Kiddos getting their ears pierced... When? Where? What? How? And important read for parents considering letting their kids get their earlobes pierced.
Claire's, Walmart, aunt Paula's kitchen with her old 'piercing kit' she needs to go grab from the basement... I don't think I can cringe enough. I'll just jump into it.
Let's start with training/apprenticeships. Places like the ones I've listed are performing 'piercings' by people who have no actual training. At all. No training on how to PROPERLY perform ANY piercings. No bloodborne pathogen training. No first aid training. No contamination control training. They literally start at work one day and pick up a (horrid) piercing gun and have at it. Which will transition me into the next aspect.
The evil piercing gun. There is no way to properly sterilize those things. They are made of plastic and cannot be autoclaved and sterilized. Wiping them down with rubbing alcohol is what they do. Rubbing alcohol is not even close to any form of sterilization. Please don't think it's anywhere near it. Those guns LITERALLY force the blunt ear stud through the tissue. It's brutal. (Do you want your kiddo going thru extra trauma? I don't imagine so). So now we are piercing violently by someone with no training with something that cannot be properly sterilized. See where I'm going with this?
Next let's talk about the make-up of the jewelry. They use generic terms like "surgical steel" which is what tools are made out of and trick people into thinking it's something better because "well it says surgical right on it". Surgical sucks. What you are looking for is IMPLANT GRADE stainless steel/titanium/niobium and solid gold. Would you want your kid (or yourself or loved one) getting decorated with a made-up loose term like "surgical steel" or would you rather have them get pierced with the same metal used in PACEMAKERS? Pacemakers!!!
And as far as age is concerned, please let your child decide if they want them or not. I know it sounds fun to decorate your kid, but before they can decide, it's only fun for you, at their expense. Your kid is a real life human being too and their vote on this subject is the one that matters. Don't force them to go thru it if they don't want it.
People who use the statement "I got pierced at Claire's and it healed up", you're looking at it wrong. You got it done there and it healed up 'IN SPITE OF' those issues. I hope this got thru to some of you. Even if it changed the mind of 1 person, it was worth the 7 minutes it took for me to write this. Thank you for taking the time to read this .
Please take your children to a REPUTABLE studio where they can get decorated in a safe and friendly environment with jewelry that is great inside the tissue. And be sure to check out portfolios and find out about their technique, how they sterilize and the quality of jewelry they offer. Not all studios carry the same high standards. You and your loved ones DESERVE high quality and high quality only.
You've decided that you are going to go in and get that piercing that you've been dreaming about having forever. Or maybe it's a spur of the moment thing and the time is right. Either is fine and dandy. I know a lot of people get anxious and nervous before getting a piercing done, and that is completely understandable. But it is much less needed than you would think.
After I finish doing a piercing, one of the first things I ask is "was it as bad as you imagined it would be"? Almost every single time, the answer is along the lines of "not even close". Another thing that I tell people who are clearly nervous is this- "Think of it this way, if it really is as bad as you're imagining, there would be one person that got this piercing done and they would have told all their friends and family to never consider doing something as crazy as that".
The truth is, body piercings should be very bearable. They should be quick. The piercing part should be the fastest part of the entire experience. I tell my clients to take a nice deep breath in and then to exhale. By the time that one exhale is out, the piercing part is done. Then just transfer the jewelry in and put any ends or beads in their places.
You should be comfortable with your piercer. If the piercer that you are considering is rude or inappropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable, turn around and leave. Your comfort should be their #1 priority. You are the guest. You should be treated like a respected guest. Also, be sure to look at portfolios of their work and read reviews and listen to educated word of mouth. Make sure the studio is clean. Ask about the quality of jewelry they use. Ask questions about how they sterilize their jewelry and any tools/needles. Ask as many questions as you want. There are no stupid questions. If any red flags flash in your brain, reconsider who is about to pierce you.
Before coming in for a piercing, I do recommend that the client gets a good nights rest the night before. I recommend staying hydrated (before and after the piercing). I also recommend eating a small meal within a few hours of coming in. Don't over do it tho, just a healthy portion. Also keep in mind that alcohol thins the blood and if you hit the town the night before, you will more than likely bleed more. (on the note of alcohol, never come into a studio under the influence. you will be turned away)
When the time of the piercing comes, take nice and slow deep breaths. Don't panic. All that breathing fast will do is make you light headed. Panicking isn't going to make anything feel any better. Remember, its a deep breath and then you're done with the part you're fearing.
Come in with a positive attitude. If you are in the hands of a reputable professional, the entire visit should be a positive one. Body piercing is a fun and exciting way to express yourself. Embrace it. :)
A lot of this information will hold true for tattoos as well. I hope you all found this informative and I hope it helps ease the nervous minds.
*Answers the shop phone....
"Red at Night Studios''.
"Hi, I was wondering how much a nose piercing costs".
"So, the piercing fee for a nostril is xx.xx and the jewelry starts at xx.xx, so the starting total is xx.xx and goes up from there, depending on the jewelry you select". (I also give information on the jewelry that I would be installing and things of that nature)
"XX.XX for a nose piercing?! Do you know anywhere that will do it for 20.00 or 30.00 total? That is way too much"!
It's a conversation that happens sometimes and it personally drives me a little batty. The price that I am telling you, I find to be more than fair (and so do my clients after a visit to me). This isn't a hobby for me. This is my career. When you get a piercing from me (or other reputable professional body piercers) you are getting much more than just a piercing and a piece of jewelry inserted into it. What all is included in a piercing from me? Lets start with the jewelry....
