Body shock shop

Several 'businesses have come together 'to form Blackpool Emporium, a one-stop shop for tattoos, piercings and beauty treatments
Several 'businesses have come together 'to form Blackpool Emporium, a one-stop shop for tattoos, piercings and beauty treatments

For most of us a new look means a change of hair colour or perhaps a spray tan.

But a new store in Blackpool aims to go a step further by offering its clients ‘body modification’.

Customers at The Blackpool Emporium on Talbot Road will be able to opt for tongue splitting or even a pair of pointed ‘pixie’ ears in order to stand out from the crowd.

A group of independent operators has come together to transform the formerly empty premises.

Around £35,000 has been invested in the scheme which has created 12 new jobs.

More traditional techniques including beauty treatments, hair-styling, Indian head massage, piercing and body art will be offered.

But Rick Osborne, a tattooist who is behind the project, says those who want something a bit more extreme will also be catered for.

He said: “Body modification is tailored towards people who are already heavily tattooed or pierced and want to go the next step.

“They are very dangerous procedures if not done properly so there are a very limited number of people in the UK that can do that.

“One of the leading operators is Mac McCarthy from Wolverhampton, and he will be at the Blackpool Emporium from February 10 to 13.

“He does everything from tongue splitting to pointed ears, and putting silicon under the skin to raise it.

“I’m hoping to bring him back up to Blackpool for the Rebellion weekend.

“He is also going to train me in branding, which is when you burn a tattoo design into the flesh with a laser.

“Obviously it is a very niche market.”

Rick says the Blackpool Emporium has created opportunities for a number of young people.

He added: “I had the idea of opening a one-stop body shop about five years ago and it has taken 12 months to bring it to fruition once we identified suitable premises.

“I wanted to bring everyone together under one roof.

“We have 14 or 15 rooms and lots of different independent people working here.

“We have Back to Beauty on the first floor which does everything from hairstyling to spray tanning, and then we have Outlaws Tattoo and Body Modification Studio on the second floor.

“We have invested a lot into it, and I think it’s something that will be really good for Blackpool.”

The Blackpool Emporium is also planning to get involved in community work including raising money for Trinity Hospice.