Studs, a start-up piercing and jewelry salon that opened in NoLIta last November to rabid fanfare, will unveil its second location on Friday.
The company is opening a kiosk at Hudson Yards, where it will offer its signature piercing services as well as a limited jewelry selection.
Studs’ inaugural downtown store has proven so popular that it often draws a line before opening each morning. Piercing services there are booked out for the next two months, with the next weekend appointment available on May 30.
The brand was founded by Anna Harman and Lisa Bubbers and launched with a $3 million initial round of investment, which is said to include funding from Gwyneth Paltrow.
Bubbers said Studs’ Hudson Yards location will open with piercing appointments available on a first-come, first-serve basis, rather than advance bookings — but this may change in the future. The store is able to accommodate between 30 and 40 piercing subjects a day and pierces clients as young as eight years old.
“We have data that we have a strong tourism customer, people on vacation love to get a piercing as a souvenir, they love to mark their time in New York. Hudson Yards is a strong tourist destination. And then there are all the other people who work and live around Hudson Yards, everyone at Amazon or L’Oréal, or who work at Blue Bottle in the mall,” Bubbers said of the new location’s built-in clientele.
Studs’ first mall incarnation encapsulates the experience of the company’s 800-square-foot flagship into a 150-square-foot kiosk that was formerly a corner for vending machines. “The premise of Studs is to be multiformat and experimental, we are lucky that our inventory is a small product and allows us to adapt to different spaces,” Bubbers said. Instead of the private piercing rooms signature of the Studs NoLIta flagship, the company has set a privacy screen behind its Hudson Yards display case to offer a sense of seclusion.
This format could be extended to future Studs locations in key premium malls across the U.S., particularly those located in close proximity to big universities.
Upon its launch, Studs was quickly heralded as the new Claire’s — offering a democratized approach to piercing in an elevated environment. While piercings and piercing jewelry are increasingly popular with Millennial and Generation Z consumers, the market was split between high-end piercing salons with expensive fine jewelry and affordable piercings often done in late-night tattoo parlors.
Studs, offering a single piercing for $35 or two for $50, also provides “earscaping” consultations where stylists advise shoppers on earring arrangement and placement. The stores also utilize needles for its piercings — seen as a safer and more precise alternative to the piercing guns often used in mall kiosks such as Claire’s and Piercing Pagoda. Studs’ piercing jewelry ranges from $30 to $180, with more expensive pieces made of precious metals and stones.
The company is preparing its spring assortment of jewelry as well as readying a broader expansion plan. “You can expect to see Studs in other cities this year,” Bubbers said. She and Harman are also readying a Studs mobile unit — a piercing salon and boutique located within a truck.