Interview with tattoo shop owner Mick Howells

PUBLISHED: 10:39 22 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:53 22 July 2016

Mick Howells

Mick Howells


Mick Howells, founder of Kindred Tattoo in South Woodford talks to WEL about making dreams a reality, juggling family life and his addiction to stationery

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Mick Howells, I’m a graphic designer, artist and owner of Kindred Tattoo.

Where do you live?

I live with my young family in Loughton. We’ve lived here for ten years now and I love being right by Epping Forest.

What do you love about your job?

I love having a creative job. Between the gallery at Kindred, the tattoos, painting and designing, I always have an interesting, varied array of projects on the go. I also love the mixed bag of clients we work for. We have a lot of people coming into the studio and everyone has got a story to tell.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is working with my family. My brother Chris is the co-owner and runs the tattoo studio day to day. Since we were kids we’ve always drawn and painted together. He’s a great artist and to now be able to create together professionally is amazing! Our family are very supportive too and are all involved one way or another.

What is the worst part of your job?

I can honestly say there is nothing bad. It has been a long road getting Kindred to this point and I’ve had some tough jobs in the past, so I’m very appreciative of what I’ve now got.

What is the secret of your success?

The team and our ethos. The crew are all amazing artists and a great bunch to work with. We work hard to make sure everyone that comes in to the studio is made to feel welcome and comfortable. We’ve made many friends in our time in South Woodford and we see lots of clients return time and again, bringing friends and family with them too.

What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?

It has to be the first day working at Kindred Tattoo. We have had a dream for a long time and all worked hard to make it become a reality. There was blood, sweat and tears along the way, but to open that door with the sun shining, hear the machines buzzing and realising the dream was alive, was a very special feeling.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time, you’re kidding, right? I work 24/7 and have two young kids. I vaguely remember having something called ‘spare time’ somewhere back around 1998. Luckily I have an amazingly supportive wife, Karen, who keeps me sane when my world is going mad.

What would your alternative career be?

Having a creative mind, I absolutely love music and have been involved in the music industry one way or another for a very long time. I met my wife while managing a record store back in the day. From there we both went on to work for and within independent and major record labels and took care of a lot of high profile artists and projects. If I have time I still DJ, do production with my mates and I have also managed a band for a few years.

What is your next ambition for 2016?

Definitely a holiday! It’s been non stop for a while now so to lay in a hammock under a palm tree with the wife and a Pina Colada, kids playing in the sand, that would be bliss.

What’s your drink of choice after a hard day?

I do like a beer. I’ve developed a real love for ale and have actually got a bit geeky about it. I love to hunt down independent breweries and try their wares.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

The artist in me has a bit of an obsessive problem with stationery. I have just about every pen and pencil for every application, yet that is still not enough. I can’t pass an art store or stationers without buying something.

Get in touch

Kindred Tattoo, 155 High Road, South Woodford E18 2PA. 020 8506 0826

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