Future Columbia County tattoo parlors on pause for now

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 5:17 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - One tattoo shop is finally open on Thursday after regulations in Columbia County delayed things for months.

This comes as the county is pausing other applications for the next 120 days.

“Feeling of elation, honestly,” said Randy Teston, owner of the Body Shop Tattoo Parlor and Piercing.

Teston has fought for the business to open.

Now, the paperwork finally went through, and the body shop tattoo parlor is open, following approval from the Columbia County Board of Commissioners.

“You don’t know until the papers are signed. So, it was a good feeling coming in today,” said Teston.

The same commission unanimously voted to deny this request in the middle of May, preventing them from opening.

Teston says this cost his business money and his employees not to be able to work.

“I have about $30,000 in this place now. All said and done. But them not being able to take care of their families for that length of time was on my shoulders. I felt terrible about it but what could I do,” said Teston.

Teston now has the green light, but others who want to set up a tattoo shop in the county now have to wait.

The commission stopped accepting new tattoo applications for the next 120 days.

Commissioner Connie Melear said she wants to figure out where to put tattoo parlors moving forward.

Wanting tattoo shops to be more along busier streets like Washington Road and more toward the front of shopping centers, tasking the county now to figure the best way to move forward.

The county tells News 12 this is still early, and they currently are looking at neighboring communities as to how they handle the placement of tattoo shops in their area.