LDN Experiences

Published on March 24th, 2014 | by Gavin


Sims Tattoos, Croydon

Getting a tattoo is not a decision to take lightly and should be given careful thought before deciding to go ‘under the needle’.  But if you do decide to take the plunge then choosing who will be the one to put this permanent marking on your body is an equally important decision.  There is no Tripadvisor style rating system for tattooists, so differentiating the cowboys from the real deal is harder than A-level trigonometry.

In my experience, word of mouth recommendations from friends has been the preferred method for my first 3 tiny designs, however for my fourth and largest to date, I decided to consult Twitter to find the best around Croydon where I live.  I was expecting a bunch of internet trolls to send a bunch of sarcastic comments, but to my surprise, all I received was helpful advice.  One name that kept popping up was Sims Tattoo parlour in West Croydon, so I decided to check out their website, searched a few tattoo forums, and also asked some local tattoo enthusiast friends for their opinions.

All were seemingly positive and reading the no frills FAQ section of Sims website which includes gems such as “I don’t know what to get, what do you recommend?” with the reply “I recommend you go home and forget about getting a tattoo until you’ve given it some thought”.  The hygiene policy also put my mind at ease, so decided to pay the studio a visit before taking the plunge.

At the studio I’m greeted by owner Brad Sims who is in the middle of tattooing a sleeve and the customer seems glad that he’s taken a break to talk to me.  He explains the process, shows me the equipment used and how it’s cleaned, and I browse a book filled with examples of previous work done by Brad and the other 2 artists in the studio, Dor and Michi.  Satisfied that they knew what they were doing and took sterilisation seriously, I decided that Sims would be the place to permanently mark my body.  I give them my (very badly drawn) design, pay a £50 deposit and in precisely 7 days I’d be ‘inked up’.

I return and Michi has drawn my design up and looks better than I imagined it would.  I can’t wait to get it done and after the stencil goes on I take a seat.  Some casual chit chat puts my mind at ease and soon enough I feel the unmistakable sting of tattoo gun on flesh; no going back now!  After 3 hours we are all done and I can’t wait to look in the mirror.  As I admire his handy work in the mirror Michi explains the tattoo aftercare instructions and hands me a card with further information.

I’m was so happy with my experience that I thought I’d write this post because when doing my research I didn’t find many other websites offering honest tattoo parlour reviews.  Sims charge £80 an hour, which isn’t the cheapest you will find, but I’d rather pay extra in the knowledge that I’ll be getting a first rate job; and that’s exactly what I got from my experience.

Chest Tattoo


Sims Tattoos, 69 Windmill Rd, Croydon, CR0 2XR.

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About the Author

Born and raised in Croydon, South London, Gavin is a lover of cocktails, a passionate foodie, and a self-proclaimed ‘dancing god’. A (relatively) normal guy that decided to start blogging about his experiences around the city he loves.

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