One & Only Tattoo

One & Only Tattoo employees pose for a photo inside the tattoo shop. 

COVID-19 has hit San Marcos businesses hard, but for One & Only Tattoo, business could not be better.

“The fact that today is calm and quiet is more of a rarity than it has been in the past,” says General Manager Aedras Nelson. 

One & Only, like many businesses, shut down in March 2020. But by May 2020, it was back up and running at a brand-new location on The Square, not far from its previous location. 

“We got to the point where we couldn’t hire new tattoo artists fast enough,” Nelson says. 

Maddie Earp, a Texas State sophomore and One & Only client, says the shop is unique. 

“I feel safe here, I feel loved here and I feel more like myself thanks to One & Only,” Earp says. “Some people say it's just an earring or whatever, but it's so much more than that to me. I feel more like myself.” 

Nelson says customer satisfaction like Earp’s is why the tattoo shop and its artists do what they do. 

"We like to be able to help people come into who they are as a person. Feel more comfortable in your body and being a part of that process is a really big deal,” Nelson says. “Having customers that allow you to trust you to help them through that process is something that all of us are grateful for. It's a big deal. Tattoo and piercing isn't just stylish and cool; for a lot of people, it's a very emotional thing, you're claiming your body."

One & Only Tattoo also contributes to the community by donating to TrueLight 127, a ministry dedicated to working with foster children.

"We're happy that the community has embraced us and helped us grow to where we are today. We wouldn't have the reputation we have today if we didn't have customers who love to come back to see us and tell their friends about us," Nelson says. 

One & Only Tattoo is located on 173 S. LBJ Dr. across from AquaBrew and next to Toma Taco. The shop is open seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m.

2nd Place: Mystic Marks Tattoo Co, Classic Tattoo and San Marcos Tattoo Emporium (tie)

3rd Place: Bubba Family Tattoo Parlour

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