Thank you for making or thinking of making a booking with one of our artists at Old Smithy Tattoo.  Our Booking Info will hopefully answer any questions you have before making a booking with us.

It will give you all the information you need, and we need to help with a smooth booking process, and will also help with all the information you need once a booking has been made.


We appreciate it is a little lengthy, but it is all relevant and important information you will need to have a prepared, safe, comfortable, and enjoyable visit to Old Smithy Tattoo. 

Covid-19 Information

With Covid hopefully behind us now, but still around, we have relaxed our facemask wearing policy. We are now been customer lead and our artists will happily wear a mask if a client would like them too. We are also asking if you do have any covid symptom's or a cold you then wear a mask. We will happily provide you with a new mask to wear whislt been tattooed.

  • The studio is now open to come in to book appointments, but the easiest way to enquire about a tattoo is to message us on social media or email.  If you call and we don't answer please leave a message and we'll get back to you at our soonest convenience.

  • If you are concerned you may have covid and you have an upcoming appointment, please contact your artist as soon as you know.n.

  • We will provide a clean box for you to put your belonging in whilst at the studio, we will also provide an antibacterial wipe for you to clean your phone with. 

  • We will still have hand sanitiser available in the entrance area and in the studio during your appointment.

Questions you may have before booking an appointment

Do tattoo's hurt?


Yes, there is a level of discomfort you are having a needle stuck in you, and this can all depend on the style, size and location of the tattoo.  If your friend told you it didn’t hurt, they’re telling porky pies!!!  There are certain areas of the body which hurt more than others, bony and sensitive parts like the wrist, elbows, chest or collarbone and certain parts of the feet, ribs, inside of the upper arm, BUT, you will be fine.


The use of numbing cream is up to the artist's personal preference, some of our artists do not mind you using it, and some do.  If it is something you would like to use, please ask during the consultation/booking stage.  We do not supply or sell numbing cream at the studio, you will have to purchase it yourself, we have found Dr Numb works well but can be expensive. 

Do I need to be 18 to get a tattoo?

It is against the law in the UK to tattoo anyone under the age of 18, even with parental consent it is still illegal.  If your friend has been tattooed under 18 in the UK, the tattooist was breaking the law.  You must be 18 years or over and have a valid, up to date photo ID to be tattooed.  If you do not bring a valid photo ID with you and look under 25, you may be refused to be tattooed and lose your booking fee.


If you do not have a photo ID we recommend you apply for a Citizens Card, these are inexpensive and can be sent out within a few days of applying.  Please do not be offended when we ask you to provide a valid photo ID.


How long will the tattoo take?

This all depends on the area being tattooed and the size and design of the tattoo. The duration and size of your tattoo will be discussed with your artist during the booking process.  We will generally recommend that all outlining is done in one session, but if you can not or don’t think you can sit too long, discuss this during the booking process.

Can I bring a friend with me to my appointment? 


We understand that you may want to bring a friend or family member with you for support, however, space in the studio is limited and they will not be allowed in the tattoo area. Unfortunately, our tattoo area only has enough room for you and our team. It can also be very distracting for the artist when you are chatting away and often moving to face your friend to chat.  Although the artist will talk to you, they also need to concentrate on getting your tattoo right.  We do have a small reception area, but again space is very limited and is needed for customers with appointments and consultations.  Ideally, we’d prefer you didn’t bring a friend, if you do, please let us know when booking, but they will have to sit in the reception area and 'not' keep getting up to chat with you.

Do you offer a vegan set up?


Yes, all the inks and most of the products used in the tattooing process here at Old Smithy Tattoo are Vegan.  If you have any questions regarding this please ask during the booking process.

How do I know that the equipment used is sterile?

The equipment used at Old Smithy Tattoo that touches the skin is single-use and disposable.  All other equipment is cleaned with a hospital-grade cleaner and is then wrapped to prevent any cross-contamination.  Our studio, artists and guest artists are all registered with Staffordshire Moorland District Council and we pride ourselves on our high hygiene standards and best practice.  


I want a hand, finger or neck tattoo?


We will always question when a customer wants a hand, finger or neck tattoo, young or old.  If it is going to be your first tattoo, we will strongly advise against it and may refuse to tattoo you.  We class ourselves as a conscientious tattoo studio and aren't just out to make money out of you.  If we feel your chosen location is not a good idea, we will explain why we feel so, this could also be down to your design idea.


Unfortunately visible tattoos still send out a certain message to society and can hinder future job prospects.  Also, hand and finger tattoos can have issues healing, as you have to wash your hands regularly and the skin on your hand replenishes quicker than other parts of your body, which means the tattoo can fade quickly. We suggest giving healed hand or finger tattoo a quick Google and you'll see what we mean.


