It all began when Jo Martin, founder of Tattoo Removal Ink, retired from a 30-year corporate career and began volunteering as a GED tutor at a local jail. During her time at the jail, she noticed many of the inmates were covered in racist or offensive tattoos. “How would they ever be employable,” she wondered, “if their ink offended potential employers?”
Purely by providence, Jo learned about Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit in California that provides job training and support to former gang members. He was speaking at a university a few hours away. Father Greg Boyle’s speech touched Jo, and she talked to him afterward, explaining her desire to help inmates remove their tattoos. He urged her to tour Homeboy’s operation in California.
Jo and a friend went to Los Angeles. At Homeboy’s facilities, she learned that former gang members received mental health counseling, job placement services and much more. But free tattoo removal often lured them in the door. Jo was inspired and knew she had found her calling.
Back home, she began setting up a nonprofit. Jo recruited two doctor friends to be co-medical directors of the clinic and purchased an Astanza laser removal machine at the discounted price of $55,000. Astanza sent a biomedical engineer to Florence for a two-day training to teach Martin and her colleagues how to remove tattoos. And the rest is history.
Jo, along with her Board of Directors, opened Tattoo Removal Ink in January of 2017. Since then, TRI has treated thousands of tattoos, transforming the lives of former inmates, gang members and human trafficking survivors.
At Tattoo Removal Ink, we believe a little kindness goes a long way. We do not just remove tattoos — we give people a fresh start and a chance to move past their past. When people are given the opportunity to work and create a better life for themselves, we all win. Because at the end of the day, there is no “us” and “them” — there is only “us”.
What they say
SUCH an amazing place! Jo is just phenomenal! So much love & goodness in there & truly life changing work being done. Thank God 4them!d!”