FLATIRON, Manhattan (WABC) -- A new tattoo removal business opened its largest location ever in the middle of Manhattan on Wednesday.
The company, aptly named Removery, specializes in laser tattoo removal and fading.
Around 31% of all New Yorkers have at least one tattoo with the most inked residents living in Staten Island followed by the Bronx.
Close to 17% of those New Yorkers say they've had a tattoo removed with over a quarter of those people living in Manhattan.
Removery's mission is to erase the stigma around tattoo removal and help people get rid of unwanted tattoos whether it's to free up space for fresh ink or have a fresh start, according to the company's website.
That's why Freddie, a New York City resident, will be at the grand opening of the flagship location in Flatiron.
The New York native was incarcerated for six years for drugs and has tattoos covering his face, neck and head from his time in jail.
He got out in April of 2021 and has found out the hard way the markings don't go over well during job interviews.
"You can tell by their facial expression and things like that but the more comfortable you are and the more comfortable the employer is the better," he said.
This is the first of about 10 treatments he will receive at Removery.
He is one of roughly 400 clients who won't pay a penny through the company's Ink-nitiative.
The free service is for those who are or have been behind bars, victims of human trafficking and people with tattoos of hate symbols, racist or gang marking.
Typically a small tattoo removal can cost about $1000.
"We're here to change lives, so when you can see that happen in front of your eyes, it's the reason to come to work," said Carmen Vanderheiden Brodie of Removery.
Technology has improved so a broader range of colors can be removed and skin tones treated.
Freddie urges others to think twice before doing what he did.
"If he's a celebrity or a musician or actor it doesn't bother that much but I want to take off my tattoos for better opportunities," he said.
The first New York City Removery location will be on West 21st Street near Fifth Avenue.
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