Business: Empire Tattoo

Owner: Angelo Grinceri, of Hammonton

Manager: Paul DeMarco, 22, of Somers Point

Location: 746 Shore Road, Somers Point

Started: 2012; Blackwood shop in 2008

Employees: 3

Phone: 609-365-8917

Empire Tattoo is a custom tattoo shop and body-piercing studio.

We do everything from traditional work to color realism, portraits and everything in between.

Traditional tattoo work is the old school, the original tattoos. They include heavy line work with black ink.

Color realism is a tattoo based on a realistic view of a picture, with a lot of color blends. Traditional tattoos are simpler.

Duplicating a photo of someone's face is very hard, so portraits are one of the biggest challenges for tattoo artists.

Wayne Liberty, of Somers Point, is an artist here, specializing in cover-ups, which are when you cover an old tattoo with a new tattoo. So if you've got some bad tattoo work or have something really old, you can get something fresh.

Wayne is from Massachusetts and has been tattooing for 12 years.

Our other artist is Al Amoroso, who has been tattooing for 15 years in this area. He's from Absecon and now lives in Philadelphia.

We pride ourselves on having a clean shop. The whole shop is tiled and easy to clean. All of the tattoo equipment is disposable, so it's used one time and then thrown out.

The body piercing equipment is cleaned each time and run through an ultrasonic cleaner and an autoclave, which heats it to a temperature high enough to sterilize it.

All the body jewelry is implant grade, the majority of it surgical steel. Popular piercings these days are belly buttons and ear piercings.

I also offer a microdermal, a piercing that sits in your skin and is sometimes called a surface anchor. Typically a gem is mounted atop the anchor.

In tattoos, we get a lot of requests for zombie-related images since "The Walking Dead" TV show started, and also for cover-ups.

We started from the ground up here. The shop is fully renovated on the inside and is completely different from what was here before.

The biggest challenge is getting people to know our artists and what they're capable of.

Future plans: We have three stations here, and our two artists are working full time. Right now I do body piercing at the third station, but if we ever needed a third artist it's there for them.

Business editor Kevin Post