Do I need to make an appointment to get a piercing?
As we operate one of the busiest tattoo and piercing studios in the region, it’s always suggested to call ahead to book an appointment for a piercing. Sometimes we can squeeze in a piercing between appointments however all booked in clients get priority over walk in appointments. Most piercing appointments are booked for a half hour. In this time we will have you fill out the appropriate waiver form, explain the piercing aftercare to you, discuss your jewellery options and be sure to answer any further questions you may have.
How old do I have to be to get pierced and do I need ID?
We require all clients to produce proper identification upon request to get pierced at Thrive Studios. ID accepted is a Driver's License, Passport, Health Card with photo, BYID card, Birth Certificate with Student Card. The age for piercing without parental consent is 16 years old with proper ID. Under the age of 16 only a limited amount of piercings can be preformed with a parent or legal guardian present. Please call our studio for questions regarding what piercings can be preformed at a younger age. If you are being accompanied by an adult they must also bring proper identification. If the guardian is not the birth parent, we would require legal forms such as adoption papers or proper guardian documents.
Can I bring my sister/brother or neighbour to sign for me if I'm underage?
No. Even if they are over the age of 18 this doesn't mean they are your legal guardian and therefore cannot sign for you. Please read the above question to find out what is required.
How much are piercings at Thrive Studios?
Most piercings here at Thrive Studios are $50 plus the cost of jewellery. We are proud to offer you the largest selection of QUALITY jewellery to get pierced with in the area. We have numerous options of jewellery for you to choose from starting with implant grade stainless steel and titanium in numerous styles from basic to bling. We can also pierce with elegant white and yellow gold with diamonds if desired. Our piercing jewellery will not cause irritation like many of our competitor’s jewellery. At the time of your appointment we will show you the many options available and the prices of each piece of jewellery you might be interested in.
All of our piercing jewellery is purchased from reputable high end jewellers throughout North America…not China. Some of these quality companies are Anatometal, NeoMetal and Body Vision Los Angeles. These companies comply with the standards set forth by the Association of Professional Piercers. Learn more about these companies and the high quality jewellery we offer on our jewellery page.
All of our jewellery is internally threaded, as opposed to external threading. Internally threaded jewellery makes the insertion of jewellery less painful while being pierced. This threading also has more threads allowing the beads to less likely fall off during the healing stages. Don’t be fooled by low prices at many other piercing establishments. Many use cheap externally threaded jewellery with high nickel content. Using cheap jewellery will usually result in a poor healing piercing. Once we show you the difference, we believe you will agree that you deserve nothing but the best quality for your new piercing.
I've heard your studio offers "threadless jewellery" What is threadless jewellery?
Thrive Studios is excited to be one of the only suppliers in the area to be offering high quality, titanium, threadless "snap together" jewellery made by NeoMetal. Come see for yourself why many people are making the switch to NeoMetal. These fine pieces of jewellery can be worn in lobes, cartilage, lips, monroes, eyebrows and even nostrils. We also carry a large selection of prong and bezel set gem ends in numerous sizes and colours. Come on in for a demonstration and we believe you'll see the many benefits available with NeoMetal. Learn more on our jewellery page.
Does it hurt?
This seems to be the most popular question in regards to getting piercings. Yes I guess you can say it "hurts" however it's not an unbearable pain. Everyone has a different pain threshold so what may hurt one person may not hurt the other. Most people describe this feeling as a "quick pinch" or more of a "hot sensation". All piercings are done quickly and it's over before you even get a chance to think about it. Many of our clients are very nervous prior to getting their piercing and then feel extremely relieved after the procedure. Some piercings may bring a tear to your eye but we haven't had anyone really freak out during a procedure. A common thing we hear afterwards is that it didn't hurt at all. We will make sure you go through a relatively painless procedure and make this a very enjoyable experience for you. If it hurt so bad then there wouldn't be as many people with piercings and we wouldn't be in business!
