By LUCY WORMALD
A new chapter for Queenstown’s iconic Innersteel Body Piercing’s about to begin.
The Skyline Arcade business has been closed since the sudden death of its owner David van der Camp in mid-March.
The 54-year-old was highly regarded as one of the best piercers in New Zealand, and was renowned in Queenstown as a constant friendly face and local sounding board.
Now, his ‘‘apprentice’’ Kasey Bonn is ready to reopen Innersteel’s doors as the new owner and director of the business.
Bonn, 18, says she recognised Queenstown still needs a reliable piercing shop, and is honoured to have the opportunity to carry Van der Camp’s legacy on.
‘‘It’s a chance to carry on what Dave has taught me and what he’s offered people,’’ she says.
An outpouring of support from the community, friends of Van der Camp’s, and ‘‘complete strangers, even’’ at Bonn’s step-up has left her ‘‘feeling blessed’’.
‘‘The encouragement, advice and love have been really overwhelming — I’m really grateful to everyone who is helping me.’’
Invercargill-born and Queenstown-raised, Bonn says Van der Camp took her in, in 2020, and taught her everything she knows about piercing.
‘‘I’ve always loved working with people and I approached Dave one day and asked him if he’d want to teach someone how to pierce, and he accepted the challenge.’’
After Van der Camp’s death, Bonn opened Innersteel for two days, selling jewellery and piercing queues of people, putting her knowledge into practice to raise money for Van der Camp’s sons Max, 12, and Oscar, 11.
While readying the logistical side of the business for reopening has been a learning curve, Bonn’s delighted to be running a business in her hometown.
‘‘I’m excited to see familiar faces in there and to meet new people, and to help
people create the look they want for themselves.
‘‘To be a part of that journey is a really beautiful thing.’’
Setting up the shop is underway, and while the space is going to look very similar, Bonn has added ‘‘a few wee changes’’ to give it her personal touch.
She says it will remain a place that provides quality piercings, advice and an
extensive range of jewellery.
‘‘I envision Innersteel to be a lively, welcoming piercing studio that’s a safe haven for people to feel comfortable to express themselves.’’
Bonn’s set to reopen Innersteel at the end of the month.