Kate completed her extensive 9-month apprenticeship with head piercer Dave Spik in June 2013.
She has been intrigued by body piercing since she first saw it in other cultures on National Geographic. Her first piercing was her navel when she was 12, and she learned to appreciate piercing as a pain outlet. She later managed a different body modification shop before training as a piercer at Alter Ego.
Kate is proficient with all common piercings. She describes her style as traditional and professional. She likes the art behind piercing. “I love how primal it is, and how you can change someone’s appearance so quickly,” she says. “I like how it accentuates one’s previous existing characteristics.”
Kate is bloodborne-pathogen certified, and is meticulous about following safe and sterile procedures. “Working with blood and other bodily fluids is a very serious matter and shouldn’t be taken lightly,” she says.
She is social and informative with her clients, consulting with them about their unique anatomy and lifestyle as she helps them design their piercings. She is also careful to explain each part of the piercing procedure as she does it, keeping her clients thoroughly informed.
“Communication is key in piercing, and I do my best to make my clients as comfortable as possible, especially with younger clients or first-timers,” she says.
Kate is known among her co-workers as a perfectionist who always wants to do the best job possible. “I find the traditional piercings to be my favorite because it goes to a primal aspect that I have always admired,” she says, though she also enjoys seeing and learning about up-and-coming modification styles.
Kate’s proudest moment so far a body piercer came just a month after she finished her internship, when she filled in as the head piercer for a week while Dave was on vacation. “I was put to the test for the first time, and it was a success and huge learning experience,” she says. “After that week, I knew it was for me.”
Kate is from Beaver County, but enjoys Pittsburgh for its livable size and vibrant communities. She enjoys cycling, attending horror conventions and music shows (mostly metal and electronic), and photography.
Alter Ego Body Art Studio
Address: 1443 Potomac Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Hours: Monday – Saturday, noon – 8 p.m.