I’ve heard many piercings at Thrive Studios hurt “less” than many competitors, is this true?
Many of the piercing procedures at Thrive are done without the use of any tools. You’ll often hear friends that have been pierced in other establishments that the piercing “clamp” hurt more than the piercing. Over the years we have developed a comfortable technique for our clients that will eliminate most of the pain associated to the piercing by simply removing the use of most mechanical tools. This will help ease your mind and also get you excited to return for more piercings in the future!
I'm afraid of needles and very nervous! What can I do to help me get through this?
Many people have a fear of needles which prevents them from getting a piercing. I believe that this fear can be overcome once you get your first piercing. Most of the pain associated with getting pierced is all in our head. We have repeat clientele that are becoming less nervous with each procedure they get done. It's normal to be nervous prior to getting your piercing but it usually subsides quickly once you get it done. Getting a needle at a doctor is completely different than getting a piercing. It's definitely more exciting to leave our studio with a new piece of jewellery versus a bruise and a band-aid from the doctor!
Can I get pierced with the piercing gun instead?
Our studio is strongly against using a piercing gun for ANY piercing. Piercing guns cannot properly be sterilized and therefore they shouldn't be used. Not being able to properly sterilize the piercing gun instrument leaves you open to possible infections and also the risks of passing bloodborne pathogens such as Hepatitis and MRSA. The stud that pierces you is a dull, blunt piece of jewellery being forced into your ear causing a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort. Using a single use sterilized needle is much safer and a lot less painful. Would you rather be pierced with a dull object or a sharp one? Many clients have mentioned that their piercings have never properly healed if it was pierced with a gun. This is caused by the damage done to the surrounding tissue during the piercing. It used to be quite common for parents to bring their child to the mall to get an ear piercing. This has become less common recently as parents are now learning the risks associated with getting piercings at a hair salon or kiosk/jewellery store at the mall.
Will you pierce my baby or young child?
In our opinion a baby cannot express their concerns if a piercing is hurting or possibly infected. Also the immune system of a baby is weaker than ours allowing more chance for problems to arise. I will only pierce young children's earlobes if they tell me they want it for themselves. Our studio's policy for piercing children's earlobes is 8 years old and up, with parental supervision and proper ID. I would also strongly suggest not getting your child's ears pierced with a gun instead. I recommend researching this subject a little more on the internet and you’ll find numerous articles, groups, forums etc. that are against the use of piercing guns and piercing babies. Please review the question above to find out why it's worth the wait for your child's safety.
Do I have to spin the jewellery to heal it?
In the past many of us have been told to keep spinning the jewellery during the healing stage. The reason for doing this was to prevent the jewellery (cheap ear studs) from adhering to our bodies. Rotating the jewellery isn't recommended as the jewellery most commonly used for body piercings do not grow to our skin. Constantly spinning your jewellery during the healing period will irritate it more and tear skin cells that are trying to heal on the inside of the piercing. By touching your jewellery you may also be at risk of spinning crusties, dirt, and germs into the fresh piercing causing an infection. Leaving the jewellery alone during the healing stage is definitely recommended.
What is spore testing and why is it so important?
Spore testing is the most common way to ensure that an autoclave (sterilizer) is working properly. In short, it works by running a package of living spores through an autoclave cycle. This package is then sent to a laboratory which attempts to incubate it. If anything is still alive, then the autoclave did not achieve sterility. Spore tests actually test the autoclaves ability to kill even the most dangerous and resistant organisms such as HIV, Hepatitis and other bloodborne pathogens. If you're considering getting a tattoo or a piercing, seeking spore test results and proper sterilization documentation should be high on your list while searching for a safe establishment. Our facility features a visible sterilization room for you to learn about our whole sterilization process.
