THRIVING tattoo artists are donating a percentage of their sales to charities close to their hearts.
Alex Williamson and John Robertson, both 33, pledged to hand over £1 from every sale they make at their Hartlepool store to Macmillan Cancer Research and Parkinson’s UK.
The charities both helped family members of the two men, who own Faithless Ink, in York Road.
Alex’s grandmother, Sylvia Williamson, died in 2007 after a battle with spine cancer and was cared for by the Macmillan nurses.
And John’s dad, William, sadly died after suffering with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008.
The pair both live in the Naisberry Park area of Hartlepool.
Alex, who lives with his partner Helen, 30, said: “The work both charities do is absolutely fantastic, and we wanted to show our appreciation and donate some money.
“The charities are very important to us, so it’s fantastic to be able to give something back.”
The charity pledge comes at a busy time for Alex and John.
They have recently expanded Faithless Ink, and now offer their own alternative clothing range just 14 months after they first set up the business.
Alex said: “We thought there was a gap in the market for alternative clothing, so we took advantage.
“We have a whole range of T-shirts and clothes which are completely unique, and the feedback we have received has been very good.
“We are also in the middle of designing our own brand, which will hopefully be on sale very soon.
“Everyone who we have spoken to have said they think it’s a great idea, and we are very excited at the prospect of our own line.”
Alex says he has been surprised by how quickly the business has developed and the two pals already have ideas of further expansion.
He added: “If somebody had said we would have expanded the small tattoo studio into one of the biggest units in York Road offering tattoos, piercings and clothes in just 14 months, I wouldn’t have believed them.
“But it’s great and we are already looking at opening another alternative clothes store in the region.”
Alex Martin, information and support manager for Parkinson’s UK in the North-East, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Faithless Ink for their kind and generous donation. As the UK’s Parkinson’s support and research charity, we’re leading the work to find a cure, and we’re closer than ever. But our work is totally dependent on donations like this, which will help us to continue to fund cutting edge research and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.”