|Address:||56 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203, USA|
|Working:||12–8PM 12–8PM 12–8PM 12–8PM 12–9PM 12–9PM 12–6PM|
So I recently decided it was time to do something I had been thinking about for a very long time: I got my very first piercing. No, I didn’t go with something as pedestrian as an ear (more on that a bit later). I decided to go all the way and lose my piercing virginity by getting a nipple pierced. So, here is a summary of that experience – keeping in mind that it has been about 72 hours since I got it: I did a TON of research beforehand – like an OCD amount. There are soooo many horror stories, even from friends and others that I know, much less all that you can read on the Internet. I finally decided to go with arguably the best that the Rocky Mountain region has to offer in piercing specialists, and went to Sol Tribe. There are several piercers there, and they are all certified by the Association of Professional Piercers. My piercer was Casey Hosch. Casey has some awesome jewelry of her own, and immediately (like the very instant that I walked in the door) started talking to me and answering my questions. After chatting for a few moments with Casey, she grabs my jewelry and hands me the sea salts and cleaning instructions and we head back to the piercing room. Sol Tribe is a very clean shop – they obviously work hard to keep it that way. Casey changed gloves no less than 3 times during my piercing and everything used was disposable and single use. Again, these things are important, but I really did not expect it to be any less than that. She got all of the materials prepped – marking ink, cleaning supplies, the needle, clamp and the jewelry. All sterile, all on a clean tray. She changed her gloves (again) and proceeded to do the markings. She is fairly OCD (which I personally appreciate) and actually reviewed them more than once before being satisfied. I got up to have a look while she put those supplies away. After looking in the mirror and happy with what I saw, I laid down on the bench for the actual piercing. She got her supplies together, and started with the clamp. She told me at that time that many people believe that the clamp actually hurts more than the piercing. She was right. She tried the clamp several times, giving the nipple a painful squeeze each time, but it kept slipping off. She decided she was going to free hand it. Bring it on! She told me to take two deep breaths, and when I exhaled from the second, that is when she would do the piercing. One deep breath, second deep breath… Because she freehanded the piercing, it wasn’t one single smooth motion, as I was expecting it to be. The initial pain of the needle breaking the skin was less than the clamp (she was right). The second thrust of the needle actually was more painful than the initial motion. Then it was over. She threaded the balls onto the bar, tightened them, and asked if I was OK. I very much was, and she asked me to sit up to have a look. A quick bandage over the top (there was a little initial bleeding, which is normal), and I put my shirt back on and headed out and left to go pay. $50 for a piercing is not bad, and pretty much what I expected. I made certain to tip Casey (ALWAYS TIP YOUR PIERCER) and left. The entire process took about 30 minutes. So far, it has been great. There has been a little residual blood: again, I have read and been told this is completely normal for upwards of a couple of weeks after the initial piercing date, as the hole heals. As far as pain goes: on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being a paper cut and 10 being compound fractures, it was more like a 3. I love the way it looks. I can easily see myself becoming a piercing junkie, though I am far too conservative and private to get too wild.
Alicia is one of the best piercers in Colorado. Im completely sure of this. I came to her because shes endorsed by Elayne Angel. However her shops customer service is completely lacking, and I felt like nothing was done to retain me as a customer. My jewelry took 4 months to arrive. No one ever contacted me to update me about the status of the order, each and every time I took the initiative. On the phone receptionists consistently sounded annoyed that I was asking for an update or if I could keep my original appointment. Two months into the wait I got a response that they "had definitely ordered it" which to me implies that they had simply forgotten about it for two months to do so. I requested to refund my deposit and my jewelry arrived the following week and Alicia promised to "make it up" to me. It was a size smaller (10g not 8g) than we had originally discussed but no one pointed it out. No discount ever materialized for my inconvenience, nothing but a very half hearted apology on the day of my appointment. Im not a ill-behaved customer, I have had over ten years of customer facing experience and I completely get that things happen, but my experience at Sol Tribe makes me feel like a sucker for giving them my money. No discount, no sincere apology, no one ever called me, I got nothing but a feeling of general resentment from the shop after they had failed to handle my order professionally. Had it not been for the technical skill my piercing needed I wouldve gone somewhere else. I know my piercing was safe and well done. But personally I would never comfortably refer or return to Sol Tribe.
They have a good selection, but thats about it. Customer service is EXTREMELY below par. I called before coming in and the girl was extremely rude to me trying to correct me about things before I had hardly even opened my mouth. Then when I got there I was hardly welcomed and then ignored for about 15 minutes, when she finally came over and I asked prices of things she gave me a few, which turned out to be wrong. I was told I should leave and get the earring so they could measure for sure what size it is, so I did that and came back the next day to even WORSE customer service. They put the plug I had brought in in a bag to measure it, and she measured it completely wrong, I could tell she was measuring the bag too and when I tried to correct her I was VERY rudely told "I do this all day, I know what Im doing." So I trusted when she told me that the size was a half size. IT IS NOT. Its a fricking 3/4, she measured wrong, advised me to purchase earrings that are too big, and now Ive spent a ton of money on a product he cant even use. All because of the suggestions of the supposed "professionals" who "know what theyre doing." I suggest you dont go here, buy online, its cheaper and youll actually get the right size. Pathetic.
A Private User
Im notorious for doing lots of research when something interests me. After a couple of verbal recommendations, I went into Sol Tribe and was first impressed with the cleanliness of the shop. I wasnt expecting a dirty shop, but this place is beyond clean. The folks at the shop are available to answer any questions you may have, whether it be piercing, scarification, or tattoos. They put me at complete ease. All the artist portfolios are available online at Sol Tribes MySpace page, which makes browsing even easier, but these same portfolios are also available in the shop. Talk about convenience! Additionally, there isnt an artist in the shop that I wouldnt recommend. They are all very personable, friendly, and accommodating. The artist take the time to make sure you are happy with your custom piece and are highly skilled at taking your concept (even for a non-artist, like myself) and giving it physical form. Their prices are around the average for a Denver, CO high end tattoo/piercing shop, which makes this a great value. Ill be recommending Sol Tribe to anyone who asks me where to go to get any sort of body modification.