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0:26 - Meet Stacy
2:21 - Stacy talks about her piercings
6:36 - Stacy shares how it is like to be a mother to a seven-year-old daughter
9:10 - “If you can't brush your teeth, how are you going to take care of your earrings? “- Stacy
10:18 - Stacy talks about what piercings mean to her personally
11:43 - “It makes me feel much more feminine to have earrings in which is why I really like it”- Stacy
15:06 - Stacy gives advice to parents who have kids who are wanting to get modified
19:07 - Stacy ends the conversation by giving advice to anyone who is curious about getting any sort of modifications but isn't really sure if they want to go through with it
"I think the gun hurts more actually than the needle does." - Stacy
Jessica: Hi friends! I'm here today with Stacy, part of our Avanti community and we're excited to talk about piercing, self-expression, and everything in between, but before I get to any questions, Stacy, would you mind introducing yourself a little bit?
Stacy: Yeah, of course. Hi, guys! I'm Stacy. I live in Beaverton right now, but I'm originally from New York. I have a seven-year-old daughter, two dogs, two cats so [inaudible 0:40] at home and I'm in school right now getting my Master's in Elementary Education.
Photo by Stacy McCullough
Jessica: Cool! I'm also in Beaverton. It's always sort of like Oh, hello, neighbor. When did you move here from New York?
Stacy: Well, I moved for my...I have my Master's in Creative Writing as well so I moved to get that in Washington in 2006 and then so I've been here since 2008.
Jessica: Oh, okay. That's fine.
Jessica: You must really like to learn.
Stacy: Well, I got married and he's from here, so we---I got stuck, but it's good.
Jessica: Yeah, I told you over to the West Coast.
Stacy: Yeah. I mean, I like not having snow anymore so -
Stacy: Yeah, I grew up in the snow belt so it was like months and months of shoveling driveways and scraping cars and I don't miss that.
Jessica: I would either. I heard that there's a super snowstorm actually headed that way this month.
Stacy: Yeah. My parents are getting ready for it.
Jessica: So weird.
Stacy: Yeah! I was like oh it's gonna be 80 here. Good luck with your snowstorm.
Jessica: Enjoy your snowstorm before summer.
Jessica: What's your first piercing ? What piercings do you have?
Photos by Stacy McCullough
Jessica: I've heard it both ways.
Jessica: Some people are like it daf, some people are like it daith type. Just whatever.
Stacy: Okay, cool!
Jessica: Very cool! What was getting I'll call it the "daith", what was getting your daith pierced like?
Stacy: It was a lot easier than I thought. Actually, I got it done with Avanti and I wanted to not have to ever change it so I got a really expensive piece of jewelry that I'm so ecstatic with. It makes me love the piercing even more and that girl who did it was just like "Hold your best, let go, we're gonna do this," and went through really easily and then it hurt a lot while she was screwing it together to piercing. Yeah.
Jessica: I always tell people when they come in that the piercing itself doesn't hurt nearly as much usually as putting the jewelry in.
Stacy: That was definitely the hardest part of it.
Jessica: Do you mind flashing it so we can see it? Oh, so pretty!
Jessica: Oh, perfect! That's so cute. Did you get that piercing after your rook or after your rook?
Jessica: On a pain scale-wise because I know people come in all the time and then they're like, okay, this hurt more than this. Did the rook hurt more than the daith?
Stacy: I think the daith is.
Stacy: The rook hurt more only because I had an apprentice piercer who was doing it and the jewelry, I chose was really small and he cannot get it in and so after 15 minutes probably of him trying, the actual piercer came over and put it in for me. Yeah.
Jessica: That doesn't sound like a fun experience for you or the apprentice.
Stacy: He was definitely struggling. He could not get a hold of the tool at all.
Jessica: Yeah, that's something that I mean, I'm not a piercer. I just managed the store but I have heard that learning how to put jewelry into a fresh wound is one of the trickiest parts because it gets slippery.
Stacy: Oh, yeah. That would make sense.
