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'Community means everything': The Bug & Pin Tattoo and Piercing Studio

Run by Rachael and Jonathon Ongley, the Bug & Pin has been running for seven years, taking their offering from tattoos alone to body piercings and their own sustainable jewellery, while bringing likeminded, talented individuals on board to form a small but iconic team, including studio manager Amber Nicholls, also trained in tattoos and piercings, and a new tattoo apprentice Immy Nutley.

Rachael, Jonathon, Immy and Amber

For this independent business, community ‘means everything’, which is why they offer a ‘pop in any time’ approach. As a result, word-of-mouth has been key to bringing clients old and new to the Bug & Pin studio, with the knowledge that the team will do their utmost to support each client’s individual needs.

Rachael, the studio’s piercer and creator of the Bug & Pin’s own jewellery range, said: “We’re tucked away, so word-of-mouth has been really important to us. As well as this, the local businesses have been fantastic, and so we try our best to keep things as local as possible - many of our products are sourced locally.”

Sustainability is a priority for this business, with artwork created in-house or by the clients themselves, and their handmade jewellery and t-shirts proving to be a hit. Everything is sourced from the UK.

Rachael said: “We have a lot of people that come to us who are holidaying in Cornwall and give us a call for an appointment. They’re like regulars, except they pop in to see us when they’re on holiday! We have so many clients whose kids turn 18 and go from my piercing chair to the tattoo chair, so it’s amazing to see everyone grow - the time has gone so quick!”

The studio is often described as a community hub. “I always say it’s like an extended family,” Rachael added. The team holds regular fundraising events in the studio, benefiting charities such as the Royal British Legion and the RNLI. Another string to the Bug & Pin’s bow is their new ‘autism friendly’ status, having officially joined the National Autistic Society. This means the business will

be able to cater to the needs of neurodivergent people, creating a safe space for everyone.

“We always try to be mindful of people’s needs, and make everyone feel welcome,” Rachael said. “To

team up with the National Autistic Society is setting a precedent, and we feel really strongly about it.”

There’s no doubt that the Bug & Pin are set for another exciting year ahead, with new and regular clients coming onto the books - including the current world chess champion - plus tattooist Jonathon having recently represented the business at the UK Tattoo Fest in Milton Keynes. But above all, the team is excited about another year of community and continued success.

Rachael added: “I think we all need to do a bit more for each other. Sadly, some businesses haven’t made it through Covid, so it’s important that everyone pulls together to support each other. People can be quick to go online instead, but you get the quality and personal experience if you shop local!”

If you would like to book an appointment at the Bug & Pin, give the team a call on 01566 248325 or like their Facebook page.


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