Our Story.

Discover the history of Skins & Needles

Founded in 2011

Skins and Needles were founded in 2011 by Matthew Salvin. Matthew, originally a barber with a group of barbershops, fell in love with the tattoo industry when he found himself working next door to a tattoo studio. After travelling to Thailand, where he met a master of the industry, a hand poking Buddhist monk, Matthew spent weeks with him, each day learning his take on the sacred art that he and his family had used in various healing and spiritual aspects for generations.

Travel around Europe from city to city soon followed, learning how this secret art would change his life. After years of learning and educating himself on the industry and how the business worked with various other small ventures, he decided to take it to the mainstream and do the job properly. His mentor Mr Mote was contacted and kindly asked if he minded that Matthew could name his new venture after his. Mr Mote gave his blessings, and Skins and Needles was born in Teesside!!

Cracking the industry

The tattoo industry has always been a hard nut to crack, especially when not a tattoo artist. Matthew found a way to break down the boundaries and win the respect of the sacred industry with his passion for the art and stories behind tattooing. This was not to everyone’s delight, and Matthew soon found himself battling daily to maintain a place in the tattoo industry which he did with a mixture of the Teesside attitude not to give up and the sheer will to succeed.

Going Mainstream

The traditional tattoo studio back in the early 2000s was typically a back-street affair run by an artist or 2, usually with little customer service and empathy for their customers. Matthew wanted to take what he had learnt and bring the tattoo industry up to date with the idea of a top-class customer experience available on the high street whilst still maintaining a lot of the traditional values. The studio was a success from the outset, and even though so many tried to push Matthew off course, he stuck to his values and prevailed.

expanding our team

Following the success of the studio, our team has been rapidly expanding across Middlesbrough and Durham. With employee of the month incentives, discounted tattooing and barbering, help with personal and professional development (including paid training) and support when exploring freelance opportunities, the full Skins and Needles group are 100% dedicated to their employees and their experience.

Interested in joining us? We have a number of positions open and we’re always wanting new applicants. If the role isn’t available, we will look into expanding the team internally and creating the right position for the right person.

We’d love to hear from you, apply with your CV and a covering letter, or your portfolio below!

Apply to Join the Team


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