The family of prominent and popular Royston businesswoman, Debbie Horabin, have paid tribute to her following her death aged 56.

Debbie, otherwise known as Fongs, owned and managed the Armadillo Ink tattoo studio in Kneesworth Street, which opened in 2010.

She made lifelong friends in the area through the art of tattoos, many of whom have paid tribute to her after she sadly lost her battle with lung cancer on December 30.

Debbie's son Kalvin Tauch-Horabin told the Crow: "Mum created a studio where people were welcome and we got to know everybody. Being in mum's studio chair was more like a therapy session.

%image(15570925, type="article-full", alt="Debbie Horabin has been described by her son as a "social butterfly" and competely determined.")

"There are so many people who have stayed in touch after getting tattooed - she worked as an artist for 10 years in Cambridge and 10 years in Royston. It's so nice that so many people have been sharing their own tributes to my mum.

"She was always painting, sewing or crocheting, and was really involved with No. 3 Royston craft shop."

Debbie's artistic streak developed when she got her degree in fine art in Manchester. Following this, she had a strong interest in pottery and textiles.

She went on to do an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist and opened Armadillo Ink in Bassingbourn, before moving to its current location in Royston.

%image(15570927, type="article-full", alt="Debbie sadly died aged 56, following a battle with lung cancer.")

Kalvin continued: "She was diagnosed at Addenbrooke's Hospital, and I got a job there in oncology so I could be there for her. She put up an amazing fight and continued to be herself the whole way.

"She was still a social butterfly, and absolutely determined. She knew what was happening and knew she wanted to make the best of it."

Kalvin said he, his husband Borey and his mum gained an "adopted family" in friends Alice and Spin, through Debbie's work tattooing them.

"The amount of people who have been in touch and the amount of tributes I've read - it's been so humbling and breathtaking," Kalvin said.

"My world has fallen from beneath my feet, but the comfort I have got from the words of friends has been phenomenal."

Debbie was diagnosed with cancer on January 15, 2020, and her funeral will take place on January 15, 2021, going "full circle", according to Kalvin.

Due to the current lockdown, Kalvin will be live streaming the funeral for those who will be unable to attend. Everybody is welcome to join and it will also be shared on the Armadillo Ink Facebook page.