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22-year-old Inverness tattoo artist opens up her first studio


By Rachel Smart

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Nicole McPhee, owner of Saorsa Studio. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Nicole McPhee, owner of Saorsa Studio. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A new tattoo studio has been opened in Inverness city centre by 22-year old Nicole McPhee.

Her studio, Saorsa is based in Tomnahurich Street inside TM Barbers, and she is happy to finally have her little 'home from home'.

Speaking at her studio, Nicole explained what led her to open up her own business.

She said: "I've been doing tattooing for two years now, and I always wanted to have my own wee place to make it more comfortable and to be able to have my own schedule.

"It's like my little home from and home, and everything just came together so well."

Nicole started off at InkHut in Culloden, and then went to Silver Linings before she decided to go solo and launch Saorsa. However, she did a wee detour on her way to becoming a tattooist, even though it has been her dream since she was a little girl.

Saorsa Studio interior. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Saorsa Studio interior. Picture: James Mackenzie.

She said: "I've wanted to be a tattoo artist since I was 10, and my parents thought it was just a phase!

"I went to study at UHI and did textiles for three years, but I still really wanted to do tattooing. So I went and pursued it, and I just thought 'yup, this is the job for me!'

For Cromarty-born Nicole, the tattoo studio is all about people expressing themselves freely, and that is why Saorsa was chosen as the name, as it is Gaelic for freedom.

Her particular tattoo style is fine-line, illustrative and colour and she has already had the chance to meet many new customers at the shop.

"It's going really well so far, and there's been lots of new people coming in which is really nice," she said.

"My clients have also been been amazing and have been sharing the new studio on social media."

Nicole concluded: "I couldn't have done this without my family, the other studios I worked in before, and Tracy at TM Barbers for having me in here!"

Bottles of ink inside Saorsa Studio. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Bottles of ink inside Saorsa Studio. Picture: James Mackenzie.

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