0:06 - Getting to know Avanti
0:58 - Endy’s piercing journey
4:51 - “I got my nipples pierced...for me, that was kind of like solidifying my adulthood and just me doing something for myself.” - Endy
6:32 - “Now I work in this awesome shop and I get to help people on their journeys and it's really fulfilling.” - Endy
7:00 - Silas piercing journey
9:52 - “I love all my piercings, and I'm really happy with all of them.” - Silas
10:08 - Kara’s piercing journey
10:22 - “I don't really remember much, except for I knew that I wanted it. I know that I was scared, but afterward, I was immediately excited again.” - Kara
14:00 - “Getting pierced is the perfect way to be able to create your own voice without even speaking.” - Kara
16:47 - Wrapping it all up
Endy: Hello, everyone, welcome to the #iamAvanti podcast and this is your host Endy, one of your hosts Endy. I am a counter staff person at Avanti. We're a piercing shop in Washington Square Mall. And basically I help people pick out the jewelry that they want to adorn their bodies with. And we go through the sizing, we go through aftercare, and all the other stuff before we send them to the piercer, and they get the new jewelry inserted. Today for our first episode, me and my co-host, we're just going to go through our piercing history and the piercing that we've had and what our journey has been like, and what it's been like for us working here. In the next episode, we'll be talking about the history of piercings and where piercings come from and how long people are getting their bodies adoring. So yeah, thank you so much and stick around.
Endy's Piercing Journey
Endy: So, my first piercing that I've ever gotten, I was a baby and my mom took me to get my ears pierced. I don't know where she got it done, because I was a child. And they can't remember that far back. But I've always had my ears pierced and they're fully healed now- both my lobes, and now I just wear joy from everywhere. I don't really think about the quality or anything but working here has taught me more about jewelry quality because it was something I didn't really think was important until I interact with people who had skin sensitivities and I was able to see firsthand what happens when you go somewhere and pay $7 for earrings and put them in piercings but luckily nothing like that happened to me with my own--mine, but now, I do use different types of materials. My first facial piercing was when I was around about 15 or 16. My mother and I were in Colorado visiting her boyfriend at the time and we were going up a mountain and I saw this like lonely piercing and tattoo shop at head and ultimate mom and I was like, "Hey, I want to get my nose pierced and it took her a couple seconds but she was down.
Photo by Just Jessica June LLC
"I got my nipples pierced and it was the first piercing that I didn't tell my mother about. For me, that was kind of like solidifying my adulthood and just me doing something for myself." - Endy
So we went in and I got it done on my right nostril and I had that one for a few months. Going to school--- going back to school after that was kind of hard because I wasn't allowed to have piercings, piercings in my face even though plenty of my other colleagues and students had their own piercings but no one really said anything to them but they said stuff to me so I switched my jewelry constantly because I was always getting in trouble and always getting like stopped for it. So I went from like retainers to like the screw-on types at the end. It's like the elbow-shaped to the like nose bone with little balls, the end like I have worned every type of jewelry around that time, and I think eventually got really irritated and I got this hilly bump on it. So I took the joy out and let it close up. And then it wasn't until the very next year that I eventually got my nose re-pierced on the other side when I was around 17 and that's the piercing that I've had this entire time since then. So it's going on 10 years with my nose pierced on the left side now. In around 17, I got both my helix and belly button pierced at this shop in Houston, that's where I'm from cause they were notorious for doing really cheap piercings like two for $25 & two for $30 deals and I went there with my mom again, and yeah, it was a really awkward experience because I originally asked to have my conch done, and instead, they did my helix. And I also got my belly button pierced and when I was in my belly button pierced, I was standing up for it. I suppose that it was just like a flash piercing place and they just wanted to get people in and out really quickly. So they had me stand up for that which was very, very hard and very difficult and hurt really, really bad. But I just wanted to get it done. I was young, I wasn't thinking, of course now that I'm older and more experienced, I would be like, can I place it down for this or laid out. So before I went to college, and I was about 18 or 19, I got dermals under my collarbones. Those are really cool. Those are probably one of my favorite piercings. They looked great. They ended up rejecting once I got to school, it was probably from distress and the lack of proper aftercare, which we'll probably talk about. Well, we will definitely talk about another episode. I wasn't really taking care of them properly. So they started to reject one came out and then it was just awkward to just have one. There is a place, obviously a place where everyone belongs. So I just kind of let the other one reject and take that one out. After that, when I dropped out of college, I got my nipples pierced and it was like the first piercing that I didn't really tell my mother about. So for me, that was kind of like solidifying my adulthood and just me doing something for myself. All my piercings were for myself, but this time I didn't really involve her in the process with like, telling her, letting her know. I just had them randomly. And those are great. The healing was okay, the piercing hurt really bad. And I probably would still have them and if it wasn't for, for some reason, every time I drink fireball, I would lose a piercing so, one night I drinking and one came out and it was again with the dermals. It's weird to just have one was obviously supposed to be two. Or I didn't really like the idea of having one. So I took it out and let that close up and I hadn't really thought about getting them re-pierced. I didn't get pierced for years after that. Not because it didn't like them. I just didn't really feel the need to until I started working here. I started working here and I realized how much I really want to get my full time done. And once I start working at a piercing store, I was like, "Oh, this is a possibility for me now" like I can actually get this really cute, girly fun piercing that I've always thought would look adorable on me. And so I finally did it and now I have it. I don't have any plans to get any more facial piercings, but I do want to get my ear pierced both ears. I want more piercings other than the helix and the lobes that I have. So those are going to be in my feature. And I'm not really sure about getting anything else done yet.
