Most of all, it gave me discipline
Darren Mills joined the Army like so many kids, as an alternative to ending up in serious trouble. He worked in supply in the RLC, providing essential equipment to soldiers on the front line. After two tours of Iraq he decided to try his hand at something else, and after working for other people in a variety of jobs, he opened his tattoo studio in Chippenham, 11 years later opened his second tattoo studio in Malmesbury. Four years on that is where we met and chatted to Darren.
His first ever inking job which was a Jiu-jitsu symbol; literally, Jiu-jitsu means “gentle art”. Darren was very struck by this felt a connection with the idea of something apparently violent and invasive having such a surprisingly peaceful meaning, and so the business was named.
Darren told us, “the Army gave me many things, but most of all it gave me discipline. Basics for running a business, such as punctuality and professionalism, but also my studio is clinically clean, as it has to be in this industry.” He believes he has come to the industry at just the right time, saying, “Tattoos are more mainstream now. There wasn’t a studio for miles when I came to Malmesbury so people are pleased they don’t have to travel so far.
Many of my customers are my old Army buddies, and this is a great way of staying in touch.” Darren specialises in tattoo cover ups as well, “TV shows like Tattoo Fixers have made this more popular where some people used to just regret old tattoos or look to laser treatment to get rid of them, now we are more likely to discuss ways of doing something which represents who they are today.”