Back in 1991, Kevin McKinley was in the middle of his last day as a banker, his future career path uncertain. Just before punching out, he found himself in conversation with a customer sporting an array of piercings. The man told Kevin about each of his piercings, where he got them, and what they meant to him. An admirer of free-spirited creativity, Kevin was immediately intrigued by the piercing philosophy.
"It's all about feel," he explains. "With change, there's pain. With pain, there's clarity."
More than three decades after piercing his first client, Kevin helms a team of 30 tattoo artists, piercers, and laser technicians at Body Piercing Unlimited. He calls the team a collective “jack of all trades,” with the ability to craft or alter virtually any tattoo or remove unwanted ink altogether. His studios combine modern inks, needles, and lasers with a vintage atmosphere that displays antique bicycles and wall panels bearing artistic works. The black-and-white checkered floors reflect Kevin's reverence for tradition, harking back, he says, to the East Coast tattoo parlors of the 1970s and their legendary face-offs between Garry Kasparov and a computer.