Please think carefully before asking us to mark your visible skin for life.

Can I get tattooed if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

We will not tattoo anybody who is pregnant or breastfeeding.  This can cause increased stress to your body and in turn the baby.  We will also refuse to tattoo you if you are breastfeeding as there is a small risk that anything being put into your body, like ink during the tattoo process, will be absorbed into the milk you then feed your baby. Why take the risk?


I’m going on holiday can I get a tattoo?


If you are thinking of going on holiday especially in the sun, we recommend your appointment is no later than 4 weeks before you go.  You will most likely be swimming, doing activities, drinking, and not be concentrating on looking after your new tattoo.  It is advisable to use factor 50 suncream for healed tattoos, this will help protect the quality of the tattoo and keep it looking better for longer.  You wouldn't spend hundreds of pounds on a painting then leave it out in the sun!!!


We also recommend, if you have been on a holiday in the sun, you wait 1 to 2 weeks to let your skin settle from any sunburn or tanning.


I have an old tattoo I want covering up. Is this possible?


Yes, tattoos can be covered, but you will be limited with design options as to what will cover it.  Most likely the cover-up will have to be bigger and darker than the original tattoo that’s being covered.  The best option is to either pop into the studio to show us what needs covering or by sending us a message with a picture of the offending tattoo and your ideas for covering it. We are happy to discuss your options and style for the cover-up.

Can you tattoo over or around scars, moles or skin blemishes?

We can tattoo over and around scars, however, they need to be fully healed and a very light pink colour similar to your normal skin tone.  Depending on the depth of the scar they can take up to 1 to 2 years to be fully healed.  If we tattoo over scars that are not fully healed we could cause more trauma to the sink which could, in turn, compromise your health and quality of the tattoo.

The tattooist will make a judgment whether a mole or skin blemish can be tattooed, bigger moles that protrude from the skin will more than likely be tattooed around.  


Please advise us first if this is a concern for you or you wish us to tattoo over or around scars. We will always want to see them first either in person at the studio or via a picture in a message.

I want a tattoo sleeve. How much will it cost?


That all depends on what you want. Sleeves can take anywhere from 4 to 6 full day sittings to complete, as an average a quarter of your arm can be done in a day depending on the style and level of detail in the tattoo, so that’s at least 4-day sittings. Also, everyone’s arms are different sizes and lengths, and you all have different types of skin, or you may not be able to sit for a full day, everyone is different.


Will you copy this tattoo or design I’ve found on the internet?


Sorry No!


This would be an infringement of copyright, just because it’s on Pinterest, Instagram or Google doesn’t mean it is fair game to be copied.  We will, however, use it as a reference as an idea of what you like, to create you your own design personal to you. 


We are a custom tattoo studio all our artist pride themselves on creating original tattoos.


That said there are certain designs, symbols and logos that are very generic that we will tattoo, like music logos, Disney, TV and film characters, and popular symbols.  We will still try to have a conversation with you about how we may be able to be a bit more creative with your idea, we just want you to have a tattoo that is unique to you and you will love forever.


Our artists will take pictures of your new tattoo, for insurance purposes and to sometimes post on social media and this website.  This help advertises the artist and the studio and brings in more work.  If you would not like to be named or tagged then mention this to your artist, it is also on our consent form.

If you wish to take your own photos whilst at the studio please ask the artist first, they will usually ask you if you would like them to take a picture on your phone of your new tattoo for you.

To book a tattoo

  • To be able to give you an approximate cost and time the tattoo will take,  we will need to know your idea for the tattoo, with a short brief, where you’d like it, how big in inches or centimetres approximately.  Any reference images you have and any other relevant information like skin conditions, scars, cover-up, working around other tattoos, and if you can send a picture of where you’d like the tattoo that will really help.


  • If you contact us via Instagram we will ask you to Facebook or email us. You will then be directed to the most suitable artist for your design, but if you know which artist, you’d like to book in with please head to their page on this site and contact them directly with the links on their page. Hollie May / Mick Emery    


  • We try to be very responsive to all messages, but if you contact us out of studio hours please don’t be surprised if we reply the following day or when the studio is next open.  It is also rude to send ?? if you don’t get a response straight away. The studio opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday 10 till 5.

  • We charge £70 per hour or £380 per day. Our minimum charge is £60, this is because the cost of consumables and PPE has risen in the last few years.  Unfortunately the smallest of tattoos still takes up an hour of our artists time.


