Jeweler-led piercing parties are a growing trend that encourages strategically placed piercings around the ear. No longer relegated to the lobe alone, the options include the helix, rook, and inner conch — all creative ways of adding more metal and gems to ears.
For the occasion, jewelers bring a licensed professional into the store to offer the piercing service. Debbie Ellick Wallis of Barbara Ellick Jewelry in Narberth, Pennsylvania, hired a piercer for clients who had pre-purchased earrings, all of which had to be sterilized the day before. Customers also signed waivers of responsibility to protect the store, which provided the service on request.
“We had a lot of customers asking for it,” says Wallis, who held three day-long events between fall 2020 and spring 2021. Thirty-five customers attended the first, with 28 and 25 at the second and third.
A few rules helped her keep the events manageable. She insisted that guests stick to ears only — no face or tongue piercings — and made all piercings free with the purchase of at least one earring. The takeaway: Piercing parties are a lot of work for the retailer — and not a lot of money — but they do provide a service.
At Marissa Collections in Naples, Florida, however, piercing parties are so popular that the merchant is opening a standalone piercing studio this month in Palm Beach, on the state’s eastern side. The store has hosted them multiple times over the past two years with Stephanie Anders, a celebrity piercer from Los Angeles.
“We were apprehensive at first, but you wouldn’t believe the people who show up,” says Jennifer McCurry, the store’s jewelry buyer. “You may think you don’t have the clientele, but you do.”
Getting the events off the ground took legwork, including visits from a Department of Health inspector, but once up and running, every event sold out.
Wine and jewelry
Steve Padis’s love of wine stems from an issue of Wine Spectator magazine that he received as a gift decades ago. That single copy got the San Francisco-based owner of Padis Jewelers — founded in 1974 — hooked on wine, winemaking, vineyards and the Napa Valley. Those passions, in turn, paved the way for the family’s Padis Vineyards and its Napa jewelry store and tasting room.
“My dad is a diamond guy, a collector, who appreciates the subtle nuances of a diamond in a similar way to how he enjoys wine,” says marketing and operations manager Alexis Padis, who helped open the Napa location in September 2020. The store is just miles down the road from the vineyard, and the idea of a tasting room inside a shop helps get reluctant customers to cross the threshold.
“Most people aren’t super excited about [walking into a jewelry store],” concedes Padis. But merging the two gives people a place to kick back, drink wine, and shop fine jewelry without having to drive to the big city. Bottles on hand include a Padis estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon called Brilliance. Jewelry sales associates double as wine ambassadors.
“My staff doesn’t mind being cross-trained on wine,” Padis comments.
A separate Breitling bar with an aviation vibe will soon join the tasting room to tie watches directly into the space. Wish-list events complete with wine, whiskey, jewelry and watches are all on the horizon.
Article from the Rapaport Magazine - November 2021. To subscribe click here.