Reality television stars Ami James and Chris Nuà±ez are in the news this week with a real issue. The Miami Ink shop owners own the shop that they tattoo out of for the wildly successful TLC show but do not own the name, “Miami Ink”. The shop was formerly known as 305 Ink until executives insisted that James and Nuà±ez rebrand their shop after the TLC network title.
This left the duo without the possibility of additional branding and licensing deals like the ones the guys from West Coast Choppers got from Wal-Mart since they owned the shop name. So in an effort to avoid a swift fall from the public eye and from the consistent flow of cash that can happen when a network decides a show is not in their interests anymore, Ami and Nuà±ez have recently decided to open Love Hate tattoo’s just a few doors down from the current Miami Ink locale on Washington Avenue.
Here is a excerpt from a recent Miami Herald story that gives some more insight to the new arrangement….
A show executive said that the cast will refer to the new location as ”Love Hate,” but that ”Miami Ink” will go on the front windows there, too.
James and Nuà±ez will still own and run the current Miami Ink location, but without having to turn away daytime business when the show shuts it down for filming.
And within 18 months, James, Nuà±ez and their partners expect to open new Love Hate bars in Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas, which also will have a tattoo parlor.
They have also signed a Los Angeles apparel maker to sell Love Hate clothes, with hope for global distribution.
”We’re in 181 countries with the show,” Nuà±ez said. “So, we figure hit 181 countries with merchandise.”
For sure, reality-TV fame has been good to James and Nuà±ez, although neither would say how much the show pays them. Along with the profits that come from a packed tattoo studio, the Spanish-speaking Nuà±ez said he recently signed an endorsement deal with AT&T Latin America and James paid $865,000 last year for a Miami Beach home.
‘You get an education you never had before,” said Nuà±ez, 34. He and his co-stars went from being ”street guys” to “guys who review contracts, learn how lawyers screw you over, learn how you need a lawyer to read a lawyer’s contract, [and] learn what your back end’s going to be.”
Well, it all makes sense, I wonder how these issues will be communicated in future episodes of Miami Ink….