sacred, whose business was founded on the principle of giving back to the greater Denver area. The shop launched the All Sacred Foundation three years ago with Rhysing donating one day of his income per month to local nonprofit organizations.
All Sacred now holds monthly events with other artists and in 2016, the company raised $49,000 for Denver-area organizations.