Forever Inked Tattoos in Surrey is a little shop that wants to make a big difference. Two of the artists, Jason Hopes and Jolene Harrison, are uncle and niece. They work alongside a third artist, Zack Orchard, and a friendly, proactive receptionist named Nikkita. They are motivated by a sense of family and community, emphasized by their diverse range of clientele. Jason reminisces about an interesting group of customers from one side of a family who went to the shop for matching tattoos. The group were all women aged 18-88. Jason explains, “We want to break free of some of the stigma tattoo parlours have; we don’t only cater to bikers, for example. We want to break that misperception and show that we are a family.”
As part of Forever Inked's goals to de-stigmatize tattooing and support their community, they began to host fundraising events for local charities. Last year, the shop held a raffle and tattoo flash event – where clients choose from a range of pre-drawn designs for a lower cost than they would typically pay for an artist’s time. In 2016, these fundraisers raised over $4,000 for BC Children’s Hospital. This year, the staff were heavily influenced by the public struggles of high profile celebrities with Parkinson’s disease, including Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox. Once they determined they wanted to raise funds for Parkinson’s, they researched various organizations. Eventually, they opted to support Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC). As a relatively small organization, every dollar makes a difference to PSBC’s operations. Furthermore, the shop was highly motivated to help improve lives for the local community in British Columbia, which PSBC specifically serves. Nikkita and the staff helped coordinate a month long raffle with amazing items provided by an eclectic range of donors during October. The artists scheduled a flash day late in the month, with designs inspired by Halloween, Back to the Future, and even PSBC’s branding! Between the flash day and the raffle, Forever Inked raised $4,368 for programs, services, research and advocacy in BC.
From left to right: Zack Orchard, Nikkita, Jolene Harrison, Mirela Dzaferovic (PSBC staff),