Recently the media has focused on the improper record keeping within certain tattoo studios and unfortunately little is being done to monitor this situation. Some studios that have been inspected haven't been able to provide any spore testing documentation. In our local area it is required by our Public Health Department to test our autoclaves at least twice per month. Then with our annual Public Health inspection we are required to show them our test results and prove to them everything has passed throughout the year.
At Thrive Studios we go above and beyond the mimimal public health standards. We test our autoclave once per week. We also run integrator tags with each sterilization load to ensure the proper amount of time and the correct temperature was achieved during the sterilization cycle. This allows us to know our equipment is working properly at all times.
The colour changing indicators on the back of most sterile packages only indicates the package has reached a certain temperature. This does not mean it has been properly sterilized. Many people believe that an instrument or needle etc. is sterile due to the fact they saw it come out of a package. This is not always true. You can leave a sterilization package on the dashboard of your car on a hot summer day and the indicator will also change colour. Obviously this doesn't imply that the instruments inside the packaging are properly sterilized. Current spore test documentation is the only way to know for sure.
If any tattoo and piercing studio follows the above protocol and are willing to show you all the spore tests, integrators, and answer all your questions about the sterilization process, then they are working to ensure your health and safety. Don't be afraid to ask as most studios would be happy to show their results with you if they are following the minimal standards. Remember it's only yourself that you're putting at risk if you don't know the answers to these questions.
Is everything sterilized? How do I know I'm safe?
To achieve proper sterilization it takes multiple steps. Just owning an autoclave (sterilizer) doesn't mean its functioning properly or even achieving sterilization. At Thrive Studios we use two separate autoclaves and test each one with a spore test weekly. In the piercing room we use one of the fastest sterilizers available today called a Statim 2000 G4, which can sterilize our piercings tools and jewellery within a 6 minute cycle. This allows you to choose any style of jewellery for your new piercing, not just a starter piece of jewellery. Basically anything that you see in our huge showcase, you can get pierced with that jewellery right away. No more waiting for months before you can get the jewellery that you want. Now you can have the look you want at the time of your actual piercing appointment!
We will walk you through the actual sterilization process at the time of your appointment and even prove to you that our sterilizer actually has worked. During the sterilization process we run a “Pass/Fail” integrator in with every cycle. This integator tag will monitor the time, pressure, and temperature of the sterilization process assuring you that your piercing jewellery and equipment has been properly sterilized. We will show you these results right in front of your eyes assuring you that everything has been properly sterilized. Your safety is our number one priority.
In our main sterilization area we use a Ritter M9 autoclave. This area is visible to our clients so you can learn about the sterilization process from beginning to end. Our vision is to leave nothing hidden from you and allow you to ask as many questions as possible, making you feel at ease about any procedure being preformed at Thrive Studios.
Below are the numerous steps we take to ensure you have the safest piercing experience ever:
• After each piercing procedure, if any tools have been used, our tools are immediately submerged in a disinfectant bath. These tools will soak in a covered biohazard container until the sterilization process begins.
• All tools will be brought to our sterilization room where they are manually scrubbed using nylon scrub brushes and then rinsed removing any visible debris.
• All tools will then be placed in a covered ultrasonic cleaner for at least 20 minutes. The ultrasonic creates micro bubbles (cavitation) created by vibration which helps remove any harmful pathogens attached to the tools.
• Tools are inspected, rinsed once again, and allowed to air dry.
• Each tool is individually packaged in sterilization pouches with internal indicator tags and then sealed.
• The packaged tools are then placed in the autoclave with an integrator tag to monitor the autoclaves sterilization capabilities.
• The autoclave is run for a 30 minute cycle reaching a temperature of 274 degrees. This kills all living organisms and spores.
• Tools are then allowed to dry completely before leaving the sterilization area.
• All equipment is then returned to the working areas and placed into covered drawers until the next piercing procedure.
• Needles are SINGLE USE and disposed of immediately afterwards in a sharps container. Absolutely no needles should ever be reused.