Jessica: I was like that. Yeah and with gloves. I don't know. Anything with gloves is always harder for me because they get all crinkled up under my fingernails.
Stacy: Right? And you can't feel anything as well either.
Jessica: Yeah, I'm like, all my senses are destroyed. Why did you get your daith pierced?
Stacy: I've been wanting cartilage piercings, but I was scared of the pain and I'm also a migraine sufferer so I thought what the heck? Maybe if it helps, it will be worth it.
Stacy: And so those two together made me go for that one.
Jessica: Very cool! Did you notice that it did help or?
Stacy: No, honestly.
Stacy: It does help. I have anxiety and it does help with that because I will actually find myself like playing with it. Kind of like a fidget spinner, but it's in my ear.
Jessica: Yeah. Whenever anyone asks, I'm like, if [inaudible 6:02] and if there was something, I would try it but there's no guarantee and sometimes people it works, whether it's a placebo or not, and I'm like, go for it and other times it doesn't. I'm just like, I'm so sorry.
Stacy: And I wanted the piercing regardless if it worked. It made sense.
Jessica: It looks really cute.
Stacy: Thank you!
Jessica: Sorry, there's a little bit of a delay, I think.
Jessica: So what's it like being a mom to a seven-year-old daughter?
Stacy shares how it is like to be a mother to a seven-year-old daughter
Stacy: Hard and awesome. Especially right now because with school being out and having to do everything online, that has been really hard with a seven-year-old trying to get them to grasp. We have to do everything online. We have to learn how to use a computer and a mouse on top of trying to learn all your material and she's in a Spanish program so it's half-Spanish, half-English, and I do not know Spanish at all so it's been difficult but -
Photo by Stacy McCullough
Stacy: We're getting through so better teachers are amazing, though that's been helpful and yeah, she's getting through it - a lot more electronics, but also a lot more pillow fights and playing games. We go on walks every day, so that's definitely good too.
Jessica: That's awesome.
Jessica: I am the oldest of five but my youngest siblings are about your daughter's age and they're both boys so that's been fun to watch my mom handle that. And then [inaudible 7:51-7:53] girl in this time.
Jessica: Did she have her ears pierced?
Stacy: Yes, she's really sweet. She does have her ears pierced. Yep. We had to get the first one done and then two months later, get the second one done.
Jessica: What was that experience like with her?
Stacy: She really wanted it done. We made her wait about a year of her asking. We had a piercer there also at your store who tell us if she can brush her teeth without complaining then she's ready for earrings. And so we let her know that was kind of the rule and then she went anxious and was terrified. It took her over half an hour to be able to get her first one pierced and then come down enough so we just left and once she was ready, she asked again. The second time she just got up there lay down on the bed and got it pierced. No issues at all. It was amazing. It's like a whole different person.
Jessica: That's awesome.
Jessica: That's really cool. That's really cool too, she had to show some responsibility before she got her ears pierced.
"If you can't brush your teeth, how are you going to take care of your earrings?“- Stacy
Stacy: Yeah, I hadn't thought about that before and I thought that was a really smart idea. If you can't brush your teeth, how are you going to take care of your earrings?
Stacy: It worked well.
Jessica: Yeah, that's awesome. I actually---that piercer is no longer with us so I had heard that. Before, I'm like, that's really-
Stacy: Ah okay.
Jessica: I'm usually like, if they can wash their face, they're ready for I think I say helix. If they can wash their face every day.
Jessica: That's what they're ready to- Yeah the cartilage are more challenging. I didn't really wash my face until I was probably 16.
Stacy: Yes, I have face wipes from my daughter where she has to wash her face.
Jessica: Yeah, it's a process.
Stacy: Yeah. For sure.
Jessica: They will appreciate more when they're older and they're like, Oh, Mom was right.
Stacy: Yeah. Maybe if I'm lucky.
Jessica: Maybe you're lucky.
Jessica: What did getting pierced mean for you personally? Was it a personal transformation or was it just an aesthetic transformation or what was it like?
