Learn all about Kat and Aiden’s lives working at Rogue Piercing!
Hi, my name is Kat, I’m 21 years old and I’m the studio manager of Rogue Piercing in Nottingham. I am also just finishing my BSc Hons in Biology at the University of Nottingham. My aim was to complete my postgraduate degree in Veterinary Medicine until I found my true passion in the piercing industry.
I have always wanted to do something related to medicine and I love working with people. I found that expressing myself the way I wanted to was more important than completing the standard life path of a School-University-Medical Career. Piercing allows me to express myself and has given me the option to travel the world in other high-end studios and meet some of the most fascinating people.
So to start my day, I arrive at 9 am at Rogue Piercing. The first thing I do is disinfect all surfaces including the desk, door, PC, and door handles. After that, I pop a set of disposable gloves on and put out all the beautiful jewellery displays! Once that is finished, I sit down at my desk and respond to the mountain of emails and correspondence that we receive overnight.
Then, when the shop opens, in come the customers. To pierce some, it’s a split process between me and our piercers. I handle every moment from the client entering the studio to them moving to the piercing room. The first thing is to check all the paperwork has been completed – The NHS Test and Trace, and the ever-important consent form. I check all the IDs, and then we move to jewellery. The jewellery choices are awesome! Over 400 individual pieces including 18k Solid Gold, handmade pieces and implant-grade Titanium. It’s very important to us that each client can express their individual tastes through the jewellery, which is why all of our jewellery is suitable to wear as an initial piece. No basic metal balls here!
Once the jewellery is chosen, we sterilise the jewellery using our Statim 2000S. This takes 8 minutes to totally sterilise the jewellery, so we take this time to talk you through the correct aftercare for your piercings. Spoiler, it’s much less difficult and harsh than most people think. Sterile saline only! Keep it clean, dry and don’t fiddle. We answer any and all questions from the client in order to make this piercing much less scary! The more educated you are, the better. From there, it’s on to the piercing room with Aiden.
During my shift, I have a quick 30-minute lunch break around 12.30 pm, and I normally vanish off to sit outside somewhere in town to wolf down some food. I’ve learned that if I stay in the studio, I tend to get sucked into something and miss my break altogether!
However, we understand that we are not the standard studio and sometimes it can be a novel experience when people come to us. We stock a huge range of jewellery in both implant-grade Titanium and solid 18k Gold, and this can be a bit of a surprise to people who have come to expect to only have the option of ‘starter jewellery.’ It can be fun to show people how exciting, intricate and beautiful body jewellery can be! The main challenge we face is the new clients’ preconceptions of what the body piercing industry is and how piercing has moved on since the 90s.
There is definitely a stereotype surrounding piercers. We are often considered social outcasts who don’t fit into normal jobs. However, Aiden was an Engineer for the MoD, Jess was an ESL teacher and travelled the world, and I have my university degree! We choose to do this because we love it, not because we have no choice or that we aren’t artistic enough to be a tattoo artist! Often piercing studios can be quite intimidating, but we actively want to get rid of that stereotype. Anyone that has visited Rogue can attest that our studio is bright and white, with high ceilings and impeccable hygiene. We pierce everyone from little kids coming in for their first ever piercings, to big grown men coming in for the more unusual piercings.
Although, we refuse piercings for many reasons, the main reason being that the client is underage or has the incorrect anatomy. We aren’t the kind of studio that will happily take the money and produce piercings that don’t have a good chance of healing well. Aside from that, we are experienced in all kinds of piercings including intimate piercings. Strange piercings are our favourites! As long as you are consenting, of age, confident in your ability to heal it, and the piercing is legally acceptable, then we are more than happy to pierce you.
Finally, at the end of every day, we hoover the store and mop all the floors with disinfectant. Then we go around with medical-grade disinfectant to clean all surfaces. After that, I put the jewellery away and clean the displays. Then I go through all the day’s paperwork and make any orders we need. It’s very exciting behind the scenes of a piercing studio!
