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Olde Town Tattoo opens in Conyers historic district

This artful design was applied by an artist at Olde Town Tattoo.

This artful design was applied by an artist at Olde Town Tattoo.

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A butterfly is one of the many designs provided by Olde Town Tattoo.

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Olde Town Tattoo artist Danny Newman works on a design for a customer

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Olde Town Tattoo customizes every design based on customer request.

Ray Leonard is a busy man who has made significant changes to his Conyers tattoo shop in the last few months. He recently relocated the 12-year-old business, formerly known as Exotic Ink Tattoo, from Dogwood Drive to Olde Town Conyers. The company also sports a new name -- Olde Town Tattoo -- to reflect its current place of operation.

Leonard said he's looking forward to working with other Olde Town merchants to bring business into the historic district.

"I've been wanting to come to Olde Town for years," said Leonard, who is also proprietor of Covington Tattoo Company and the Athens-based businesses Eastside Tattoo and Eastside Skate Supply.

Olde Town Tattoo provides customers with tattoos, tattoo laser removal and body piercings. The shop is also certified to apply permanent makeup, with eyebrows and eyeliner being the most popular choices, said Leonard.

Leonard said when he first opened his business in 2002 that the existing tattoo shops didn't provide a quality experience.

"I used to get tattoos but half the shops around here were nasty back in the day. We wanted a shop that was little cleaner, nicer, friendlier and more family-oriented," said Leonard.

He prides himself on being different from most local shops, which can be unfriendly places, said Leonard.

"It's our customer service (that makes us stand out). We're super friendly to customers and try to help them in any way we can," he said.

Leonard said he gets a mix of people in the shop, from those who are tattooed all over to those coming in for their first tattoos. Some come with designs prepared; others need ideas from the tattoo artists.

Sometimes customers come in and describe what they want.

"A tattoo artist will draw it on paper and let them look at it and they can make any changes. Then we convert it to a stencil and put it on the skin," said Leonard, who added that most of the time, the process only takes one visit, unless it's an extensive image.

Leonard said the store does have parameters when it comes to providing tattoos.

"We don't do anything racial or gang-related," he said.

He also keeps a watchful eye on young adults who might make frivolous decisions about where to get tattoos. He tries to talk younger people out of getting tattoos on their hands or necks, and he won't provide those services unless a person has extensive tattooing elsewhere on his body.

"It could hurt their jobs. We say, 'This won't be a good idea or a wise choice. Let's think about it,'" said Leonard.

Leonard, who also runs a sound company on the side and has connections with several local bands, said he's looking forward to St. Patrick's Day. He's working with other merchants to provide live music that day in the streets of Olde Town to add to the celebration in local pubs.

"A lot of people love having us here," said Leonard, whose shop moved to the new location at 923 Commercial St. in November.

Olde Town Tattoo is open noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call 770-483-0900 or find Olde Town Tattoo on Facebook.