Stacy talks about what piercings mean to her personally
Stacy: For me, I have a huge allergy to metals so I got my ears pierced for the first time when I was nine, and ended up having massive infections in both my ears from the---I had 14k gold earrings and it did not go well at all so then I got them repierced, and I fainted right before I got them pierced, too. I remember a little boy went in to get his ears pierced and he screamed so loud in the middle of the mall and I think I'm just watching him since I was up next. And mine, it was when they did the gun.
Stacy: So it was done with the gun which is definitely a different experience too. I think the gun hurts more actually than the needle does.
“It makes me feel much more feminine to have earrings which is why I really like it”- Stacy
Stacy: And so then I got them repierced when I was 12, same thing happened. Infections had to take them out, let them close. So then I kind of repierced them and found out my ears closed really quickly so if I don't have earrings in overnight, my ears will almost be sealed in the morning and so pretty much didn't have earrings in until I think my daughter was two, so about five years ago, I got both of these pierced at the same time and just have earrings in all the time and I don't take them out but it makes me feel much more feminine to have earrings in which is why I really like it. Especially because my hair is usually short like this is long hair for me because I can't get a haircut and so having short hair and having earrings I feel much more feminine and felt like a woman, I guess.
Jessica: That's awesome. I feel the same way about mine. I don't often wear makeup or I'll wear my hair up, but I always feel a little bit more put together when I have my two sets in.
Stacy: Yeah, I never take them out. I rarely change them just because I don't know. It's a pain in the butt. I guess for me.
Jessica: Do you have the slot back in there?
Stacy: The what ones? There's slot in the back.Yeah.
Jessica: Oh, awesome! Yeah, those ones are really nice because they don't poke into the back of it.
Stacy: Yes, actually, I went to a piercer in Downtown Portland I got it done but then I came to your shop because my left ear lobe is a bit fatter than my right one and so I had to get a longer post on this one so that it didn't my ear lobe otherwise, it was eating the earring up?
Stacy: That's when I actually learned about your store for the first time because they helped me so much in figuring out what I needed.
Jessica: Oh, that's awesome! I'm glad we were able to help you.
Stacy: Yeah me too.
Jessica: Super cool! I remember coming to...I used to be a customer of Avanti before I started working there and I remember coming there and being so surprised by the concept of threadless jewelry, I was like what is this?
Stacy: Yeah, I didn't know that it existed before.
Jessica: Yeah, I always thought like body jewelry was what you bought at Spencer's, you know?
Stacy: Yes. I actually stretched out the back ones for a while, but it got up to six and my ear lobe started acting like they were infected like my ears just were refusing to go that big so I went back down to a size and then one of them fell out overnight and I couldn't find the piercing. I can't find the earring and it had closed up enough that I couldn't fit them back in anymore so I went to a regular size.
Jessica: Yeah, everyone's ears are a little bit different. When they come in and asked to be stretched and they're like, can I put sizes the point of no return? I'm like it really depends on your ear, you know?
Jessica: Some people they'll stretch to like I said, you know, usually with the smaller sizes anything below zero usually see close up but I've seen huge you know, like half-inch or anything like that go down to-
Stacy: Oh, well.
Jessica: Cool yeah, but then I've seen them stretch to a half inch and not really go down at all. So it's always interesting.
Jessica: Everyone's ear lobes are a little bit different. Mine will shrink up really fast too. If have them out overnight, can't get them [inaudible 14:47]
Jessica: I have to weigh it down.
Jessica: Do some ear exercise.
Jessica: What advice would you give to give parents who have kids who are wanting to get modified in some way?
