If you came of age in the 1980s or '90s, there's a good chance you got your ears pierced at Claire's. The purple sans serif logo, the stick-on earrings, the glitter (oh so much glitter) — it was an essential part of the pre-teen experience. But, alas, you grew up. And now that you're old enough not to need your mother's permission to get a helix piercing, where do you go?
Lisa Bubbers and Anna Harman, asked themselves the same question. Anna wanted to get a second piercing. She asked Lisa, her friend of ten years, to accompany her. They found a tattoo parlor, paid through the nose, and left wondering why this process hadn't been updated in thirty years.
Enter: STUDS — the first ear piercing studio geared toward (grown-up) millennials. It's a super chill, bright yellow oasis where the CBD water flows, and the selfie mirrors are abundant. Since opening their doors in November, they've pierced the likes of Kaia Gerber, Zendaya, and Karlie Kloss.
We sat down with the queen of piercings herself for a chat about all things STUDS.
Q: What was your inspiration behind STUDS?
Lisa: Anna and I were very nostalgic for Claire's, but it's for a pre-teen audience. If you wanted an affordable needle-piercing, your best option was a tattoo parlor, and that experience is simply un-optimized.
We decided to start the first, accessible needle-piercing brand. We wanted to make it cool and exciting, and also connect the ear piercing experience to what people are trying to do, which is create a full ear look. We call it the "earscape."
Q: Who is the STUDS customer in three words?
Lisa: Cool. Bold. Expressive.
Q: If you could pierce anyone's ears dead or alive whose would they be?
Lisa: David Bowie.
Q: Tell us about your very first voyage to Claire's in 1994.
Lisa: My story is similar to many other women. My older sister handled all of the brokering with our mother, and I went along and reaped the benefit. I was nine years old and got single piercings.
Q: If you could invite any five people over to dinner, who would you invite?
Lisa: Lizzo, Zoe Kravitz, Harry Styles, Frank Ocean, and AOC
Q: With which Social Studies party look?
Lisa: Doppio. If I'm bringing together these big personalities, I'd choose something maximalist for a fun feast.