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Link to the ink at Live Oak tattoo shop

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Staffers at Iron Forged Body Works such as August Jimenez (left) stay up-to-date on safety and continuing education for their industry, manager Xavier Gonzalez said. Photo by Collette Orquiz IRON FORGED BODY WORKS - 8147 Pat Booker Road in Live Oak. For more, call 210-967-9709 or visit ironforgedtx.com.

LIVE OAK — Offering tattoos, piercings and body jewelry, Iron Forged Body Works wants to create a lasting impression for customers.

The shop, which celebrated a ribbon cutting this spring, is at 8147 Pat Booker Road, the site of the former South Paw Tattoo & Body Piercings for more than 20 years.

The staff includes manager Xavier Gonzalez, another piercing expert and three tattoo artists. Many of them worked two years at South Paw before launching the latest venture.

“We like the new, sleek look now. It’s a fresh start,” said Gonzalez, a 15-year industry veteran.

Before relocating to Live Oak, he and his colleagues spent eight years on San Antonio’s South Side.

“We enjoyed working down there, but we liked the prospect of moving to the North Side,” he added.

The employees’ portfolios are available on the business’ website. Each specializes in different styles including portraits, black and gray photos, custom lettering, dotwork, full color, realism, anime and traditional.

Piercings range from head to toe.

Safety and continuing education about body art are very important to the team, the manager said.

“We want to exceed the state’s safety standards,” Gonzalez said. “Also, we’re all a bunch of sweethearts.”

Staffers attend city luncheons, networking meetings and more.

“The city of Live Oak has been nothing but the tops, they are incredible,” Gonzalez said. “They had a lot of love for South Paw, and we just wanted to improve on that.”

Every Friday the 13th, Iron Forged provides body-jewelry specials; monthly deals are in the works.

Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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