He purchased his 13-year old Extra-long Sprinter 331 CDI van from a local haulier earlier this year – “It had covered a quarter of a million miles but was in great condition,” he recalled.
“I’ve driven various makes of van over the years so knew all about the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s ‘bullet proof’ reliability, and the fact that it’s more comfortable than any of its competitors. When I hit upon the idea of launching my mobile studio, the Sprinter was the only vehicle I was prepared to consider as a base chassis.”
Mr Bailey worked for approximately 70 hours on the conversion, lining the vehicle’s cargo area with hygienic and easily cleaned plastic panelling, fitting cupboards and work tops, and installing a sink with hot and cold running water, as well as lighting and electrical services. The resulting studio is fully compliant with health and safety standards.
“My work had to be of the same, if not a higher standard than you would see in a fixed studio to secure the necessary registration from the local environmental health department,” he explained. “When the inspector came to check it he couldn’t believe what I’d achieved, and was really impressed.
“Prospective customers can be a bit nervous about being tattooed in the back of a van but once they see inside they’re invariably reassured. I like to think of the finish as being on a par with an a&e ambulance.”
Finished in an eye-catching ‘red dragon’ livery, Mr Bailey and Mercedes-Benz believe the converted studio is an advertisement not only for the recently launched business venture, The Skin Shack, but also for the all-round quality and durability of pre-owned Mercedes-Benz Vans.