‘Mur­der’ is in their busi­ness

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - METRO - BULELWA PAYI

THE trend among South Africans to ex­press them­selves through body art has lead to a flour­ish­ing of tat­too stu­dios over the past few years.

And Kuils River broth­ers, Craig and Kal­lyn Mc­Gre­gor spot­ted a gap in their lo­cal mar­ket and opened the Mur­der Ink Tat­too & Pierc­ing Lounge, al­low­ing clients to ex­press their per­son­al­i­ties and pas­sions in unique and some­times rather strange ways.

The self-taught artists haven’t looked back since open­ing the stu­dio.

“We could no longer find ful­fil­ment in our ca­reers. We both shared a pas­sion for art, we are both per­fec­tion­ists and so we thought the best way we could find ful­fil­ment was to start our own busi­ness – build our own brand,” says 32-year-old Craig.

The mar­ket gap pro­vided the broth­ers, who were in­spired by their art teacher mother, an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop as artists and prac­tise their pas­sion.

“In this in­dus­try one can ei­ther be an ap­pren­tice or learn the ropes as you go along. We taught our­selves from scratch. Kal­lyn started tat­too­ing a year be­fore I did, while I was still in the re­tail busi­ness. He laid down the foun­da­tion for our start-up and we both pro­vided cap­i­tal to keep things grow­ing,” Craig says.

The name Mur­der Ink draws on pop­u­lar cul­ture and “mur­der” used as slang for do­ing some­thing ex­cep­tion­ally well.

“We wanted it to be a name that would stick in the minds of the pub­lic, to be­come a house­hold name,” say the broth­ers.

Once frowned upon, many peo­ple are now turn­ing to ink to show who they are and to ex­press their emotions.

In 2011, there were only 20 stu­dios in greater Cape Town, and seven years later the num­ber has risen to just un­der 90.

And when it comes to de­signs, there’s no limit to ideas.

“It can get crazy. One guy wanted a teardrop be­neath his eye with the ini­tials CPT. Oth­ers want us to cover up names of lovers they are no longer dat­ing,” says Craig.

But the most weird re­quest for Craig, was a tat­too of chicken wings and a pizza slice, while Kal­lyn helped an “el­derly la­dyin her 80s” sur­prise her boyfriend with a tat­too of his name on her rear end.

The Mc­Gre­gor broth­ers re­ceived train­ing and men­tor­ship from the Small Busi­ness Academy pro­gramme of the Univer­sity of Stel­len­bosch Busi­ness School. They were among 20 Western Cape town­ship en­trepreneurs se­lected for a nine-month pro­gramme

SUP­PLIED

TAT­TOO artist Craig Mc­Gre­gor ful­fils Carl Abra­hams’s body art fan­tasy by mak­ing his re­quest a re­al­ity. Dur­ing the past few years, body art has seen a rise in in­ter­est, wit­nessed by the grow­ing num­ber of stu­dios and events. |

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