Rob was always fascinated with the body adornment of several cultures in
National Geographic over the years. His grandparents always had an abundance of
educational reading available, however, the focus of the articles was rarely on the
actual piercings. It was amazing that a simple hole through the skin could be
decorated with such beautiful pieces of jewelry. Even more amazing was the fact that
these simple holes could be stretched to such extremes that the earlobes would rest
on the shoulders, or that a dinner plate could be worn in a lip. Piercings were very
taboo at the time, and you simply did not see anything like it in the US. Ear Piercings
were becoming popular, but why not any other piercings? Was it because national
Geographic only showed the extreme aspects of these pierced cultures, too extreme
for mainstream America?
The thoughts of the unknown triggered a desire for something more, the
experience of getting an actual piercing for himself. An ear piercing, by a friend's
sister that had a piercing gun was the logical choice at the time. Of course, this was
the thinking of a 12 year old, not of a person who knows better now. The piercing
was performed in her kitchen with no gloves, no preparation, and no information on
how to care for this new body adornment, not to mention no parental consent for it.
Nonetheless, Rob was proud of his new ear piercing. He went home shortly after to
his not-so-happy mother. Actually, she was furious. Eventually the anger faded, and
she tried everything to get him to remove his earring. She even resorted to teasing
him and saying that he looked like a girl, and that she finally got the daughter she
never had. Despite her tactics, he kept his earring, and it eventually healed.
Several months later, the urge struck again for another ear piercing, just above the
first. Two piercings in an ear was practically unheard of at the time, but Rob already
made up his mind. This time, Rob wanted to do the piercing himself, in order to get
the full experience of being on both sides of the piercing. His technique was crude, to
say the least, and the piercing was not straight through the ear, however his mission
was accomplished. At least for the moment...
...Jump ahead about 7 years...Rob was dating a girl that wanted her navel
pierced. The closest place to have this done was in San Francisco, and there were
only a few choices such as Gauntlet, Nomad, and Body Manipulations. He and his
girlfriend at the time, spent the day asking questions, and gathering as much
information as they could from each studio.
Sometime during that afternoon, the urge and desire struck Rob again. He told
his girlfriend that he wanted to do the piercing for her. He decided to take the
information that they had gathered, and do more research. Rob spent the next
several months dreaming of every possible technique to perform this piercing as
quickly and safely as possible. He studied the human anatomy everyday. Rob also
contacted several piercers, and asked every question that popped in his head. He
had seen how some of the piercers at Gauntlet performed their piercings, but he felt
that it could be done better, faster, and safer. Much of his time was spent modifying
tools to suit his needs, and perfecting the techniques that would in essence become
part of his Master Piercing Techniques of the present day.
He had gone through the processes a million times in his mind, however, it was
time to put it to the ultimate test...he was going to pierce his own navel. He figured
that he needed to experience every aspect of the navel piercing if he was ever going
to be able to pierce his girlfriend's navel. So one evening at Scott and Kym's house,
he set up is "piercing room" in their downstairs bathroom. It was time. He washed up,
put on some latex gloves, prepped his navel with a surgical scrub, marked it, and
opened the sterile needle. As he held the needle, his hands began to shake
vigorously. His nerves were getting the best of him, but after some calming
techniques he was able to steady his hands enough to line up the needle. He began
to push the needle into his flesh, it was much tougher than he had anticipated. He
pressed harder, the needle slowly went further, but the back of the needle was
hurting his fingers also. Finally, the needle made it through, and he inserted the
jewelry. The process was slow and tedious. It was all over, but the experience would
last a lifetime.
About an hour passed, and his girlfriend arrived. Now it was her turn, he was so
excited to share what he had just experienced, they got started right away. This time,
the "piercing room" was the bedroom, so she could lay down for the piercing. After
calming his nerves enough to steady the needle, he proceeded with her piercing. It
came out beautifully, and he was very proud of his work. Shortly after, he was
thinking of the next piercing for himself.
The news of Rob piercing his navel spread quickly, and before he knew it, he
had people asking him to do other various piercings for them. He soon realized that
he was not the only one with a desire for piercings in the valley.
Rob began experimenting with various piercings on himself as well as friends.
He perfected his techniques, and further modified his tools to suit his needs. With
every piercing, came more knowledge of the speed, accuracy, and safety, along with
the potential problems that can arise from body piercing. The demand for his services
spread from just friends to others that heard of what he was doing.
Rob decided one day that in order to meet the demand for body piercing in the
valley, he needed to open a studio in the valley. The concept of Mystical Body was
born. At Mystical Body, a person could get pierced in the safest environment, instead
of just a clean room at his house. He searched for over a year to find a location that
would allow this kind of studio. Several doors were shut in his face because of the
misconceptions people had regarding body piercing. Rob eventually met John, the
property owner at 121 McHenry Ave, and after a month of "nagging", John realized
that Rob had the drive to make this taboo business a success. John took a gamble
on Rob's dream, and decided to lease the space to Rob. Mystical Body became a
reality. Established 1995, and still in the same location.
Just because the doors were open for business, did not mean that Rob stopped
learning. He continued with his education by attending APP (Association of
Professional Piercers) conventions every year. The first open meeting was held in
Las Vegas in 1995, and Rob was amazed to see other piercers from around the
world, all in the same conference room, the first meeting of it's kind. It was a very
memorable experience. He also attended Red Cross First Aid, CPR classes,
Blood-Borne Pathogens courses, Anatomy courses,and OSHA courses to have the
most knowledge regarding every aspect of his piercing career.
One secret worth mentioning is that Rob has been making body jewelry for
longer than he has been piercing!!! Jewelry making was a hobby for him as a
teenager, so it was only natural for him to begin making body jewelry. His jewelry is
considered one of the best in the industry, especially noted for the absolute
mirror-finish polishing and unique designs. Of course, Rob is not capable of making
all jewelry that Mystical Body sells, however, they sell only jewelry from the best
manufacturers in the world, Rob's favorite being Anatometal.
Despite criticism from most people that Mystical Body would never "make it", Rob
continued with business, and decided to prove everyone wrong. He was going to
expand. Mystical Body in Manteca opened up on Halloween in 1997.
Since the opening of the first Mystical Body in 1995, Rob has seen several
competing studios come and go. Their ultimate demise..."Lack of dedication to the art
of body piercing, lack of experience, lack of quality work, and lack of quality jewelry,
just to name a few," Rob stated. Rob has always taken pride in his work, and he has
promised to always operate Mystical Body with the highest standards.
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