Having tattoos can definitely lead to some controversial exchanges be it with your family or complete strangers who just feel like they have the right to utter their useless opinions about your body. But sometimes, having ink on can literally ruin your life.
Many former convicts and gang members find themselves struggling to re-enter the job market due to visible tattoos and the negative preconceptions they carry. That's where TattooEmergency911 comes in to help.
Founded by Jesus Bujanda and his wife Gayedine, TattooEmergency911 is a mobile tattoo removal clinic from Denver, Colorado. Working out of a repurposed ambulance car, Bujanda and his wife Gayedine specialize in lasering-off unwanted ink off their customers, many of whom are at-risk youth and former inmates.
In an interview with Colorado Public Radio (CPR), Bujanda explains the preconceptions surrounding gang-related tattoos, aka "job stoppers":
"They call 'em job stoppers. As soon as employers see something on your hand, on your neck, on your face, they just get leery right away. And they have so many applications to choose from that that’s an easy way to get looked over."
Although Bujanda's services are not free with prices ranging from $49 to $349 and more, part of it if sponsored by the state which aims to help juvenile offenders, parolees, ex-gang members and other at-risk individuals successfully transition back into society.
He also offers special prices for United States veterans, policemen, firemen and educators.
Tattoo removal is definitely not a pleasant procedure, Bujanda underlines. "Have you ever splashed bacon grease on yourself? Add electricity to that," he tells CPR. It can take anywhere between 4 to 15 treatments depending on the size, quality, color scheme of the tattoo and the customer's skin type.
On the TattooEmergency911 website, Bujanda exhibits photos of the tattoo removals he's done. Bujanda and his wife hope to branch out their business into other states and possibly work with Colorado prisons.