Dutchess arrived in North Carolina in the Black Ink Crew episode that aired at 9 p.m. on May 30, 2016. In There was plenty of work to do for the Dutchess of Charlotte in her Pretty In Ink tattoo shop.
Dutchess introduced her new employees. First there was Angel, a well-experienced tattoo artist. Shawna was a younger artist who Dutchess felt would grow into the industry. Dutchess thought of Shawna as a younger sister. BeBe, Dutchess’s best friend was helping in the shop, too. During her first staff meeting, Dutchess tried to motivated her staff to work quickly, because her grand opening was soon.
Donna had the nerve to come to Sky’s place not with money, but with Sky’s favorite drink. Sky accepted the drink, and Donna’s friendship, and Donna chatted with Sky, telling her that she really wanted to show Dutchess her portfolio. It seems that Donna wanted some validation from Dutchess that she had improved. She at least wanted Dutchess to see that she had been working hard. Sky mentioned that Dutchess was having a grand opening in North Carolina, and Donna got it in her head to go to Pretty in Ink to show Dutchess her portfolio (with the thought that Dutchess would beg her to work in her shop).
The next day in Dutchess’ shop, her staff members were relaxing and not doing any of the things that she needed them to do. Dutchess had a fit, because it was a day before the opening and the place was clearly unfinished.
Sky, OS***, Walt, Tedd and Melody went out to eat at Mac’s Speed Shop, a barbecue restaurant in North Carolina. They all came up for Dutchess’ Grand Opening. They chatted about Dutchess’ shop and how they didn’t know anything about it, because whenever they asked about the shop, Dutchess was secretive.
At Art2Ink Phoenix’s mother showed up, and he hadn’t seen her in years. Apparently she was a drug addict in the past, so she was in and out of Phoenix’s life. Puma had the same situation happen to him. His mother was a drug addict, too, and he allowed his mother back into his life for the sake of his daughter. Phoenix on the other hand, was not ready to have a relationship with his mother. He had been in the shelter system as a young man, because of her addictions. He did agree to meet with her to have a conversation, however.
Dutchess decided that no one was going to sleep, because it was crunch time, and she needed to get her shop finished by the next morning. She decided that her staff would work around the clock. Then she noticed that Ceaser was missing.
Back in Harlem, Naeem brought some tattoo equipment to Donna’s place. It turns out that Dutchess and Ceaser were cleaning Black Ink up, and Donna’s tattoo equipment was thrown out (because it looked like something that someone didn’t need?) Anyway, Donna made up her mind to go up to North Carolina, anyway and show off her portfolio to Dutchess, although she thought that Dutchess was evil.
Ceaser showed up at the grand opening late, but he came with a dog for Dutchess, which made Dutchess happy, but she was still angry that he was late in the first place. Dutchess stepped out of a Rolls Royce to make her grand entrance for her Grand Opening of Pretty in Ink. Everything came together and the shop was well put together, so it was proud evening for Dutchess.
At the Grand Opening Ted was attracted to Shawna, Dutchess’ young tattoo artist. He went in for the kill, just by getting her number.
Ceasar proposed to Dutchess again in her shop, and he presented her with another ring. Teddy figured that if Ceaser kept getting engaged, he wouldn’t have to get married.
Phoenix and his mother sat down to talk at the Chipped Cup. Phoenix felt that there was nothing that his mother could say to make him understand why she chose drugs over her family. Apparently she would pop up in his life when he was a child. He would get excited, and then she would disappear again. His mother ended up crying and nearly begging her son to accept her in his life again. She said that she was in her 20’s when she was addicted but was now she is 52. Phoenix decided to take baby steps with her.
The Chipped Cup
Also in New York, Naeem’s girlfriend was boxing. She was upset, because she wanted Naeem to spend more time with their daughter. Then the woman got into how Naeem spends too much time with his friends, and how she didn’t like Donna, one of Naeem’s friends. He tried to explain that Donna was really just a friend, but she still didn’t trust him. She also threatened Donna and Naeem, which could be serious, because Naeem’s girlfriend can box.
On her opening day, for Pretty In Ink, there was literally a line of customers that went all the way down the street. Sky was at the shop, wearing dark glasses and with a hangover. After the Grand Opening celebration, they all went out, and she drank some more, so Sky was really feeling pretty bad.
Suddenly Donna came into the shop with her portfolio. Dutchess said that her shade was accurate and there was a problem with her spacing. Then Donna asked why Ceaser and Dutchess threw away her tattoo equipment. Donna told them then that she was not there to get a job. She said that she just wanted to show them their portfolio (but maybe she wouldn’t have turned down a job if it was offered). In the heat of the argument, Dutchess explained that some girls asked her what should be done with some tattoo equipment they’d found. Dutchess said that she didn’t know who the items belonged too, and since she didn’t know the identity of the owner, the equipment should be thrown out. A loud argument broke out and Dutchess screamed at her to get out of her shop.
Donna left the the shop, but stood around outside, and she had words with some of Dutchess’ family members, including her sister Zandy who threatened to beat her down. Donna kept screaming that Zandy needed to blend her weave better. Dutchess got word that they were fighting and he flung her shoes off in an attempt to run outside and defend her sister. Ceaser had to hold Dutchess down.
In the last scene of the Black Ink Crew, Donna said that she was waiting for Dutchess to come back to Harlem.
Black Ink Crew Travel Destination Focus: Mac’s Speed Shop
The staff from the Black Ink Crew stopped at Mac’s Speed Shop to relax and chat. This busy barbecue joint is a favorite in Charlotte, North Carolina with two locations, one on South Bend Road and one one South Porter Road. Mac’s has other locations in North Carolina and South Carolina.