Stacy gives advice to parents who have kids who are wanting to get modified
Stacy: Definitely make sure they're ready. My daughter was ready for it-the end result but not really ready for how the procedure was, there was no way to prep her I think and so really enforcing this is going to hurt, you do have to stay still, it is going to be scary but for us, we say, what makes you brave when you do something that's scary, then you're brave, and that's really strong. So we have to do things that scare us sometimes and so I think---assuming they're young kid, just really working with them to make it through if you think they're ready and then, she's already been asking because I have tattoos and I have piercings. She's asking for her second one so that she can have ears like me and obviously we're going to wait on that one for a while but when she's a teenager for me, if she wants to get her nose done, I have my nose pierced as tiny and any of that stuff is fine with me so-
Jessica: That's awesome.
Stacy: I feel like with piercings, you might have a little scar if you regret it in the end but it's a lot different than a tattoo where you can't really do much about it.
Jessica: Yeah, it's definitely a safe way to come into your own self because you can remove it and not as permanent if it's just a phase.
Stacy: Right? Yes. So my next piercing I want to get is my septum, but that one I'm still holding off on just because it is much more visible than everything else I have right now.
Jessica: That would look really cute on you.
Stacy: Yes, The jewelry is really important to me. I need it to be feminine. When I was growing up, anyone who had their septum pierced it was like a ball ring where it's like here I am in your face.
Jessica: Look at my nose, please.
Stacy: Yes and so for me, it's there as a poster in the shop that had a model and her piercing was a very small, matted gold almost diamond shape, really hugging in the middle and it was so beautiful and that's like, I don't know, I like the piercing for the self-expression, but I want it to still feel very feminine and dainty, I guess.
Jessica: Yeah, I understand that I actually---it was probably hard to see but I have my septum pierced. I actually haven't stretched. I'll get closer. I stretched up though.
Stacy: Oh yeah, okay.
Jessica: At a 10 gauge, but I was at the same I wanted something really dainty so I just did a little huggy ring in my septum.
Stacy: Oh, nice.
Jessica: Yeah, it's a lot more of a versatile piercing and then I think it's giving credit for, and what's cool about it is you can always hide it so you can always like flip it up.
Jessica: I tell everyone about the mood -
Stacy: Yeah, I definitely want one that's close hugging so that it's not hanging down but yeah, that's the one I'm excited for too.
Jessica: That's so awesome. Well before I enjoy or I let you go and enjoy what I hope is beautiful where you're at. It's beautiful here.
Stacy: It's beautiful. Yes.
Jessica: I was talking to a gal on Oregon yesterday and it was raining and it was sunny here and I'm like, Ahh.
Stacy: Yeah, it's so weird when we're driving into Portland sometimes you can see the wall of where the rain is and I'm just like, oh, crap. It was nice here. I wasn't planning for this.
Jessica: Right? So before I let you go and enjoy a rare sunny Oregon day. What would you tell anyone who is curious about getting any sort of modifications, piercings or tattoos, but isn't really sure if they want to go through with it?
Stacy ends the conversation by giving advice to anyone who is curious about getting any sort of modifications but isn't really sure if they want to go through with it
Stacy: Oh, I would definitely go in and talk to a piercer and find out what it entails the process how you have to take care of it. I didn't have any idea from my rook that you know, seven months later it actually will still hurt occasionally and I didn't know that they took that long to heal and so I am now just doing your research and it needs to be for me talking to someone who has a piercing, who knows about them. Someone who definitely works in a shop because you're going to get the honest answer because they see people who you know your friend may be healed this way or it was their experience but it's unlikely to be experienced for a broad amount of people so I think that has always helped me and looking at the jewelry too helps me get excited about it when I'm like oh my gosh, that piece is so awesome. I need to have this piercing now just so I can have that piece of jewelry.
Jessica: Oh, that was great advice. If you don't know, ask.
Jessica: Well thank you so much for your time today.
Stacy: No, thank you. It was really fun.
Jessica: It was really fun. I hope you have a great rest of your day and I hope to see you as soon when this is all over and it's safe to be pierced again.
Stacy: I'll be in for my septum.
Jessica: Yeah! I'll have dainty options for you to look at.
Stacy: Awesome, perfect!
Jessica: All right, have a great rest of your day.
Stacy: You too. Thank you.
Jessica: Thank you. Bye!
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