  • To book an appointment with any of our tattoo artists, you must pay a non-refundable booking fee to secure your appointment. Please note this is not a deposit or design cost, the booking fee covers the service time and costs of the booking process.  £40 for appointments under 4 hours and £100 for appointments over 4 hours.  This will come off the cost of the tattoo on the day or be rolled over to your next appointment if multiple appointments are booked.  We may discuss available dates with you during the booking process, but appointments will only be confirmed once the booking fee is paid

  • Payment of booking fees can be made via cash at the studio, bank transfer or PayPal, as a friends and family payment please, NOT goods and services, otherwise, we get charged and may add this cost to your booking.

  • Booking fees will will held for a maximum of 12 months from the last appointment date, after this the booking fee will not redeemable against an appointment

  • If you have a tattoo gift voucher we will still require a booking fee to book in with unless the voucher is the value of the appointment you are booking, we will then need the voucher as the non-refundable booking fee.  The voucher will come off the cost of the tattoo on the day.  We do it this way as we have in the past had too many no shows for appointments booked in with vouchers.


  • If you have an illness or condition which you think may affect the tattooing process, you must let us know during the booking process.  You will be asked to complete a consent form before your tattoo and any concerns will be highlighted by your artist. 

  • Conditions relating to your skin should be mentioned during the initial booking process.  Being truthful will not only help protect your health and wellbeing but also our artists.  In some cases, we may ask you to seek advice from your GP before booking an appointment.

  • Tattoos by our apprentice may not be perfect as these are to help them learn the skill of tattooing. They are at a reduced rate because of this.  By making a booking with our apprentices you accept this, and that you will be receiving an apprentice tattoo that may not be perfect.


Once an appointment has been booked


  • To rearrange your appointment, we require 1 week’s (7 days) notice, if you do not give this, you will lose your booking fee or be asked to pay another one.

  • Please arrive 10 to 15 mins before your appointment, so you have time to have a brew and complete the consent form, please bring a valid photo ID.


  • If you miss your appointment, we don’t get paid, please be on time for your appointment.  If you are running late, please contact the studio via Facebook or email, or your artist directly, as soon as possible.  If you do not and are over ½ hour late, this will be classed as a ‘no show’ and you will lose your booking fee.


  • If you have an appointment with Hollie May you may get a phone call the week before from one of our team to confirm your booking details.


  • We do not send designs out before appointments unless you've asked during the booking process.


  • Designs are only done a day or so before the appointment, this is because all our artist do custom designs, so they get done in the appointment order.  We understand you are excited and want to see the design, but they are also done mainly out of studio hours, so please be patient when asking to see a design. 


  • Designs will only be in a line drawing format, colour and fine detail will get added during the tattoo stage.  If you have given us all the correct information and reference images, our artists should nail your design first time, but if minor changes need to be made, just say, they won’t be offended.  If it becomes apparent that changes are becoming major, your appointment may need to be rearranged, then you may have to pay another booking fee or a portion of your appointment.


  • It is important to be well-rested and to have eaten a meal before you get tattooed. Turning up for your appointment on an empty stomach may increase your chances of feeling ill or fainting.  Your body will be going through trauma as it gets tattooed and you want it to be in the best condition for this.  Eating a meal beforehand will help ensure you have higher blood sugar levels, we also recommend you bring some sweets and sugary drinks to help keep those blood sugar levels up. 

  • Please also ensure you wear or bring suitable clothing, so one, the artist can reach the area to be tattooed, and two, it protects yours, other customers and our team's dignity.

  • Please don't apply fake tan before your appointment, it will more than likely get rubbed off around the area getting tattooed.

  • Our studio is open plan, we do have a dignity barrier just ask if you would like this to be used

  • Unfortunately, we don't have a card machine at the studio so please pay the remainder in either cash, bank transfer or PayPal as a trusted payment or friends & family payment, please.  There is a cash machine just around the corner from the studio

  • The same is applicable for bringing minors with you to an appointment. We need you to be concentrating fully on being tattooed and not worrying if your young one is ok in the reception area


  • Do not arrive for your appointment intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.  Our artists may refuse to tattoo you if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  This can not only cause excessive bleeding and more discomfort to you but also you will find that it will be harder to keep still, which can affect the quality of the final tattoo which in turn can affect the healing.  You will be asked these questions when you complete the consent form before the tattoo.  If you supply false information, you will lose your booking fee and may also be banned from the studio.​


  • You are responsible for your tattoo once you leave the studio. Any allergies to ink pigments or faults in the design once you have left the studio are not the responsibility of the studio or artist. ​

  • We recommend you follow aftercare advice which will be explained to you in detail after the tattoo, we will also recommend El Gato Negro Tattoo Care Balm.  We do NOT recommend Bepanthen as it is not designed for tattoos, and we have found it doesn’t heal our tattoos very well.  Not following our recommended aftercare advice is not the fault of the artist or studio.


