AMELIA Wray’s first tattoo was tiny heart on her wrist for her husband just over 10 years ago.

Her favourite is a matchbox which says “light my fire” – a tribute to Jim Morrison and The Doors.

Over the past few years, Amelia has created hundreds of tattoos for customers and clients, who have just voted her business Face Base Mid Cheshire’s Best for Tattoos 2024.

Top tattooist Amelia Wray

Top tattooist Amelia Wray

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

Best for Hair - Fox Hairdressing

Best for Pies - JD's Café

Best for Nails - Blue Beauty Cheshire

Best for Roast Dinner - The Bowling Green

Best for Cocktails - The Grape and Bean

Best for Breakfast - Zaza Café

Best for Fish and Chips - The Corner Fish and Chip Shop

Best Beer Garden - The Carriers Inn

Best for Fitness – Lucas Debek

Voting for Mid Cheshire’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 Mid Cheshire’s Best Independent Shop or Business 2024

Nominate your favourite for Mid Cheshire’s Best for Dessert 2024

Ten top tattooists in Mid Cheshire made the shortlist for Best for Tattoos and Face Base took this year’s coveted crown.

Amelia Wray is the owner of Face Base and she opened the business in December 2022 at The Design Outlet on Navigation Road, Northwich.

Amelia, who is 32, said: “I have rented two spaces in Winsford before but this is my very own studio, which I am so proud of creating.

“I have an area for semi-permanent makeup and an area for tattoos.

“I really wanted the space to feel comfortable and relaxing for my clients with a sofa seating area, panoramic windows and an amazing shopping outlet downstairs called The Design Outlet, which is packed full of local businesses.

“It’s a real hub for Northwich.”

Amelia Wray opened Face Base in December 2022

Amelia Wray opened Face Base in December 2022

Amelia grew up in Winsford but went to school in Northwich.

There were dozens of nominations for Face Base from customers and clients who love their artwork and ink.

She said: “I love bringing my style and quality to smaller towns as I used to have to travel to Manchester or Chester.

“I offer award winning semi-permanent makeup treatments such as eyebrows, lip blush and eyeliner tattoos as well as faux freckles and beauty spots.

“I have loved adding tiny tattoos and fine line tattoos to my services.

“I love the stories and the client relationships - the journeys my tattoos take us on.

“Clients often come to me for their first tattoo as they want something dainty, fine line and meaningful.

“I am lucky to be chosen for memorial tattoos - people surprising their family or partners with a unique tattoo and even facial tattoos.”

Amelia wanted to start her own business when she had her daughter eight years ago but the timing wasn’t right.

After working in mental health and well-being for ten years, she decided to take her own advice and go for it.

Amelia said: “I took as many training courses as possible and I never stop learning - anything is achievable.

“I love being my own boss as it works around my family.

“I’m a workaholic so my clients always appreciate that I can get them in most weeks!

“I have been self-employed most of my working life since I was 15.

“I have a background in acting and running my own drama school for nine years, which sadly after Covid-19 hit it was very difficult to run.

“That’s when I decided to take a new path into a passion that’s always been there - making people feel amazing, confident and having the best chats with my clients.

“I still use all my past business skills whether that’s financial understanding, customer service and even my mental health support, it all comes into the business.”

Amelia admits to having an overactive imagination and creative flair and she always ideas to share with her clients.

She’s also a perfectionist and often over analyses her artwork to make sure it’s right.

She said: “I take time to get to know my clients and their lives but I’m also more than happy to have a quiet appointment and let my clients choose the music playlist or light a candle.

“Tattoos can feel therapeutic and like a luxury treatment too!”

Amelia loves creating individual artwork

Amelia loves creating individual artwork

Amelia’s most requested tattoo is birth flowers and the first one she did went viral.

Amelia said: “Since I first did a bunch of birth flowers, I have been inundated with messages asking what they are.

“My Instagram reels have racked up more than a million views – birth flowers are definitely a favourite.

“My sister-in-law didn’t want her children’s birth dates so we made a flower from each of their months and created a bunch of flowers which is unique to her.”

Amelia loves revealing new tattoos to her clients and seeing the look on their face when they see their inkwork for the first time.

Birth flowers are a popular choice for Amelias clients

Birth flowers are a popular choice for Amelia's clients

She said: “I’ll not take for granted what a special community Face Base has become.

“My client base is predominately female and it feels very empowering being around so many inspiring women every day.

“Making the shortlist for Mid Cheshire’s Best for Tattoos 2024 was a big shock and imposter syndrome definitely set in.

“Once this wore off, I tried to accept that I deserved a place in the top ten but I never thought I would win.

“I was absolutely over the moon to hear I’d won and it will take a long time to sink in.

“My family’s support from day one has been incredible – this means everything to me.

“My clients are literally the best.

“I’ve said it so many times and this just proves it.

“They keep me so busy, always encouraging me and cheering me on.

“I have a wonderful network at Face Base where my clients are now becoming friends with each other and it’s amazing.

“Thank you so much for every single vote and for taking the time to put my name into the hat.

“I promise that my studio will continue to flourish and I’ll keep making your ink dreams come true.”