At Thrive Studios we surpass the public health standards and we will continue to uphold the highest guidelines in the industry. Do not hesitate to ask us any questions during your visit.
How do I find a reputable tattoo and piercing studio?
You just did! Doing your own personal research is my best advice. Ask around and I'm sure you'll find a bunch of people willing to tell you where they got there work done. Word of mouth is still our number one form of advertising. Be sure to visit multiple studios and find out for yourself why sometimes they cheapest place isn't always best. Be sure that all your questions are answered thoroughly and you feel comfortable. Any reputable studio would be happy to help you out and share any information with you. Ask to see spore test results as we're all required to do them bi weekly. There shouldn't be any reason why they couldn't show you a current document stating that their autoclave passed a spore test. You can now view the Waterloo Region Public Health inspection reports online. We have nothing to hide so be sure to have a look for yourself. You can even use this search tool to seek out other tattoo and piercing establishments in the area. Also be sure to check out the artists portfolios and remember not to shop by price. An old saying is “A good tattoo ain’t cheap, and a cheap tattoo ain’t good!” If you don't feel comfortable just leave!
How long do I have to wait before changing the jewellery?
This varies from person to person and it also depends on the piercing to be preformed. We will discuss this with you at the time of your piercing.
Do you sell needles?
NO. That's why I'm here to do the procedure for you. Leave it to the pros and you'll get a much better result.
I'm going on vacation in a couple weeks; can I still get a piercing?
While on vacation we usually tend to neglect our new piercing that needs your proper attention. You should stay out of pools, hot tubs, lakes, and the ocean in the beginning stages of healing your piercing. Just wait till you get back from vacation and you'll probably enjoy your vacation a lot more!
Can I bring my toddlers and family pets to watch?
We don't recommend bringing your toddler as we cannot properly watch them while you are getting work done. Please arrange for babysitting prior to your appointment. NO PETS whatsoever.
Can my friends watch?
We do allow friends and family in the room with you as moral support. Space is limited to two or three guests per client however the artist reserves the right to remove anyone from the piercing room at any time. Children are not permitted in the piercing or tattoo room. All we ask is that your friends remain calm and quiet as piercing and tattooing take a lot a concentration and skill. Please turn off all cell phones as they can be a distraction during the tattoo or piercing process.
How do I know when my piercing is healed?
Many piercings may seem healed but sometimes this isn't the case. You may stop by our studio anytime to get the advice from your piercer. We will also assist you if you need any jewellery changed as well.
I'm allergic to most jewellery; will I have a problem with my piercing?
The jewellery we carry is made from hypoallergenic materials that have been proven to be safe in fresh piercings. It is machined from a solid stock of implant grade titanium (ASTM F-136), implant grade stainless steel (ASTM F-138), niobium and either 14 or 18 karat gold. We have made many believers out of clients that were doubtful about ever wearing jewellery again as they’ve had numerous allegic reactions in the past. We enjoy finding the proper jewellery for your body that will not cause you irritations like most costume jewellery on the market. We have recently found some disturbing videos about the risks of wearing costume jewellery. Once you see these videos you might think twice before buying cheap mall jewellery ever again!
Other benefits of our jewellery include: there is no welding or glue to keep anything together, so the jewellery will never fall apart and the gems will never pop out of the setting. We carry only internally threaded or threadless jewellery, meaning that there is no threading on the post, so nothing will damage the piercing when inserting or removing jewellery. Internal threading also helps keep the balls more secure than external threading which means it’s less likely for your jewellery to fall out of your piercing. Everything is hand polished and inspected for defects for quality control.
Many of our competitors will pierce with cheaper stainless steel which contains nickel. Many clients are allergic to nickel so we have eliminated cheap stainless steel options from our inventory. Our primary jewellery options are Titanium, Niobium, and Gold just to name a few. Some signs that you could be allergic to nickel would be a slight rash around your button on your pants, or where your belt buckle may touch your skin. Some people develop a rash from wearing a wrist watch or certain types of necklaces and earrings. If you experience any of these issues please stop by our studio so we can discuss the many benefits of our high quality body jewellery selection!