  • We offer a free touch up service within the first 3 months after the appointment if the tattoo requires it.  If you think your tattoo needs touching up, either pop into the studio so we can take a look, or send us some pictures via email or to the studio Facebook page or directly to the artist's Facebook page.

  • We can all have a change of heart, and if you'd like to cancel your appointment please let us know a.s.a.p.  Booking fees are non-refundable so please think before you decide to cancel.


  • Booking fees are only transferrable at the discretion of the studio or artist.

Questions you may have after the tattoo process

How long will my tattoo take to heal?


All tattoos and people can take different lengths of time to heal, depending on the size, style and location of the tattoo. On average we say it can take up to 3 to 4 weeks for a tattoo to fully heal.  The length of time can also depend on how well you look after the tattoo. 


Will I be able to do exercise after my tattoo?


It would be ideal to rest your body for a week depending on the size of the tattoo, but if you do exercise take it easy, and try to avoid exercise that directly affects the area that has been tattooed.  When you sweat you will increase the chance of bacterial infection within the tattoo, which can prevent it from healing properly.


What do I do if I think my tattoo is infected?


If you think your tattoo is infected, please contact us straight away, either via Facebook or email.


Infected tattoos are unfortunately mainly down to bad aftercare, but it is important to understand it is natural for your skin to sometimes swell, feel sore, bruise and look painful after a tattoo. These can very much be the same symptoms of an infection, if it is infected you may see a small discharge of a yellow, green, brown or red puss that can smell. If this is the case, make sure you are following our advised aftercare.  It is likely it will clear up, and heal OK, but should any of the ink drop out of the tattoo we are happy to get you back in for a FOC touch up, within the first 3 months.


If you are in doubt and are concerned about infection after speaking to us, contact your GP.

What if I'm not happy with my tattoo?


This is why we ensure through consultation with either the Studio Manager or Artist that you are sure of what you’d like.  You will be shown the design first on the day of the appointment and tick on the consent form you are happy to go ahead. Tattoos are PERMANENT!  Even with good laser removal or cover-ups, there is still a chance your unwanted tattoo will be visible and laser tattoo removal is a costly, lengthy and a painful process.


If for any reason you are unhappy with your tattoo, we urge you to contact us first to discuss how we can make it better.


Don’t worry we want to help you feel happy with your tattoo.


Travelling to the studio


  • If you are driving to the studio there is a small short stay car park (Smithfield Centre South Car Park) in front of the studio behind Farmfoods, you will require change for the machine. The current parking charges as of Feb 2019 are 0 - 1 hour £1.00, 1 - 2 hours £1.50, 2 - 3 hours £1.90. Charging hours are 9.30am – 3.30pm, it is free after 3.30 pm.  Do not park in the car park behind the studio, this is a permit only car park.


  • If your appointment is longer than 3 hours, there are many residential streets within close proximity of the studio, please be respectful if you park in these locations.  You can see these streets south of the studio on the map at the bottom of the is page.


  • If you are travelling via public transport, we are right next to the bus station, on the right just through the underpass.  If by train you will need to travel to either Stoke-on-Trent or Macclesfield and then get the bus to Leek. If travelling via train to Stoke-on-Trent you will need to get a bus from the train station to the bus station before getting the bus to Leek.

  • See address and Google directions at the bottom of this page.


Places to stay in and around Leek


  • Premier Inn is right behind the studio, but can get booked up very quickly, and isn’t always the cheapest option, parking available.


  • The Green Man, reasonably priced, is only a short walk from the studio, parking available.


  • The Daintry, reasonably priced, is only a short walk from the studio, parking available.


  • The White Hart B & B, reasonably priced, is only a short walk from the studio, pay and display car park or street parking.


  • Peak Weavers, higher-priced, is only a short walk from the studio, parking available.


  • Rudyard Hotel, reasonably priced, is out of town but only a 5min drive to the studio.




  • there are few accommodation places within the town listed on their site, please check their website.


NOTE: Old Smithy Tattoo has no relation to any of the business or websites listed above, and they are listed in no particular order


Old Smithy Tattoo Parlour, Unit 19 The Smithfield Centre, Leek, ST13 5JW

IMG_20180210_142810 1.jpg

Any questions or queries that are not answered here, please feel free to email or Facebook the studio and ask.



Updated April 2021