Winner of the City Pages Best Of


Verno is a man of many talents and has been performing precision piercing, body modification and custom jewelry design for over 13 years. He has a deep love of learning and is constantly challenging himself, whether in esthetics or technique. Verno grew up in Southern California and this is where his love affair with the art of body piercing began. After undertaking an exceptional apprenticeship and working for several years on the West Coast he packed up and relocated to the Midwest in 1997 looking for different challenges and opportunities. After taking a year off from piercing he opened his first studio in South Dakota which he operated until his latest and greatest relocation to Minnesota in 2001.

Verno has been piercing in St. Paul for 8 years now with various guest spots throughout the country and the world. In 2004 he opened his labor of love, The Holy Mackerel LLC and has found running his own business to be difficult at times, yet extremely rewarding. Over the years his business and clientele has continuously grown and the decision was made to open The Holy Mackerel Studios on the edge of Downtown St. Paul, MN.

Verno has also had the opportunity to continue to work with and practice the art of body suspension and has been involved in outreach, education and legislation pertaining to body piercing and body suspension in St. Paul. He is continually interested and active in outreach education, whether with students or individuals looking to gain more knowledge about safe body piercing practices.

With a professional attitude, Verno respects everyone’s anxieties and strives to create relaxed and comfortable environment. Understanding what it is like getting pierced, being excited and terrified at the same time, he uses the right tools and techniques to make it a fun and safe experience.

In the future Verno hopes to continue educating himself and others within the industry, and is also excited to continue creating and developing custom jewelry for clients. It is his overall goal to create the most beautiful jewelry for your anatomy. This, along with continuing education and professionalism, is why clients continue to seek out Verno. Body modification is not just a hobby for Verno, but rather his passion.