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Fort Liberty has its first ever on-base tattoo shop

American Tattoo Society officials pose together during ribbon cutting ceremony.
Ryan Harrell
Submitted Image
American Tattoo Society officials pose together during ribbon cutting ceremony.

A new family-owned tattoo shop has opened at Fort Liberty. American Tattoo Society is the first ever tattoo shop on the U.S. Army base. It opened last year in December.

Ryan Harrell, the owner, said the idea came from learning that his father-in-law, an Army veteran, never had to leave base to do things like shop or eat out because he had everything there.

“I didn't know about on-base life and to know that there's that many people on-base that never leave, or don't have the ability to leave, or maybe they're young [the] first couple years,” he said. “I thought this would be an opportunity to be on-base and allow them to get tattooed, make it easy and accessible to them.”

American Tattoo Society started in 2015, and since then has launched 11 shops with nine on military installations across the U.S. Two off-base locations are in North Carolina: the headquarters in Fayetteville and another in Jacksonville near Camp Lejeune.

Harrell said they have all types of clients, not just military personnel, but also retirees and family members of soldiers.

“So last year, we did 12,000 tattoos,” he said.

The new American Tattoo Society shop on Fort Liberty has four full-time tattoo artists and is open seven days a week.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.
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