People of the Precinct: Compass Tattoo’s first anniversary!

Compass Tattoo is celebrating their first anniversary in Nicholas Street Precinct this month – but their impact in Ipswich spans much longer.

Angela and Shannon ‘Nailz’ Nayler, local owners of Compass Tattoo, grew up in Lowood north of Ipswich and have been tattooing in Ipswich for 20 years.

“We were devastated last year when we were forced to shut our doors in Top of Town due to challenges with insurance hikes,” Angela said.

“But as is often the case, time has shown us that it was absolutely a blessing in disguise.

“Our new studio is amazing. We love it here in the precinct and it has afforded us the chance to grow.

“One year and hundreds of tattoos later, we are thrilled to be here and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon!”

Angela and Nailz are more than just co-owners of Compass Tattoo – they have raised three daughters in Ipswich, having been together since they were fifteen. When asked the secret of living and working together for almost three decades, Angela said the answer is ultimately simple.

“We just really like and respect each other,” Angela said.

“We know that either one of us on our own would not succeed at something like this studio – but together, we make an awesome team.”

After working at Ipswich’s Ultimate Image Tattooing for several years, the opportunity arose to take over the business. Now, they’re on the countdown to celebrating their eighth birthday as ‘Compass Tattoo’ in July.

“For our seventh anniversary last year, and our opening in Nicholas Street Precinct, we held a flash day where we invited special guest artists to our new studio from near and far,” Angela said.

“We completed more than 100 tattoos in just one day. It was an incredible vibe.”

And ‘vibe’ is what sets Compass Tattoo apart from the rest. The studio is a welcoming and friendly place where stereotypical perceptions of intimidating, surly tattooists go right out the window.

“Nailz and I are like the ‘mum and dad’ of tattooing in Ipswich, and we love it,” Angela said.

“The artists we have here – who are all incredible – are our family. And our clients become that way too.

“We are not the scary or unapproachable, like tattooists are perceived as sometimes – far from it.

“Everyone is welcome here whether it’s for your first tattoo, or 101st.

“To us, Compass Tattoo is about giving Ipswich good tattoos – because that’s what Ipswich deserves.

“There’s a lot of pride in our community and we often do tattoos of the 4305 postcode for those who want to wear their pride for all to see.

“We’ll be here providing the best tattoos in the region for as long as people walk through our doors.”

And with three daughters, who knows how long that might be.

“All three of our girls are creative and would be fabulous tattooists,” Angela said.

“But we’ll see – to them, they’ve grown up in the tattoo studio. So while it might be exciting for some, it’s just another day at work for them.”

For those wanting to get a tattoo – whether tiny and inconspicuous or a full body artwork – there is an artist and style to be found at Compass Tattoo.

“Whether coming into the studio to have a look or saying hello at any of the events and markets that are on at Tulmur Place, we’d love to see you,” Angela said.

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