June 2nd, 2016
January 19th, 2016
This photo shows me with Rich Hartwick, a Detroit-based piercer with whom I have worked for many years. He asked me a while back if I would be okay with him getting a tattoo of my wings logo. He's not the first to ask, but I do think it may be the largest tattooed incarnation of the iconic wings. Of course I said yes; he's a dear friend, an excellent piercer, and a wonderful human being.
In fact, Rich was among my inspirations for becoming vegan. He has always been encouraging and supportive, but never too forceful about it. The photo was taken at Iconic Tattoo and Piercing, which had just opened in September, when I was there. It is a beautiful studio!
Rich is also among the piercers I refer to. His information is here:
Rich Hartwick at XS - 248.656.5740 & at Iconic Tattoo and Piercing 313.818.0078 (Contact for schedule)
105 E Second St., Rochester, MI 48307 & 3401 Cass Ave., Chinatown/Detroit, MI 48201
December 16th, 2012
I received a message from a woman who had a question about certain legalities of piercing:
Hello my name is T and I've been piercing out of my home for the past 4 years and i have a problem. im starting to save money and build a business but someone is trying to bring me down. im currently creating a facebook page for my new business and an employee from a tattoo shop said he reported me to the police for piercing out of my home. ive been doing this for more than 4 years and i looked up on the internet for the state of pennsylvania you dont need a license to tattoo/pierce but hes telling me to get an apprenticeship. do i need that?
I don't know anything about your local laws, but I know a great deal about professional piercing and I must say that it absolutely should take place out of a proper studio and not a home.
You can find out about the personal and environmental criteria set as an industry standard by the Association of Professional Piercers in the application for membership on this page: http://www.safepiercing.org/join-the-app/types-of-memberships/
You must have an autoclave that is spore tested regularly by an outside service, a separate enclosed area for piercing, a seperate steriliztion room, and much more.
November 23rd, 2012
I got a question from an aspiring piercer:
I really love all that you do for the piercing industry. And with that being said i am just starting out in the piercing industry. I've just recieved my piercing license. And was wanting to know where you get your tools and piercing supplies from. And if you would know of anyone in the Lincoln or Omaha Nebraska area who you would recommend to try to get an apprentership with.
August 24th, 2012
I received a message from a woman who had concerns about her recent tongue piercing:
Okay so I got my tongue pierced Tuesday and this is how it looks not on Friday. Is that just bruising? Is it normal? It bleeds whenever I sleep so I think I'm just biting it...my boyfriend had his pierced a couple months ago and it healed completely different...do I need to go see the piercer?
Bleeding, bruising and swelling are all normal consequences of piercing. I couldn't tell for sure, but it didn't look very swollen, so it seems yours is doing the first of the two more than the last. It is more common for the tongue to swell instead, but your reaction isn't necessarily abnormal.
That said, it couldn't hurt to pay your piercer a visit. They ca get a lot clearer look at it than I can from here.
Is this the oral aftercare instructions you're following?
Here are some additonal suggestions from The Piercing Bible that could prove helpful to you:
Aftercare for Oral Piercings
June 27th, 2012
I recently received this message from a reader who is an apprentice:
Hello! I bought your book at barnes and noble, also I have recently began a piercing apprenticeship and your book has helped very much! Thank you! Although I do have a question that I just can't seem to find an answer for...
...I plan to be a professional body piercer full time once my apprenticeship is complete, but do professional piercers (after completing the apprenticeship) generally make enough money to survive and live off of doing this alone? How much does a newer piercer generally make in a year, on a commissioned basis (50/50 split)? Or Will I need a second job?
I figured you were the expert, and it couldn't hurt to ask. Thanks so much!!!
Glad to hear that my book has been helpful for you.
I know many, many piercers who make a living from the job. But...there can be big differences in how busy studios are (and thus earning potential) dependent upon geographic region, local economy and quantity and quality of competition, and countless other factors.
So, I can speak only from experience within my studio, Rings of Desire, which was in New Orleans (it closed after Hurricane Katrina and I moved to Mexico).
My employees were well compensated and definitely earned a living by being piercers. I even provided them with medical insurance and other benefits like paid vacation time! However, I paid a salary, as I wanted my staff to be equally rewarded for sweeping, mopping, and tidying jewelry displays as they were for piercing.
December 29th, 2011
I recently had an exchange of correspondence with a piercer who asked some interesting questions:
I have been piercing for 10 years now in a shop where my husband is the awesome tattoo artist. I just want to be yet another one to thank you for all of your tireless dedication to this industry. I just had a quick question about surface piercings done with polytetrafluoroethylene. At first when these surface piercings became the thing to do around here, I would perform them with the traditional bars for hips, clavicals, Madisons-you name it. I stuck them all with bars. Now this new material seems so much better for healing and does not leave the same scars that the bars do. I just wanted to get your opinion on it. Which is better, the polytetrafluoroethylene or the traditional surface bars?
June 28th, 2011
I received this message from a piercer:
Hey Elayne! I know you hear this all the time but you are amazing! I love the piercing bible and your blog is such a great resource! I have an aftercare question for you, any information you can provide would be such a help. Im a piercer and I recommend Biotene to all my clients with oral piercings, Today I did a piercing on a client who is a representative for Listerine Zero, We spent quite a while discussing the both Biotene and Listerine Zero, She told me Listerine Zero contains four different essential oils and no alcohol but can kill germs, Biotene cannot. I compared the ingredients and they share the same common main indgredients(propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, poloxamer 407 etc etc) but they have many different indgredients. She gave me a case of Listerine Zero, really nice of her, anyways before I start recommending it to clients I'd like your thoughts? My concern is since we recommend clients rinse 4-5 times a day and listerine zero has the ability to kill germs could this to irritating to a fresh piercing? Would you recommend I dilute the Listerine Zero with water to make it milder? I trust your opinion and I hope to hear back from you! thanks for reading this Elayne! M.