A PAIR of young artists have opened a new tattoo parlour in the heart of Winchester.

Tiny Knives Tattoo, run by Maddy Forster, 19, and Misaki Bates, 20, opened on Thursday, February 9 in the basement of 41 Southgate Street. The shop offers appointment-only tattoos, with a range of flash, custom work and freehand available to customers.

Maddy and Misaki met while working at Strange Black Tattoo Parlour in Winchester. With the opening of their new studio, the pair are now the youngest professional tattoo artists working in the city.

Hampshire Chronicle: Tiny Knives Tattoo Parlour is run by Maddy Forster (left) and Misaki Bates (right)Tiny Knives Tattoo Parlour is run by Maddy Forster (left) and Misaki Bates (right) (Image: Newsquest)Misaki said: “I’m really pleased I get to show [Maddy] this so early on and that I met [her] so soon, so we could really settle into it. We spent six months building this place, building the sink, painting the walls, we didn’t put the floor in but we did all this stuff.

“And the sooner you get a start on something, the more time you have to perfect that. And so it’s a lot of pressure to be so young doing this, and sometimes we do get a little bit in our heads and think ‘are we ahead of ourselves?’, but we have so many supportive people behind us.”

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Despite only opening on February 9, the parlour is already doing well, with Maddy and Misaki receiving multiple bookings, including from customers who knew them when they were at Strange Black Tattoo.

Maddy said: “We’ve definitely got a lot of bookings in, given the fact that we’re quite small and that it takes a while to draw up the flash, so we haven’t really been able to be like ‘Come in’!”

Hampshire Chronicle: Tiny Knives is located on Southgate StreetTiny Knives is located on Southgate Street (Image: Newsquest)Misaki agreed, saying: “I’ve got more bookings than I thought I would have in only five days. I’ve already done a tattoo and I have quite a few lined up for this week.”

The pair said that they want their shop to be welcoming to everyone, regardless of whether or not they had been tattooed before, with a focus on working to ensure customer comfort.

Maddy explained: “Our whole shop policy is that we want to be a safe space – anyone is welcome. We want to put the least amount of pressure on people as possible when they come in. It’s not like ‘we’re going to do this with this budget or time frame’, it’s very flexible. You can come in, chill out, whatever.”