SHANNON Rose Ellis’ first tattoo was a small star on her leg, which she did herself in her first few days as an apprentice.

Fast forward 16 years, and the talented tattooist has just been named Wirral’s Best for Tattoos 2024.

In April, we launched our Best of 2024 competition and we’ve given out nine awards.

• Best for Hair – LA Hair

• Best for Pies – Pies4u

• Best for Nails – By Taylor Jade

• Best for Roast Dinner – The 21st Amendment Hoylake

• Best for Cocktails – Cow Shed Bar & Grill

• Best for Breakfast – At Gilly Gem’s

• Best for Fish and Chips - SelFish

• Best Beer Garden – The Red Fox

• Clubbercise & Chill

Voting for Wirral’s Best Independent Shop or Business is currently taking place and we’re also looking for nominations in our latest search - Best for Dessert.

Vote for Wirral’s Best Independent Shop or Business 2024

Nominate your favourite for Wirral’s Best for Dessert 2024

Ten top tattooists in Wirral made the shortlist for Best for Tattoos and Speakeasy Tattoo Studio took this year’s coveted crown.

Shannon Rose Ellis opened her business in 2013 in Liscard and moved to Wallasey Road eight years ago.

She was born in South Africa but moved to Mid Cheshire with her parents when she was just five.

At Speakeasy, the women are inspired by their clients ideas for tattoos

At Speakeasy, the women are inspired by their clients' ideas for tattoos

Shannon, who is 31, said: “It was so scary as we had nothing but the clothes on our backs.

“My mum and dad had to start from scratch after leaving behind a well-established life in South Africa, to give us all a better life.

“I have owned my own studio since I was 20.

“Previous to that I had no business background apart from studying business in school and college.

“I went to the bank at the age of 19 with a business plan and asked for a loan.

“It got approved and off I went.

“Growing up I always had a problem with authority and I just never liked being told what to do.

“I had a strong mindset and knew that I always wanted to own my own business, whatever it was.

“I have always loved art and it’s always been a passion.

“When I was younger, I remember watching a few Miami Ink shows with my dad and thought it was cool and I wanted to give it a go.

“That was around the age of 14 and I got an apprenticeship when I was 15 or 16 and never looked back.

“We are a tattoo studio, so we leave our mark on people permanently.

“We take their ideas and hopefully they come out with something they love forever.

Shannon Ellis opened Speakeasy Tattoo Studio in 2013

Shannon Ellis opened Speakeasy Tattoo Studio in 2013

Speakeasy Tattoo Studio has a warm welcome for customers and Shannon has a range of old and vintage items on the premises so it looks like an old fashioned speakeasy.

Shannon said: “I wanted it to feel like home for everyone – a relaxing environment with endless cuppas on hand and great chat, not to mention a cheeky biscuit.

“I love the feel of the studio and hope all our customers do too.

“We also offer event packages in the studio for people celebrating occasions.”

Shannon got her first tattoo when she was 15 - a star on her leg that she did herself.

Her favourite tattoo is a picture of her old dog - a border collie called Rocky, who saved her life.

Shannon said: “We had such a special bond and he was my soul dog.

“It was no brainer to have him on me forever."

What do customers and clients think about Speakeasy Tattoo Studio? Why did they want them to win the latest award?

One nomination said: “I voted for them last year and I wanted to do it again this year.

“When I say these three girls work hard, they really do!

“The dedication and talent they have is next level.

“They always go above and beyond and I am proud to show off their artwork.”

Sammie Abbott and Lucy Loo, Shannons fellow tattooists at Speakeasy

Sammie Abbott and Lucy Loo, Shannon's fellow tattooists at Speakeasy

Shannon said: “We are a studio with three female artists and we all have very calm and inviting personalities.

“We want every customer to feel relaxed when coming in and I think we manage to do that personally.

“We enjoy being able to give people something they will love forever and making them feel better about their bodies and the way they look.

“Tattoos give you such a boost and I love that we can do that for people.

“We are also like therapists for our clients - we are a listening ear when they need it and sometimes it gets emotional but if it helps them, then it helps us too.”

Speakeasys customers and clients voted in their dozens to win the award

Speakeasy's customers and clients voted in their dozens to win the award

Shannon was “over the moon” to hear the studio had made the shortlist for Wirral’s Best for Tattoos, especially after making the shortlist last year but not quite winning the title.

Shannon said: “We were gutted not to win last year but it was so special to see all the wonderful comments from everyone.

“Reading what they think of us, made us very proud.

“It was a thrill to be nominated and make the top ten again this year and we were buzzing to win.

“It makes me feel that what we are doing as a studio is working and worthwhile.

“I would like to thank my customers and clients for all their votes and support – without them we wouldn’t have made it and we wouldn’t be us.

“I love each and every one of them.”