For those wanting to go into piercing, do not attend a paid piercing course or piercing school! Instead, get a minimum 2-3 year piercing apprenticeship with an experienced high-quality piercer. Apprenticeships like this are rare and the competition is fierce, but if you have the passion and ability then you are set up to become a skilled piercer. We recommend building a relationship with your nearest UKAPP studio by regularly attending and getting pierced by them. Ask questions! Ask how your piercer learnt and who they learned from. We are inundated with requests for apprenticeships, often from complete strangers. Being a familiar face does go a long way.
I am the owner and head piercer of Rogue Piercing, I’m 34 years old and come from Shropshire. I have been piercing for over 10 years and I have worked in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, and the USA; teaching at the APP, UKAPP, and BMXNet piercing conferences. My teaching subject is ‘Materials that are safe for the body’ as before I was a piercer, I was a mechanical engineer.
I became a piercer when I was 22 years old. I was working for the Ministry Of Defence and had just returned from Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. I was offered an apprenticeship at Adorn in Shrewsbury and jumped at the chance. After being a friend and customer of Anna Garvey for 5 years, I finally had a chance to get my dream job. I had wanted to be a piercer since I was a teenager and saw piercings on music videos. I will always be grateful to work a job where I love every day.
The beginning of my day starts with coffee! Before the shop opens I run tests on all our sterilising equipment to check they are functioning correctly, I check the stock levels of all jewellery and consumables and I disinfect my piercing room. I also seem to spend every morning fighting with our water distiller as all our sterilising equipment uses distilled water so it is a machine that is constantly running.
Once the shop opens, people enter and Kat has finished her part, I will take the client into the piercing room. I wash my hands and don latex-free examination gloves. I will then clean and disinfect the piercing site, check the anatomy is suitable and that the jewellery selected will work well. Next, I mark the area to be pierced and get the client to check in the mirror. If the client would like to move the marks then we do but if not then it is on to piercing. The skin is then disinfected a second time and I will switch over to sterile gloves at this point. I don’t use clamps or tools to pierce as I am a freehand piercer so it is important I wear sterile gloves and use an aseptic technique. I will then carry out the piercing, dispose of the needle safely and install the jewellery. I really enjoy piercing super technical gold project piercings where there are multiple piercings with different sized jewellery. The technical challenge of executing fiddly piercings with tight tolerances keeps me on my toes. I am also a big fan of piercing intimates. This is both because of the technical aspect and the immense amount of trust the client puts in me.
Now for the best part, the client will then look in the mirror and all of the smiles happen! Finally, the client heads back out to Kat to pay their bill.
So the majority of my day is spent split between three parts of the shop. The first is my piercing room where the magic happens. The second is the sterilisation room where I am preparing jewellery, disinfecting, and sterilising any tools or equipment. The final, the shop lobby, where I get to talk to fun people all day and help them find the jewellery of their dreams. Generally, I am in the sterilisation room for an hour or two at the start and end of each day and the rest of the day I am flitting between the lobby and the piercing room.
However, taking breaks can be hard at a piercing studio as it is a very fast-paced and demanding environment. As Rogue is my studio, I am constantly making sure we are at the highest standard. When I do get a “break”, I am generally eating something as fast as I can whilst on the phone with someone else. It’s a lot but I live for the energy in the studio.
Fun fact, sometimes I’ve had people that want piercings in their hands, which is a bad idea due to snag and infection risk. Someone that wanted a piercing so they didn’t lose their keys, someone else wanted a piercing to hang their glasses on. Also, a whole shed load of people who want piercings for kinky reasons but I refuse due to consent issues.
Once the studio is all cleaned and tucked up for the night, I will head back to my boat home. when I am home, I walk my two terriers (Coral and Fang) with my girlfriend, eat some food and then settle down to rest while my girlfriend draws tattoos for her clients and finally, I get to sleep so I can do it all again the next day. Not the rock and roll life people think we lead…
To find out more about Rogue Piercing, visit their Instagram page!