Our Story

Tribal Rites opened its doors in 1994 and became the first professional, piercing studio in northern Colorado, focusing on the finest body jewelry available. Our idea was to push the envelope in our brand new industry, opening ourselves up to more customers by offering a level of service and quality that did not exist often in our industry. Today, Tribal Rites jewelry collection has become one of the most extensive in Colorado. The majority of our jewelry is solid 14 karat, Gold, and titanium, however we also stock a significant amount of brass, silver and glass.

Shortly after Tribal Rites opened in 1994 they added tattooing with the addition of Tattoo John, who later went on to become the owner. Today, Curtis Burgess, John’s first apprentice, shares ownership with Chad Williams, John’s first hired piercer.

Tribal Rites boasts over 60 years of combined piercing experience and 70 years of tattooing experience to make your experience amazing, comfortable, and memorable.

Our studio is large, bright, and inviting. Located on College Avenue in Fort Collins, across from the CSU campus, we are convenient and easy to find, and we offer limited parking in the parking lot directly behind the building on a first come first serve basis.

Tribal Rites strives to cultivate environment for creativity and artistic growth, combined with the highest standards of training and service, welcoming all races, nationalities, religious background, and sexual orientations. We treat all our clients with the utmost respect and provide our services with the greatest of integrity, welcoming you to come, share your goals and ideas with us, and begin your journey to self expression.


Our Staff



Sophia’s Tribal Rites journey started when she got her nose pierced around 9 years ago and her love for piercings has only grown from there. Sophia has been one of our ‘counter babies’ for almost 4 years now! Her favorite part of being part of the Tribal Rites team is helping clients adorn themselves with jewelry that they truly love. When fantasizing about jewelry she loves the stone chrysoprase, and really anything set in yellow gold! In her free time she enjoys making intricate miniatures using her 3D printer, making gifts, and loving on her pets (probably more than they would like.)



Jess recently celebrated two years of being with us (2022), and we hope to make it many more! Jess relocated from Kansas to Colorado in 2018 and found their way to Fort Collins. They liked Fort Collins because it didn’t feel like either a big city or a small town, and they had friends nearby so it was meant to be! Jess prides theirself on inclusivity and making people feel comfortable in their own skin, inside and outside of the shop. Jess loves yellow gold and their birthstone, Emeralds! In their free time, Jess loves hanging out with their cat named worm while crafting and watching movies with their pals!

Lauren V


Lauren was born in New Mexico and raised in Northern Colorado since age one. She really enjoys helping people cultivate new pieces for their ear piercings. Lauren loves attending all types of concerts, rock/metal are her favorite. A band geek in high school, Lauren played in marching band and drum line. Playing mellophone, french horn, and vibraphone. She also sang in women’s choir. Lauren spent 2 years learning butchery/charcuterie at a Northern Colorado butcher shop. Additionally Lauren butchers wild game for her Dad’s friends who actually harvest deer and elk.

Lauren C

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Lauren has worked the front counter at Tribal Rites since April of 2017 and has found a passion for connecting with clients and creating seamless experiences for all who visit. Before working at the shop, she was a piercing and tattoo client for years, inspired by her parents who first visited the shop in 2012. Lauren is currently working on a piercing apprenticeship with Chad and will soon be our newest piercer!

“I’ve been incredibly grateful for the opportunity to apprentice under Chad, it’s been great so far and I’m looking forward to learning and achieving more every day.”

Outside of work, Lauren and her partner have a collection of over 80 different pets. The collection consists mostly of reptiles including crested geckos, gargoyle geckos, boas, pythons and other lizards. They also have a few guinea pigs and a cat named Gary Laser Eyes. It’s a whole zoo! If you have a pet of your own at home, she would always love to hear about them. If there’s any time left after feeding the critters, Lauren also enjoys playing ukulele as well as painting and drawing.



The newest addition to our counter staff (!) Lizzie was born and raised in Omaha and moved to the Denver area in summer 2021. She was particularly fond of the mountains in Colorado and relocated hoping to find new opportunities. So we’re especially glad she found her way here! She has been involved in the piercing and tattoo industry for a while, and especially loves Maya jewelry. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys spending time with her two cats, Noodle and Chico as well as spending as much time outside as she can.