Studs, a 2019 New York piercing and jewelry startup, has made its way to Madison. It officially opened its State Street storefront last week, and I got pierced to tell you what it’s like.
Founded by Anna Harmans and Lisa Bubbers, Studs is a trendy and affordable piercing lounge priding itself on its use of sterilized needles instead of piercing guns — boasting a more upscale experience than chain competitors like Claire’s.
The Madison store is located in a high foot-traffic area on the 600 block of State Street right at the edge of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, making it easily accessible to the college audience.
Nestled between the Fashion Salon and Mochi Gift Store, Studs has a quaint yet inviting environment. Walking inside, I was greeted by their yellow walls and intriguing jewelry display on the front counter. I arrived a couple minutes early for my 3:40 p.m. appointment, and the employees were able to start my piercing process right away.
After signing a safety waiver, my piercer Lauren came out and spoke to me about my plans for the piercing. She showed me the piercing jewelry selection, a cute variety of both gold and silver ranging in price from $30 to $130. I picked my stud, and then went to a private room to get pierced.
The process was quick. Lauren told me what to expect, we picked an exact spot for the piercing and then she had the new jewelry in my ear a short five minutes later. After that, I paid at the front desk and was out the door by 3:55 p.m.
Studs has built its brand off of being affordable and convenient, and I can attest to the fact that their pricing matches that claim. The shop provides professional piercing services starting at $35 for one piercing and $50 for two, plus the price of your chosen jewelry. As a broke college kid myself — and having been pierced at other local Madison parlors in the past — these rates were a pleasant surprise. For my one conch piercing and the earring, I paid a total of $89.50.
Studs also makes the piercing process easy for its customers. The company uses online booking to secure appointments, with options every 20 minutes throughout their regular business hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. With this flexibility, I was able to impulsively book a random appointment on a Sunday afternoon and walk out 15 minutes later with a new conch piercing. This is a much different — and preferable — process than most tattoo and piercing parlors that are usually booked out for a week or two when you call to make an appointment.
Overall, my experience at Studs was a quick and easy one. The company specializes in ear piercings and they’ve definitely mastered a system that makes piercings a fun and convenient activity for customers.
If you haven’t checked out Studs yet, even just for their adorable jewelry, I recommend you stop in the next time you pass it on State Street. I’m already planning the next piercing I can get done there.