Tattoo studio finds new beginning after destructive crash
FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — This past summer, the lives of Jack and Della Gorbey were turned upside down.
At 2:24 a.m. on July 25, a tractor-trailer crashed into their business, Derma Doodlezz Tattoo Studio, formerly located on Meadowdale Road. With their tattoo studio reduced to rubble, they lost everything.
But although they were down, they were not out.
Determined to re-open their business, the couple found a new location at 1139 Booths Creek Rd. (Industrial Park Road) in Fairmont, and re-opened their studio on Sept. 1. Now, as 2019 begins, Jack and Della are celebrating not only a new year, but also a new beginning.
“It feels great,” Jack said.
Jack said they are happy with the new location, especially its layout.
“We like it,” he said. “I like the open floor plan a little bit better than I do where we had the other place. Here, everybody can see what everybody’s doing, check out all the customers. Everybody can see everything. It’s a lot better.”
“I like it a lot, a whole lot,” Della Gorbey said. “Like him, I like the whole open floor plan.”
Della also likes the wooden walls in the new studio.
“We’re sort of like the Phoenix, we’re rising from the ashes,” Jack said. “We’re ready to take on anything that comes at us.”
Looking back on the crash, Della said they had to completely start over and re-build their business. She said there was very little to save.
“So much was destroyed, all their inks, needles, everything was contaminated or just completely obliviated,” Della said. “Fortunately, though, nobody was hurt.” She said the truck driver had minor injuries.
The Gorbeys are thankful that the crash occurred early in the morning, and shudder to think what would have happened if it had taken place while people were inside the studio.
They said they don’t hold anything against the truck driver.
“He apologized, he felt so bad,” Della said. “I told him, I said, ‘honey, it’s not your fault, it’s not like you did it deliberately.’”
Jack said he was glad no one was hurt, which he said is the “saving grace out of the whole thing.”
“It’s only stuff,” he said. He said they don’t wish the truck driver any ill will.
Della said the whole incident was “sort of like fate,” saying it forced them to find another location.
“And nobody got hurt, so sometimes fate’s got a way of putting you where it wants you to be in that place in time,” she said.
One of their customers previously owned the new location and offered to sell it to them. Jack said customers seem to like their new studio.
“Everybody comes out here, they love it,” he said.
“The first thing they say is ‘you got more room,’” Della Gorbey added. “They come through the door and they talk about how nice it is.”
While Della didn’t have exact dimensions, she said there is “a good bit” more room in their new location, which had previously been used as a convenience store, a bar and grill, a hoagie shop and a Hot Spot.
Jack said their customers have been able to find them, though he said some people weren’t even aware of the crash at the former location.
“It’s a little bit strange, because there’s still people, believe it or not, that still don’t know that the tractor-trailer drove through the old tattoo shop,” he said. “We get people that are going to the other tattoo shop, and they’re calling up and going, ‘What happened?’”
Jack said the new shop still offers the same services as did the previous location. This includes any type of tattooing as well as body piercing. He said the staff consists of three tattoo artists, including himself, Richard Siburt and Willy Flowers.
Della, on the other hand, does body piercings. Currently, she conducts the body piercings in a small side room at the new location, but she is in the process of converting a former kitchen area within the location into a room for the piercings.
“Between all of us, we can do it all,” Jack said. “We’re well-rounded artists. And my wife offers body piercings. We use the best sterilization. We use high-quality titanium jewelry in every piercing.”
Siburt, who only been with the studio for a week when the truck crashed into the old location, said he likes the new location, saying “it feels like a tattoo shop.”
“I think it’s a lot better location,” Siburt said.
To reach Derma Doodlezz, call 304-816-3016 or visit the tattoo studio’s Facebook page at Facebook/Derma Doodlezz Tattoo Shop. The business is offering 20 percent off tattoos until Feb. 1 and a buy one, get one half-off special for body piercings.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.