The culture of counterculture has been a guiding force for Rion Wickersham throughout his career as a professional piercer and jewelry designer. As one of Deep Roots’ co-owners along with his wife Kat, Rion has been influential in the structure of the organization on both sides of the counter, drawing on his expertise and unique perspective to normalize higher standards for an exceptional customer experience in a piercing and tattoo studio.
During his formative years in Seattle in the early ‘90s, Rion was eager for more than what the city’s few studios had to offer in terms of piercings. As a part of the industrial and goth scenes and a fan of the global influence of National Geographic magazine, he wanted to introduce those elements into his professional work. With the knowledge gained from Fakir Intensives body piercing workshops and time spent in studios, Rion set out to improve the jewelry options and piercing experiences available to customers by outright creating them himself. This led to some unique experiences, including traveling to Bali to collaborate with other artisan crafters and produce . Those decisions, combined with a DIY attitude, allowed Rion to forge his own path in the industry as a pioneering figurehead in Seattle, helping form what would one day become Deep Roots.
When not designing new jewelry collections or taking piercing appointments, chances are you’ll find Rion flying down a snowy mountain on his splitboard. Come summer when that ice melts away, he still finds solace in nature via mountaineering excursions or time on the water as it helps free his mind of stresses. That time spent outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of the corporate world is a huge source of inspiration for his designs, be it the curvature of leaves highlighted against a cloud-filled sky or the rigidity of railings in a San Francisco skatepark.
Looking back at it now, it’s not the idea of supporting counterculture or even going against the grain that has been an underlying theme in everything that Rion does, but balance. Seeing opportunities to elevate the existing piercing scene in Seattle, he set out to open a studio with higher standards. Uninspired by the jewelry selection available to him, Rion created his own. Even while literally balancing on his snowboard and trying to disconnect, the gears are always turning in his head as he takes in design influences from the natural world around him. That balanced approach has led to incredible success, and likely even more so in the future.
Rion Wickersham has been at Deep Roots since 2004 and sees no end to his passion for piercing and designing new high-end jewelry.