So, Casper and I headed out to Philly last Thursday for the 9th annual Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention. A ten hour road trip, most of which took place on a lonely stretch known as the Pennsylvania Turnpike. But once we arrived in Philly, we knew we were in for a great time.
The town is always hopping, with lots of cool places and some great people. Stopped in at Tattooed Moms, a cool little bar on South Street. Had and official “Philly Chessesteak” from Jeanos. Ran the Rocky steps…. okay, so we actually walked them, and our legs were still burning, he is definitely a bad ass for running those stairs! We also got pics taken with a couple of Stormtroopers and Boba Fet, there was huge Star Wars exhibit going on and these guys were just walking the streets talking with people and posing for pictures.
The convention was amazing! I got to work along side some of the greats in the industry, Bob Tyrell, Robert Pho, Marshall Bennett, Chris Vennekemp and many, many others! There were over 300 artists and lots of cool bands and such.
A hearty thank you to cool ass people in Philadelphia that made this weekend great!
Okay, so I get this bulletin on MySpace about a local shop offering any piercing for $25. They’re doing it as a Christmas promotion… of course this same shop also offered $20 piercings all summer. Normally, I don’t concern myself with promotions other shops are running, because quite frankly… there’s enough business in this area for everyone to survive and do well. I’m not one to get all miffed because I think someone is going to take my business away, I mean, if we’re not taking care of our customers, then they should go someplace else. We don’t deserve their business.
But this one got me to thinking…
Let’s take into consideration what it is you’re doing when you decide to get a piercing, or tattoo for that matter. Seeing as neither should be something you decide upon by price alone.
When you decide to get a tattoo or piercing, you’re placing a great deal of trust in someone. First you’re trusting them to do it right, and not leave you with a bad tattoo or a crooked, too deep or too shallow piercing. You’re trusting them NOT to scar you. You’re trusting that they are properly trained, not only to do the procedure, but also that they are trained in blood borne pathogens and cross contamination so that they do NOT infect you with any diseases.
You’re also trusting that they are using quality materials and pigments, seeing as you are allowing them to insert and implant a foreign object into your skin. Most of all, you’re trusting them to respect YOUR skin, seeing as you are the one that has to live with the new piercing or tattoo.
So consider this, the average shop allows for a 50% commission on piercings. So that $25 you’re paying for a piercing, the piercer gets $12.50 and the shop gets $12.50. Now first, consider what quality of jewelry they’re using, considering there is about $10 in overhead costs for every piercing and that does NOT include the price of the jewelry. If they can afford to make a profit at $12.50 imagine what type of jewelry they’re using if $2.50 covers the cost of the jewelry plus allows for profit. I know that the jewelry we use wholesales for an average price of $9 per piece. I can’t imagine the quality of a piece that costs less than $2.50.
Then, consider that this person you’re placing all of this trust in, is only making $12.50 for doing this procedure….. how much care, consideration and training do you you think this person has undergone and put into this, if their work is only worth $12.50.
We all know that Big Lots has great prices… but the quality is… let’s just say lacking.
Would you want to trust your skin and your health to someone offering bargain basement prices? Personally, I think I’d prefer to research my options, talk to the piercers at a variety of shops and decide which ones are more knowledgeable, find out what kind of training they’ve undergone. Does the shop use internally threaded jewelry as opposed to externally threaded? Does the shop have mill certificates on hand to prove that the metals in the jewelry they’re using is implant grade surgical steel? Are they willing to show you the spore test results for their autoclave?
And most importantly, do they treat your with courtesy and respect…. considering you’re about to place such a great deal of trust in them?
Sea Salt Mixture Formula :: Only use non-iodized sea salt mixture:
Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized [iodine free] sea salt into one cup [8 oz.] of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better! Sea Salt solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
Care Instructions ::
1:: WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching on or around your piercing for any reason
2:: SEA SALT soak at least two to three times daily. Simply invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum for a few minutes. The longer you soak, the better. For certain placements it may be easier to apply using fresh gauze or a cotton ball saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse will remove any residue.
3:: DO NOT TURN YOUR PIERCING!!!
4:: DRY with disposable paper products such as gauze or tissues, because cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury. Pat gently to avoid trauma.
5:: It is recommended that you come back in two weeks so that we can assess how your piercing is healing. For Oral Piercings [Tongue, Labret, Lip, etc.] After two weeks you will need to come back in and downsize your jewelry. IT IS NOT HEALED, Do not try to do it yourself. Surface piercings should come back in at least once a month.
If you have any questions, please call us 513 863 I N K S
DO NOT rely on information from anyone but a professional body piercer.