"Now I work in this awesome shop and I get to help people on their journeys and it's really fulfilling."- Endy
But yeah, that was my little history with joy modification in piercings and now I work in this awesome shop and I get to help people on their journeys and it's really fulfilling you know, you go home every day and you're like, I just hope someone basically makeover their face, or makeover their stomach, or wherever they're getting a piercing and it's really transformative for them and also kind of for us because we get to think about what our individually---individuality means to us as well. Thank you so much for your time.
Silas Piercing Journey
Silas: Hey there, my name is Silas. I am a fellow counter staff person here at Avanti. My journey with piercing began when I was around 10 years old, just got my lobes pierced out of Claire's. I remember being really excited and looking forward to getting my ears pierced but the actual experience of being there was fairly uneventful and I- I don't remember too much about it. In stark contrast to that the next piercings that I got a couple years later, my second and third, also my lobes, but this time my mom took me to a legit tattoo and piercing shop in West Hollywood, and it was a totally mind-blowing experience. I remember thinking everyone there was so cool and nice and also intimidating and I just wanted to be exactly like them covered head to toe and mouths. There is a really big community aspect and not shop there was a guy there with his boyfriend getting his nipples pierced and he was so nervous. But everyone there was really invested in this process and we were all hyping him up and we're so excited. And it was just so cool. It was I'd never been in an environment like that or an atmosphere like that. And for a 13-year-old kid, it was monumental. I didn't get any more piercings for a few years after that. I got just a helix piercing at some random little shop on the Venice Boardwalk in LA. It was done crooked and I didn't like the way that it was healing so I just took it out and let it close up. I got my rook pierced a few years ago kind of on a whim I wanted my industrial done. But I didn't have the right anatomy. So I went with a rook and I ended up really liking it. I like that it's kind of hidden. After that, a couple more years have passed and I got my eyebrow, both with my broken eyebrow, there are kind of spontaneous piercings that I got at a time when my life felt really chaotic and I just felt really out of control of everything that was happening around me. And they're really grounding experiences for me to reconnect with myself kind of check back in, feel more present in my body. And since then, Only other piercings I've gotten were my septum and my nostril which I got both within the past few months since I've started working here. Those are both piercings I've wanted for a really long time, but people told me that it looked good or I was self-conscious of my nose and didn't want to draw more attention to it.
"I love all my piercings, and I'm really happy with all of them."-Silas
After getting them I can say that I feel more confident in myself and a lot happier with all these insecurities and happy in making those choices for myself and not listening to what other people said, so I love all my piercings, and I'm really happy with all of them.
Photo by Just Jessica June LLC
Kara’s Piercing Journey
Endy: Hey everyone, we're here with my coworker.
Kara: I'm Kara.
