Shawn Taylor, Co-Owner

In the mid to late 80’s, body piercing as we know it today, hit Albuquerque. It hit hardest in the small “alternative” scene that frequented pioneering downtown clubs such as Beyond Ordinary, Groove Lounge, and Ritual. Piercing was still way underground. There were only a handful of people in Albuquerque who even had piercings and there were no piercing studios. A friend of mine had just returned from San Francisco, where she had just had her tongue pierced at the Gauntlet. I only remember that I had to have it too.

Myself and a number of friends began taking road trips to Denver and Boulder to see shows and get body piercings. There were a few tattoo shops in Colorado that offered piercing services. I was hooked. With Lollapalooza, Skinny Puppy, and Front Line Assembly came Tongue, Nipples, and Prince Albert piercings. I loved the rush. I loved the look. I loved the whole experience. I began to investigate this “new” art form which grabbed me so firmly and unexplainably. Like many others who searched for answers, I came upon the book. I came upon the book that made sense of this phenomenon of body modification and adornment. The book was Modern Primitives. Among the many things I learned and realized from the book was that I was not alone in my fascination and attraction to body modifications. I was a participant in something that has been shared by mankind in one form or another for generations upon generations. I wanted more. I wanted to share the experience that I had found. I wanted to be a piercer.

In 1993 I met someone who had just moved here from San Francisco, where he attended Fakir Musafar’s piercing classes the previous year. We became friends and I began an informal apprenticeship with him as he pierced friends and clients out of his apartment. At that time there were no city laws or ordinances preventing such an activity. I immediately enrolled in the next available class given by Fakir in San Francisco (Jan. 94). In April of 1994, many months after a very vivid dream of owning of piercing studio, Hardware was open for business. Hardware was Albuquerque’s first professional piercing studio. I am very proud of this fact.

As the popularity of piercing exploded across the country, it became harder and harder to get quality piercing jewelry promptly, if at all. In 1995 I began investigating, experimenting, and investing in equipment and materials to make quality jewelry for myself and others. What a project! It consumed me. But I had huge aspirations. I wanted to produce jewelry for studios across the country. In 1997, I sold Hardware to my partner (the name has been sold 2 more times since) to finance more equipment and materials. Around this time I met Crystal, who would become my partner in Evolution.

Evolution Body Piercing opened in 1999 as the most advanced piercing studio Albuquerque has seen. I couldn’t be more proud of our studio and our staff, all of whom are completely dedicated to the safety and well-being of our clientele. We strive to make every piercing experience as positive as the ones which have changed each of our lives so profoundly.