My long journey started in the year 2015. As a young man, I was considering changing careers. I still had no clue what kind of profession I wanted to do, but I knew it had to be something that requires my hands. “Why with your hands?” you might ask. Well, ever since I worked in the catering industry, I was used to working with my hands.
I had both my earlobes and lip already pierced but was not a piercing fanatic. It never crossed my mind to become a body piercer. But I was not the only person who had or wanted to have piercings. I had a lot of friends who wanted to change their jewelry or get pierced. They wanted me to tag along and that I did.
Every time I went along, we would go Bodycult, which used to be a local tattoo & piercing studio in the Hague. Getting a piercing done was nothing new to me, but witnessing how it gets performed, that was new to me. Once we entered the shop, we got greeted by this lovely lady. Her name was Martina, and she just so happens to be the piercer helping us that day.
We went upstairs so that my friend could get pierced. She prepared everything and was ready to start. You could feel it, her passion for piercing radiating in the entire room. It was fascinating for me to see her work. It made me curious to know more about it. I started to ask questions like “Is that how it goes?” or “Why do you do it like that?”.
The first encounter with her had me fascinated. It had been a while since something like that could draw my attention the way it did. After seeing her work a couple of times, I was sure of it. I want to make body piercing my new profession!
It took me a while to gather my courage and ask her if she would accept me as her apprentice. She had to discuss this with the owner of Bodycult. After a few days, I finally got an answer. My apprenticeship would start in November of 2015.
The apprenticeship would would last 3 months. I had to learn the basics of piercings in 3 months. The first few weeks would consist of reading and observing her work as much as I could. Once I became familiar enough with her way of working, I was allowed to bring my clients to practice piercing. After more than a dozen piercings I got to practice on, my apprenticeship of 3 months would come to an end.
The months following my apprenticeship, I would pierce my friends and family members to keep developing myself as a body piercer. It was not until April of 2017 that I got noticed by another piercer who was looking for a colleague. After our conversation, it was pretty clear she wanted me to work alongside her. That is how I got to work in Crown Tattoos, located in Zaandam.
I would work every Wednesday and Saturday at Crown Tattoos. After I graduated from high school in June of 2017, I was able to work fulltime as a body piercer. It was around that time famous professional body piercer Tom van Oudenaarden was looking for an extra body piercer in his shop Piercing Studio Utrecht, located in Utrecht.
Even though I was still a rookie when it came to piercings, Tom was willing to give it a try. I would work for the entire month of June with Tom to see how things went. Despite giving it my all, Tom could see that I had a lot of learning to do before I could work alongside him. We decided to continue our journey separately, and when the time was right, we could give it another try.
After that, I decided to become the best body piercer I could become. I would continue to work at Crown Tattoos, implementing a lot of the things I learned with Tom to get closer to my new goal. It was in August that my colleague at Crown Tattoos decided to quit her job there, and continued to pierce in another shop. It was then that I became the fulltime piercer and floor manager of Crown Tattoos.
It was at that time I expanded my clientele base in Zaandam and started to grow as a young body piercer. In August of 2018, I decided to quit working at Crown Tattoos and continue my journey elsewhere. After some well-needed rest, I came in contact with Depp and Rem. They are a lovely tattoo artist couple looking for a body piercer for their shop. I would start my new journey at their shop Tattoo Lounge Vinkeveen, located in Vinkeveen.
At first, working for them was pretty good. I got to meet and pierce all kinds of new people. Unfortunately for me, slowly but surely, the number of people coming for a piercing would dwindle to the low single digits. Even though my time there was nothing but humbling, I just knew there was no opportunity for me to grow at the same pace I used to. Sooner or later, I knew I had to be looking for a new shop to work.
In November of 2018, I approached multiple shops, of which I thought they could contribute to my growth as a body piercer. I eventually got accepted at both The Tattoo Garden, located in my hometown, the Hague, and Koko-Loko Tattoo & Piercing, located in Dordrecht. After working for a few weeks in both The Tattoo Garden and Koko-Loko Tattoo & Piercing, I decided to quit my job at Tattoo Lounge Vinkeveen.p