West Midlands-based Vivid Ink joined parlours up and down the country by offering £50 bee tattoos, with all profits going towards the families of the victims of the Manchester Arena attack.
The Stafford and Sutton Coldfield shops had dedicated artists working round the clock on Friday, Saturday and Monday – raising more than £4,000.
All the money raised goes directly to a dedicated Just Giving page set up for the families of those affected. The page’s current total of the tattoo appeal is more than £50,000.
The bee motif has been around for hundreds of years and the history of the worker bee as a motif for Manchester dates back to the city’s industrial past.
Owner of Vivid Ink, Rue Jay, said the shop was so busy it had to redirect customers on to the parlour’s competitors.
The 39 year old said: We had a lady coming to get tattoos the day after the attacks and she basically said she wanted Ariana Grande ribbon with the bunny ears. I said we’ll charge £45 and donate it to charity.
“We did a bit of research and then the Manchester tattoo thing started. We wanted to jump on the back of that.
“The general consensus from people is that they want to show solidarity and a bit of unity.
“We are fully booked for months on end and so looked at our least busy artists – so we tried to rearrange any current bookings for them just because of the importance of doing the bees now.”
The appeal was originally organised by Stalybridge tattooist Sam Barber.
Among those to have the bee as their first ever tattoo was Stalybridge Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds, who was inked by Barber.
He called the appeal a “wonderful idea” and said “it didn’t hurt as much as I’d feared”.
Rue added: “I would say by the end of it we’ve tattooed around 100 people. Something like this cuts into people’s hearts, its just so close to home.
“Competition goes out the window for this. We were redirecting them to studios that would be deemed as our competition.”
Vivid Ink has studios in Birmingham, Sutton, Walsall, Stafford and Moseley.
To donate to the appeal go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/manchestertattooappeal.