Endy: Kara, can you tell me a little bit more about your piercing journey?_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"I don't really remember much, except for I knew that I wanted it. I know that I was scared, but afterward, I was immediately excited again." - Kara
Kara: Yes. So my journey with piercings started when I was about five or six, and I got my ears pierced because everyone around me had them pierced, and I knew that it symbolized coming of age. So I was really, really excited about it. I don't really remember much, except for I knew that I wanted it. I know that I was scared, but afterwards, I was immediately excited again. So just kind of one of those. It's just a really intense first-time experience being so young and knowing that I wanted it. But before I get into my other piercing, I just want to disclose that it was not a safe or efficient way of going about it and I would never recommend this to anybody. Um, but most of my piercings I did do on myself because I didn't grow up with a lot of money and I lived with my parent who grew --- I grew up around family who didn't agree with body modifications or like piercings or anything like that. So my first base piercing I got I was 12 or 13. It was my nose. I got my nose pierced and then from there, I just like kept wanting more. So I decided that I wanted to get my lip pierced. And then over the years after getting that done around 13-14 I just kept piercing my lip multiple times and various spots. Around 14, I decided that I did want to start stretching my ears. So I did get my ears to be pretty big. They were, they were around 5/8" a little bit bigger, but then I had some issues with them, so I wasn't taking care of them and I had to take them out. But I just recently started restretching them again. And I have had my eyebrow pierced when I was 14 multiple times too because it kept falling out. So I kept redoing it. I had a horizontal eyebrow at one point, which I didn't get to keep that long, just because it wasn't pierced. The person that he didn't, he didn't do it properly. They actually use the wrong kind of jewelry that should have been for your, your horizontal eyebrows. They used to crimped barbell and they should have used a surface bar so it didn't stay in. So I don't have that one. But I have my second nostril that was done at that same time. I still have that one and that was when I was 20. So that was about two years ago. That one's still going strong. I might take it out and redo it just because the---it's a little bit funky but other than that, I had my belly button pierced when I was 16. That was my first professional piercing but again, I wasn't taking care of it. I didn't know any better at that age. So it ended up rejecting about four months after I got it done. I just recently had to take my dermal, I had that pierced too, but I'm gonna have to redo it just because there were some slight issues with it. But other than that, that's basically it. I've just had a bunch of various lip piercings. I had a couple of ear piercings- my eyebrow, my belly button and that's it. That's basically it for all the piercings that I've had.
Photo by Just Jessica June LLC
Endy: So I know you're excited to start piercing. Do you want to explain why that's a career choice you've made?_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Getting pierced is the perfect way to be able to create your own voice without even speaking."- Kara
Kara: One of the reasons why I want to pierce is because I do take self-expression very seriously. I believe that you do deserve to be happy with your own body. And if you do have the ability to turn it into a canvas for art, I feel like you should do that, you know, for art and for projects. And getting pierced is the perfect way to be able to create your own voice without even speaking. That was just an issue that I've always had in my whole life, especially with my mom, me always wanting to do something to alter my appearance in ways that made me feel more comfortable and confident within myself. I was never allowed to do it, or I got in trouble for doing it, or someone was making fun of me. And I just --- I just feel like you know, like, I want to be able to help bring people's visions to life and also help educate them in the process so that they know that they're being well taken care of, and they know that they're doing it in an efficient and safe matter. Because I've just I've done all the things that you should not do. I know, I know from firsthand experience, I've witnessed a lot of botched messed up piercings or things that weren't done properly or things that ended up getting infected and how that can play out over time if you don't take care of it. And I just kind of, you know, it, I also want to be able to, like, share that intimate experience with somebody because a lot of times is it's---it's a sign of like, taking your body back. You know, if something traumatic has happened in your life or, or you've gone through experiences like myself or someone says that that doesn't look good on you, or like you shouldn't have that, or they just have different beliefs in yourself. You know, and it's just being able to be confident in yourself and be happy with who you are and be happy with how you look. And if you believe that putting a piece of jewelry inside of your body makes you more happy to something minor, like a tiny little nose stud, like that just makes all the difference in how you feel about yourself and feel like that's the most important thing. So I feel like if you want to do that, you should be able to do it safely and do it with someone who, who really is passionate about that. And someone who can, you know, educate you on how to take care of it and like the different kinds of styles of jewelry that you can learn and just how to be able to expand that in ways that you're comfortable with yourself. So that's just kind of I know, I've been rambling for a while, but that's just sort of my story and who I am and what I want to accomplish. And yeah, I know it's not all that interesting, but I got a lot of really goofy piercing stories. If you ever want to hear more about them. I'm here to ramble to you. I know that they weren't all of that interest. But that's just me. So thank you for listening. Thank you for taking the time to let me talk about that a little bit.
Endy: Wow. Thank you so much.
Kara: Thank you.
Endy: All right, everyone. Well, that wraps it up for our first episode. I am so excited to get this podcast up and running. Please feel free to check out our future episodes. The next episode we have, we're going to be going over the history of piercings and Episode 3 we'll be going over why people get pierced. My name is Endy and those were my coworkers Silas and Kara, and I hope you have a great day. Thank you so much.