The Wanderlust Tattoo Company in Parksville has grown since it opened two year ago with the hiring of apprentice Daniel Doukakis (L), and the addition of Timber into the family, who is owner Mark Jansen (R) and Tee Tyson’s first born. — Michael Briones photo

Company tattoos its good work indelibly in the community

Wanderlust is helping raise funds for Manna Homeless Society

Wanderlust Tattoo Company is a growing business in Parksville.

Since opening two years ago, it has etched a good and indelible impression in the community, not only from the services it offers, but also from its charitable endeavours.

“Business has been good,” according to owners TeeTyson and Mark Jansen. And as a way of giving back to the community, the couple has made it a goal to help some charities.

“We love Parksville,” said Tyson. “We love being in the Oceanside community and we are always looking for ways to give back to people and donate to different groups.”

Last month, Wanderlust helped raised $500 for HugAbull, a registered non-profit organization that rescues dogs, provides public education, and builds a community of responsible pit bull owners and supporters. It was their way of thanking the group for bringing them their beloved Dixon, who sadly passed away from cancer.

For its next project, Wanderlust this month is holding the Oceanside Local Love Raffle of a basket worth over $1000. The winners will be drawn on July 1.

Tyson said they have collaborated with 11 other local businesses that include CrossFit Qualicum Beach, Indy &Feather Photography, Lesley’s Esthetics &Accessories, Lefty’s Fresh Food, The Mulberry Bush Bookstore, The Nurture Collective, Pacific Brimm, Rock-A-Bear Baby Swag &Spa, Shades of Green, Soak Essentials, and Refresh Clothing. All were excited about it, said Tyson, and were more than happy to contribute to the prize basket that features gift certificates, services and products.

“We just love working with the local businesses and getting together with them,” said Tyson.“Community is such a big part of our businesses.”

The tickets are $5 each or three tickets for $10. They can be bought at Wanderlust Tattoo, 180 McCarter Street in Parskville, or Mulberry Bush Bookstore. All proceeds will go to the Manna Homeless Society, a non-profit organization that cares for the well-being of the homeless and impoverished in Oceanside.

“We always see them [Manna] working diligently in our community so we want to help them out,” said Tyson. “I often see their truck donating food. I looked at their website and they rely on local donations to survive. They don’t just help homeless people. They also help low-income, poverty-stricken families, couples and single parents.”

Wanderlust just celebrated its second year anniversary last month. Jansen said that since opening, the business has been growing and has received recognition when it was nominated as new Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.

Jansen said, looking back, he was worried how the business would pan out in an area where the population is dominated by seniors.

“It’s a retirement community and that was one of the main things that held me back from opening here,” Jansen recalled. “I just wasn’t sure how well it would be perceived.”

Jansen moved here from Courtenay. And when he did, a lot of his clients followed him here. He said he has noticed that most customers are 40 years old and above. As well, he has seen more people in their 60s coming in for their first tattoo.

“It just indicated to me that tattooing isn’t really age-restrictive,” said Jansen.

On the business side, Wanderlust has seen its staff grow by one, when Jansen took in apprentice Daniel Doukakis. It was a surprise move on his part.

“I didn’t want to have an apprentice and I told Daniel that at the start when he came in to see me,” said Jansen. “I gave him some advice and I was hoping it would get him a foot in the door somewhere. But he kept coming back, asking questions, showing me his work. So I brought him on.”

Doukakis’ first tattoo job was on himself. It was a nerve-wracking initiation for him.

“I was so nervous,” he recalled. The second tattoo he worked on was on his brother’s leg. “It was great,” he said.

Jansen said being nervous is part of the job. He has been doing this for 17 years and that feeling is always there he explained.

“It’s a very serious job to have somebody trust you to permanently mark them for life,” said Jansen. “You want to do right by that person.”

Jansen said in this profession, they are constantly learning and trying to improve their skills. “If you are not, you are not doing it right,” said Jansen. “17 years into it, I am still learning and pushing myself to evolve.”

On the family side, the couple now have a son, Timber, who they did not know was coming when they signed the five-year lease two years ago.

To buy raffle tickets or for any questions, contact Wanderlust at 250-586-1149.

You can also visit their website online at www.wanderlusttattooco.com.