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David Kyalo, 30 years old is the sole owner of Inkay tattoos. He started the business back in 2012 drawing tattoos on his friends just as a way of trying to develop his passion in art. Slowly, his huge passion ensured he became a great tattoo artist and a force to be reckoned with in the market. He says his passion for the art made him start the business from small scale to large scale.

When he started out he says the market was not as saturated as it is at the moment. Only a few people had started doing the business on a commercial scale. Apart from passion and focus, Kyalo says one has to consider the customers’ needs. Yes, people might want tattoos but your ability to ensure that they get exactly what they want is what will make your tattoo business a success. He says it’s best to think outside the box.

Getting a simple design and creating something extraordinary is what clients expect of a great tattoo artist. The tattoo business is not one that has a set target market. This is because, just like drawing, tattooing is also a form of art. People of all age groups enjoy art and thus it cannot be tied down to a specific age bracket.

Tattooing can also be done anywhere and therefore there’s no need to set up shop in a particular place if you do not have enough capital. Once you gather whatever is needed, you can just market your work on any online platform like Facebook or Integra and clients will come knocking at their door step. Tattooing is also a business that sells itself. Once one tattoos a friend or family, if the job is done well then referrals can be done to kick start the business.

Some of the challenges that one might face when starting such a business is availability of materials. This is according to David Kyalo. He says most of the materials are imported as they are not locally manufactured in Kenya. Delays in the importation process might cause delays in meeting the clients’ needs. Kyalo says that planning early is the only solution to a problem like this. One does not have to wait until the last minute to order for the materials. Bulking up one’s stores is also another secret. This ensures that you never run out of the necessities.

The tattoo business is one business that if done keenly might earn one fame, glory and cash in the entrepreneurship world.


Kyalo’s quick fire tips on succeeding in the tattoo business.

  1. Always lead with passion
  2. Always be focused on your hustle
  3. Your clients are your biggest pride so take care of them
  4. Always be creative and it will lead you through every obstacle
  5. Get a license, set up shop if you need to and get down to tattooing.

David Kyalo, Inkay Tattoos

Passion Art Tattoo Studio, Dev Towers Opposite Jumia Mall. 

For more information on the grind grab a copy of The Outsyder in The Nairobian every Friday.

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