New Ear Piercing Experience to Expand Physical Retail Presence in 2020

by Katie Lee

New York City — This month, Studs, a new ear piercing experience that enables consumers to express themselves through earscaping, launches nationwide online and in its first brick-and-mortar location in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood. The company plans to expand its physical retail presence to additional locations in 2020.

Founded by Anna Harman and Lisa Bubbers, Studs was created to modernize the traditional “mall piercing” experience. By combining healthy ear piercing services with omnichannel retail operations and a wide assortment of accessibly-priced earrings, the company offers consumers a seamless path for navigating the previously bifurcated piercing and jewelry landscapes.

For decades, the ear piercing industry has been defined by two types of offerings: antiquated mall brands that are fast and cheap, but use dangerous piercing guns, and local tattoo parlors that often utilize needles, but don’t focus their services specifically on ear piercing and only offer a limited assortment of piercing jewelry. Studs combines the best of both models and reimagines the piercing process from start to finish by prioritizing the customer experience, focusing on safe and healthy piercing practices, and connecting with its customer’s individual style expression. Studs also offers an online retail destination where customers can shop curated earscapes, single earrings, collections and access after-care.

“With traditional piercing retailers losing popularity and failing to meet the needs of today’s consumers, there’s a lack of brands in the piercing and retail landscape that prioritize healthy needle piercing, offer a trend-driven product assortment and accessible pricing,” says Anna Harman, co-founder and CEO of Studs. “By having a singular focus on the ear piercing experience from start to finish, we’re confident that Studs can close the gap and deliver a service not only centered around ear piercing, but optimized for every possible need related to either piercing or jewelry in a way that no other brand is doing today.”

The company also recently received $3 million in funding led by First Round Capital with participation from Lerer Hippeau, as well as additional investors. Financing will be used for building retail locations, enhancing the e-commerce experience and expanding the Studs team.

“Gen Z has evolved beyond mall brands like Claire’s and is uninspired by getting pierced at their pediatrician’s office. With the increasing demand for multiple piercings and jewelry styles becoming particularly trendy amongst this age demographic, tattoo parlors, which can be intimidating, expensive and limited in selection, have become more or less the default,” says Hayley Barna, partner at First Round.

“Anna and Lisa are the perfect team to bring to life a reimagined retail experience around ear piercing and enable self-expression through adornment,” says Caitlin Strandberg, investor at Lerer Hippeau. “We’re eager to watch consumers fall in love with the unique Studs experience and excited to see the brand help usher in the future of retail.”

Headquartered with a storefront in New York City, Studs is available both online at and in-store. Its Nolita shop in New York is located at 12 Prince St.



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