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‘Covid tried to halt us, thieves tried to end us but now we are stronger than ever’: Business is booming for this Highland tattoo artist after a turbulent 18 months

Dmitri Sobczak owner of Dark Trinity Art Tattoo Studio, Grantown on Spey

A north tattoo artist has expressed his gratitude to his customers and the local community after recovering from a bumpy year and a half.

Dmitri Sobczak, owner of Dark Trinity Art Tattoo Studio in Grantown, faced hardships due to the pandemic like many other businesses.

However, the Russian native also had to navigate a theft at his shop in April 2020, with thieves making away with around £6,000 of high end tattooing equipment.

Despite extensive work by police, none of the equipment was ever recovered, and so far, nobody has been traced in connection with the break-in.

Tattoo business is on the up

Things are on the up again at Dark Trinity, with business booming to levels never experienced before the pandemic.

Mr Sobczak has said a huge factor in the studio’s recovery has been the generosity of other professionals and the local community.

He said: “The local people were amazing.

“People who were already booked in and had paid deposits were paying in advance for the whole tattoo.

“They were saying it was to help me to get back on my feet.

“It was amazing to have the support of the local community.”

Mr Sobczak is grateful for the support he has received

Gary Valentine of Inverness Tattoo Centre was one of the first to contact Mr Sobczak in the aftermath of the break in to offer a lend of equipment.

Grants from Highland Council during lockdown also helped ease some financial woes.

Mr Sobczak estimates the recent boom in business is helping to offset the losses from the break in.

The busy period has also allowed for the studio’s apprentice, Sam, to go full-time.

Living the dream in Grantown

“I never expected that I would be where I am a couple of years ago,” Mr Sobczak added.

“I did think I would maybe be busy but now I am living the dream.

“Within the local community, I learnt how much support you are going to get if you are facing a tough time.

“I was sad about the break-in but this has changed a lot for me.”

Tight-knit community helped aid recovery

He continued: “I have stayed in big cities all my life.

“I was born in Stalingrad in Russia, I stayed there until I was 12. Then my parents moved us to Poland, where we stayed in Gdansk.

“These are huge cities and I am now living in Grantown-on-Spey.

“Grantown is such a tight community and it is a different social setting because of the community.”

The 38-year-old is now seeking to expand his business by moving to a larger premise

Since the break-in, people from as far away as Glasgow and Dundee, including locals, have flocked to Grantown to get inked.

Mr Sobczak is thankful for the support, and hopes to remain in the north for the foreseeable future.

He said: “Some people only found out about there being a studio in Grantown due to being in the newspaper.

“If I consider all the stress and money lost to what I got back – it is pretty much equal.

“I believe that is something is meant to be in life, then it will be.

“Maybe it was meant to be like that. Maybe this break-in was supposed to happen and that is my story.

“Things happen for a reason and whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

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