I am a disgruntled former employee of Ink Wizard. The company is worried only about making money and doesn't care about the quality of tattoos and piercings coming out of their shops.
The $25 "sterilization" fee is bullsh*t. That money goes to the company in its entirity while the artists have to buy all of their own cleaning supplies, autoclave pouches, etc.. And make or buy needles, clean tubes, make sure everything is autoclaved. The only supplies the shop provides are paper towels, water, and Pine Sol. Pine Sol isn't really recommended for any kind of cleaning involving biohazard contaminated surfaces.
Basically all that the $25 fee does is provide the company with a way to cheat the artist out of a percentage of his/her cut.
I know of a shop that is being run by a kid who never apprenticed and had only barely started tattooing when Gary put him into the shop. He's getting a manager's salary.
Although artists are all hired as independent contractors they are still expected to behave as employees.
If an artist does anything to get on Gary or other members of the ruling class and the company decides to fire them the company seizes all of the artists equipment. I had been taking my equipment home, MY EQUIPMENT, and was scolded by my manager, Bear, for this. This is the arguement which led to my quitting the company. They claim they don't want artists tattooing under the table at home but I was working sixty plus hours a week at the time. I really didn't have the time or energy to tattoo when I got home, and being a professional I don't tattoo off the kitchen table.
And as far as being professional goes, dildos and bongs really have no place in a tattoo shop.
Oh yeah, Gary, I'm still waiting for you to make good on that threat of coming to my house and kicking my ^ss.