My piercing looks infected what should I do?
The best advice would be to visit your piercer immediately to help find a solution. In most cases piercings become irritated, not infected. An experienced piercer will be able to tell the difference between the two. Don't take out the jewellery if you believe you have an infection as it may trap the infection under your skin and it won't be able to drain. Also do not seek advice from your friends. Just because they have a few piercings do not make them experts in this field. Your piercer can usually help find a solution to the problem and get you back on the right track once again.
What can I use for aftercare?
As piercing becomes more and more popular, there are a lot more studies being conducted into the proper healing of piercings. Back in the day we were always told to put alcohol or peroxide on everything and it'll heal with no problem…well now that's a thing of the past. Now there are companies that specialize only in piercing aftercare which has helped a great deal in our industry. Prior to your piercing, our piercer will discuss the proper methods of healing with you and also give you a written aftercare brochure for you take home. Most pharmacies have not yet started selling proper piercing aftercare products. Our studio carries a full line of piercing aftercare for your convenience. Learn more about the proper methods of healing your piercing HERE.
Can I just use alcohol or peroxide?
Using these products will usually cause longer healing times as they dry out the healing tissue surrounding the piercing. This can cause the fragile skin cells to crack and re-heal once again prolonging the healing process.
My Mom says I'll get a brain infection or get paralysed if I get pierced?
If this was true there would be a lot more brainless or paralysed teenagers walking the streets! However as this industry grows rapidly I've seen a lot more unqualified piercers doing a lot more damage rather than safe piercing. Piercing does take a lot of skill and training to ensure proper placement of the jewellery. Each piercing does involve risks but they are significantly reduced if proper aftercare methods are used. It is important to stay in touch with your piercer if you believe something is not right with your piercing. Seek out the best piercer in your town and visit. If you don't feel comfortable in the piercing room you can always leave. Remember it's your body, it's your decision!
Will I turn gay if I only get my right ear pierced?
Most people experience some sort of attraction towards the same sex after getting their right ear pierced. However this usually happens months afterwards. You will start to feel a great connection with your close locker room friends and get sudden urges to cuddle. Getting your left ear pierced will only show your friends that you're not comfortable with your sexuality and that you're trying to hide your true feelings. Many right ear pierced people will be able to comfort you through this tough time of new and confused feelings. Getting both ears pierced means you're bisexual and you love to show the world how wild and crazy you are! Is there a cure? YES…stop listening to your immature friends.
I can get it cheaper elsewhere, will you match their price?
Sorry, there are many studios willing to drop their prices just to beat their competition but we stand firm on our prices offering you the best quality service, sterilization, techniques, knowledge and overall safety. Can you really put a price on your health and well being? Come in for a tour and we'll personally show you the multiple steps that we take in order to provide you the best service in the industry. Sometimes studios may skip multiple steps of sterilization, and using the lowest quality jewellery available in order to bring you a cheaper price. This usually results in a negative piercing experience and would require immediate attention from a more qualified piercer. Remember that cheaper is not always better and your body deserves the best!
Can you pierce me with my own jewellery?
In many cases we can’t. Many pieces of jewellery that clients will bring in are intended to be worn after the piercing is healed as costume jewellery. Sometimes we can pierce with your own personal jewellery if it meets the same standards of jewellery that we offer. A lot of jewellery available at the mall cannot be sterilized or worn as your first piercing. It’s not suggested using hand me down jewellery from friends and family as it may contain small scratches or pits which bacteria can grow in. I would suggest visiting us with your jewellery to get the best advice. If your piece of jewellery requires sterilization we may need to reschedule your appointment to give us the time to properly clean and sterilize your jewellery.
How long can I keep the jewellery out without the hole closing?
