Mercedes doesn't remember the specific shops where she got her ink, but each piece honors members of her family, both living and gone.
Mercedes is a make-up artist that has very close ties to her family, and these relationships have manifested themselves on her tattoos.
The piece I first noticed, on her right arm, was this one:
This is actually comprised of two parts, the rose and the ankh. The rose was her first tattoo, inked because her mother and grandmother were both named Rosa. The ankh and the name "Iggy" were done as a memorial for her brother who had passed away.
Her neck/upper back piece is actually three tattoos inked in succession:
Mercedes started with the top segments, which she described as tribal dolphins. They are in honor of her niece, who is a Pisces.
Next is the piece below the dolphins, which is a representation of fire that corresponds to Mercedes' birth sign Aries, whose zodiac element is fire.
Below that are flames rising from the number 3. This is for her nephew. The flames correspond to his sign, Leo, whose zodiac element is also fire, and the number represents that he is third in the family line.
Thanks to Mercedes for sharing her ink with us here on Tattoosday!