Tattoo service hopes to ink deal on new site
By Erika Wurst firstname.lastname@example.org January 4, 2013 12:26PM
Ink 180 founder Chris Baker speaks at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. Through Ink 180, Baker offers free tattoo coverups to those trying to get out of the trafficking or gang life. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Ink 180 Ministries
Founder Chris Baker still needs donations to secure his tax ID, and could use donations for supplies. To learn more about his ministry, his mission and his foundation’s need, visit his website.
Updated: February 8, 2013 6:06AM
Ink 180 Ministries is ready to draw up the papers on its first official home.
Ink 180 Ministries is a service offered by Oswego tattoo artist Chris Baker, who provides free cover-up work on tattoos for former gang members and victims of sex trafficking.
Baker is getting ready to open Kendall County’s first tattoo shop this year and will finally have a place to call home.
“The Health Department heard some rumors that I was trying to open a shop, and they wanted to help me out,” Baker said of a phone call he recently received.
“That is unheard of. But they really love what we’re doing.”
As quickly as that conversation happened, so did one with the bank, and another with a local property owner who offered up a free month’s rent for Baker’s new shop in Oswego Township.
“Basically, this is the realization of a dream I’ve had for a long time,” Baker said.
Tattooing was a part-time gig for the family man, until he began work with the Ink 180 project. Even then, the work was for free, and the supplies were coming from his own pocket.
“Now, I can make money to support my family and money to directly support Ink 180,” he said. “We’re pushing ahead.”
This past week, Baker got a phone call from a dermatologist who offered free laser removal services to support Baker’s mission.
“This is the first time anyone in the professional medical community has come forward and offered to help,” he said.
“All I really have to do is come up with $787 to get the (legal documents for his business). I’ll take that tax ID to the bank, they’ll cut my line of credit, and we’ll get rolling.”