Every piece of jewelry that I carry comes from the leaders in the industry of high quality body jewelry. It isn't just the run of the mill jewelry. IT IS THE BEST JEWELRY IN THE WORLD. LITERALLY! Every piece of jewelry you get from me comes with a LIFETIME guarantee, directly from the manufacturer. So if something ever went wrong with your jewelry, you simply bring it back to me and I will take care of it for you. I will contact the manufacturer and they will make it right. Every piece of jewelry I carry is either ASTM F136 implant grade titanium, pure niobium or 14k or 18k SOLID gold ( no plating here). These are materials PROVEN to work, in great success with a fresh or fully healed body piercing. The polish of the metal is to a mirror finish. The gems are hand set, no glues, you don't want glue holding anything in place. Glue has no place in high quality. When it comes to the gems, they are genuine Swarovski crystals, the best synthetic gems in the world. They never fog and they never cloud. They will look as beautiful 50 years from now as they do the day you purchase one. The other option I have available are genuine stones. Mix all this together and your new jewelry is well worth the price you pay.
Education. Education. Education.
When I get home from a day at the shop, there is a good chance I am doing something work related. I've been piercing for just under 10 years and I am still trying to learn more and better my craft. This will never end. When I'm 60 years old, I will still be studying body piercing and trying to be better. There is always room for improvement and my passion for what I do drives me. This takes up a lot of my time. Like I mentioned earlier, this is my career. This is how I pay my bills. I am trying to make a living, just like everyone else. There is an old saying, "time is money''.....
Tools for the trade.
The price you pay is also covering the things that I need to supply to give you the cleanest visit available. A ton of my money goes right back into my craft. Want a short list? Okay!
-Statim 2000 (A top notch autoclave that sterilizes your jewelry and needles and any other objects that need to be 100% sterile when its time to poke a hole)
- Jewelry steamer
- Needles ( Only the sharpest in the industry)
- Face masks
- Sterile gloves
- Dental bibs
- Sterile cotton tipped applicators
- Rubbing alcohol
- Skin markers
- Weekly tests to make sure the autoclave is working properly (yes, I have it tested weekly)
- Sterilization Integrators ( I also put one of these in the Statim on each load to show that each load is properly sterilized)
That is just a short list.
So, when I tell you the cost of a piercing and the cost of the jewelry, these are some things that you should take into account. And on top of all the things I've mentioned above, I also promise to help with any troubleshooting in the future, for no cost. You deserve a professional piercing with professional jewelry in a clean environment with a safe procedure.
Always do your homework before getting a piercing. Make sure you are visiting a REPUTABLE studio and are getting pierced by a REPUTABLE piercer. Look at portfolios. Listen to word of mouth. Read reviews. ASK QUESTIONS! There honestly are no stupid questions.
There are piercers out there that are simply trying to supply the bear minimum and are frankly and sadly, only after a quick buck. I pride myself in not being one of those piercers. I will always provide you with the best service and product available. You deserve it.
We get a lot of phone calls and people stopping in expecting to get tattooed the same day. As much as we would love to take care of everyone right away, it's simply not possible. Let me explain why...
Supply and demand. You're not the only one wanting a tattoo. This is a great time to reflect back to when your parents told you "if you want something important, you must be patient." Tattoos take a lot of time and effort (I will touch back on that shortly). And A LOT of people want a new custom tattoo. A LOT. It really comes down to first come first serve. Who makes their appointments in advance wins. They get put into a calendar and those days pile up. So hearing that the artist won't be able to fit that into their calendar for X amount of weeks or sometimes months is very common.
Tattoos take time. A lot of time. Even a small butterfly on your ankle needs to be drawn and sized and a lot of the time there are multiple drawings that go into even the more simple designs. Now picture a big piece. A full sleeve. A full back piece. These are appointments that endless hours of work are put in.
Imagine a restaurant on a Saturday night. A lot of people will call in and make reservations to eat a few days, a few weeks and sometimes a few months in advance. As more people are setting their reservations the less and less tables are available. Now imagine that each meal takes 1 to 8 hours to prep, cook, dish and allow the time for the customer to enjoy their food and allow time to get the table cleaned up for the next patrons. Now that restaurant that your picturing with 25-50 tables and an army full of staff, erase all those tables and all that extra staff and leave only a few tables and a few dedicated employees. Those tables are going to be booking out much further.
In this entirely real situation, some people will say "eh screw it, McDonalds is open and we can get in and out in 10 minutes." This is very true. But then I would highly recommend looking at the quality and the experience. You can get that Mcdonalds meal super quick. But is it quality food? Is there any real experience there? Need I say more?
I would also like to touch on deposits. All reputable studios require them. They hold your appointment in the calendar. They can range in price, depending on individual studio policies, but it is entirely common for deposits to range anywhere between 50.00 and 200.00. If someone makes an appointment and that block of time is set aside for them and they decide to just skip it, it hurts the artist. That's a good chunk of their day that they are not getting paid for now. There is drawing time even before the day of the appointment and if someone decides to just bail, there should be some compensation. Also these deposits make it much less likely for someone to flake out because they have something of value already tied up in it. These deposits are credited to the final cost of your tattoo and are costing you nothing extra. Its just a small payment upfront to help protect the artist that is working for you.
I hope this helped you understand that quality tattoos tend to have a wait. Sometimes people need to cancel or reschedule and there is a random opening and you can get right in. But when you call, don't plan on that. Plan on a little bit of a wait that will be worth it in the long run.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!