There is no way to know for sure. If you need to take your piercing out for surgery/MRI or for your job placement you can visit us in order to find the best solution to the problem. Our studio offers retainers that are less visible than jewellery and can keep the hole open during these times.
I'm pregnant; can I still get a piercing?
If you're pregnant or nursing we wouldn't suggest getting pierced or tattooed. Your goal is to provide the best nourishment and staying healthy for your child. Getting pierced or tattooed will put a strain on your immune system which can harm you and your child's well being. Wait a few months after your child birth or after nursing so your immune system can get back on track. You will definitely have much better healing results if you wait.
If I get pregnant do I have to take out my navel piercing?
Most women say that there navel jewellery becomes uncomfortable after the first six months of pregnancy. In most cases during child birth your skin will stretch causing your original piercing to become crooked or shallower than it previously was. Also some doctors may require you to take it out while you're in the hospital and you may have a difficult time inserting it once again. My best suggestion would be to re-pierce your navel after nursing and once your immune system gets back on track.
How do I stretch my ears?
To properly stretch your ears it takes a lot of time and patience. Stretching too fast may result in tearing leaving scar tissue and uneven pierced ears. It is suggested to stretch slowly about one gauge per month or two. Remember that there is no guarantee that your stretched piercings will ever return to their natural state. Most people are able to stretch to a 0 gauge and have good results of closing if they want to remove them one day in the future if stretched properly from the beginning. But again there is no way to know for sure if the hole will close up or not. Make sure you know what you're doing before you make a costly mistake! Remember stretching your ears, or any piercing, can result in a permanent change in your appearance. Think of the long term affects and decide if this is right for you. Stop by and discuss with us the proper methods of stretching so you don't do any damage to your freshly stretched piercings. We offer free stretching with the purchase of the proper jewellery from our studio. Stop by and we’ll discuss your goals and recommend the best method of getting you there.
Do you pierce with studs or hoops?
Depending on the piercing and/or your anatomy we can pierce with either. We will help you figure out the best option for your piercing. In many case it’s suggested to start with a stud, barbell, post etc. until healed as there is less chance of getting irritated due to unnecessary movement.
Can you pierce with gold?
Definitely. Many people prefer the look of gold and we can order in many different styles for you. We have a large selection of gold and genuine diamonds available. When you visit Thrive Studios, we'll show you all the options available and you'll be excited to choose something unique and elegant for your new piercing! Visit our jewellery page for more information.
Can you help me change my jewellery?
I offer free jewellery changes to my clients. I will show you the proper steps how to change your jewellery without any discomfort. I suggest calling ahead to schedule a jewellery change appointment as I may be busy with other clients at the time of your visit. Remember, all booked in clients get priority over walk in appointments.
Should I tip my piercing artist?
Sure it's greatly appreciated to receive tips and most artists will happily accept. However, tipping doesn't always have to be money. A simple "thank you" and handshake showing appreciation for the work you just had done will go a long way. Let the artist know how happy you are with your new tattoo or piercing. Telling your friends, giving referrals and being a repeat customer is often enough as a tip. Be creative, some of the best tips we have received have been simple gifts, baked goods, even an occasional coffee. If its cash you decide to show your gratitude with, and you can afford it, then your artist will be more than happy to accept. To sum it all up, tips are greatly appreciated but not expected.
Do you sell Gift Cards?
Yes we do and it seems to be on everyone's wish list. Our gift cards are can be purchased in any denomination and available at any time. Surprise Grandma with one today!
How can I leave a positive review about the experience I had at Thrive Studios?
We LOVE hearing your feedback. Our whole staff enjoys hearing how great they made you feel at Thrive Studios! We will be forever grateful if you share your experience with future customers on our social media pages, Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter. Also join the many other clients who have left us a nice message on our Google page…just click “write a review” next to all the other positive reviews. We thank you kindly and look forward to seeing you again in the future!