Sunday, December 18, 2011


Yesterday I encountered a situation that I find all too familiar on a personal and professional level. I thought I might share the story because I'm sure I'm not the only person who can relate.

It actually started 4 days ago when a young college student came in to get the right side of her lip pierced. She was twenty years old and had just finished her final exams for the semester. She informed me she had been planning the piercing for some time now and she was buying this piercing for herself to celebrate the semester ending. She was quiet,  polite and friendly. Their were numerous piercings on her ears and a piercing through her left eyebrow. She wore all black clothing and a leather cap. As she got rung up I walked back to my station to set up for her. Everything went very quick and smooth with her piercing. She looked very excited upon looking in the mirror and told me she liked it very much. I explained the after care and sent her on her way.

Yesterday, she came back to the shop looking uneasy. Following her was a young man who I later found out was her boy friend. It was busy when she came in. She fidgeted and was unable to stand still as she waited for her turn. When I finally was able to speak with her I asked her how she and her piercing were doing. She said nothing at first so I asked her how I could help her. Immediately she began to tear up and asked me if she could have a refund if she didn't want the piercing anymore. I told her our shop policy was not to give refunds, especially if their was nothing wrong with the piercing. With her boyfriend right behind her I ask if she really wants to take the piercing out. She looks at me in the eyes with tears streaming down her face and shakes her head. Right away I knew the situation in my head. I was taken back to my first years of high school. I had started piercing myself pretty frequently and had proudly pierced my own septum. My very first real boyfriend and love of my life at the time told me the piercing looked disgusting and I, of course, took it out right away. This happened 2 more times until I finally kept it. First, I ask if she wants to go back to my station and talk to me about the situation in private. She sort of mumbled an unsure reply. I look at the young woman and tell her that I would be in the shop all day and perhaps she would like to walk around for a little bit and think about it some more. She tells me "no" and that it has to come out. I tell her that I have a piercing to do first but then I will help her take the jewelry out. When I return from doing the piercing I see her boyfriend nudging her out the door and I assume she changed her mind.

A little while later she comes back by herself telling me she must take the piercing out, and so I lead her back to my station. When we get in the room she keeps her backpack on and does not sit down on the massage table. I ask her if she is absolutely sure she wants the piercing out and she replies "No, not at all". I ask her if her job or parents are forcing her to remove the piercing.She shakes her head and begins to tell me  that her Korean boy friend and his family do not approve. Again, she begins tearing up and tells me she loves the piercing and does not want to get rid of it. I knew exactly what she was feeling. I hand her a paper towel and tell her that if the piercing is this important to her she should do what she wants and keep it. She explained if she keeps the lip piercing it will ruin her relationship. I had been in this exact situation with at least 4 boy friends in the past. This was making me sad. I understood that intense wanting to make your significant other happy. The dilemma was confusing for her and irritating for me to watch because I knew that in the end I had always regretted not going with my gut and taking control of my own body. I felt like consoling her and comforting her but I did not want to butt into a customers personal life. I wanted to keep the situation professional but at the same time it was so hard for me to contain myself because I felt so empathetic. I wanted her to stop crying, so I tried to soften the awkward situation by telling her about an ex boyfriend(different one) of mine who was disgusted at the thought of me getting my nipples tattooed; something I had wanted to do for some time. I stalled the tattoos to try and salvage the relationship, but of course it ended up crumbling. As soon as we broke up I ended up getting the tattoos and have been ecstatic about them ever since. I told her that while I could not tell her what to do, in my personal experience I felt too much resentment towards the man I was with to make the relationship work. I could see in her face she knew I was right.

We talked for about 15-20 minutes until I recommend something I wouldn't normally do this to a 3 days old piercing. I suggest a sterilized quartz retainer, and that while she would have to be extra gentle with the piercing(the retainers fall out easier) that she may be able to have her cake and eat it too. She goes back outside to ask her boyfriends permission and she comes back in with her. I get out the appropriate retainer and put it in her lip piercing for her, all while her boyfriend stands close by her. The jewelry transfer went smoothly. Her piercing had hardly swelled. Her boy friend keeps telling her the entire time we are in my room that the retainer wont work and his parents will still notice the piercing. The woman kept looking at me so I tried to reassure her that it was worth a try and that she could easily remove the retainer herself if she changed her mind. She left looking slightly hopeful, but I have not heard from her since.

I feel for women who constantly alter/keep from altering their bodies just to please a significant other. At a point in my life where I am finally comfortable in my skin and I am in love with my job and the fact tat I am fortunate enough to be able to look however I want, I just want to help other people feel as confident as I do.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Where did everyones manners go?

So recently I feel like I have noticed more that no one has manners anymore, especially when it comes to dealing with people who are modified. I feel like I cant even ride the metro to work and listen to my ipod without someone asking me "Did that hurt?" or trying to grab my arm to look at my tattoos. Just becuase I have tattoos does not mean I am inviting a stranger to come touch me. Maybe being a piercer has made me a little OCD, but I have my own personal bubble space that I would prefer people don't invade without my permission. What I'm getting at has been stated so eloquently in this article I read today. It's called "Tattoo Etiquette 101". The writer made a list of what you should never do to someone tattooed, but the rules definitely apply to someone with any body modification. The rules are stated below, but you can find the whole article HERE.

1. Don’t touch anyone without their consent.

I seriously can’t believe I even have to say this. But just don’t. Don’t grab my arm in a store, sweep my hair behind my ear while we’re standing in line, touch my leg, etc... I don’t care that you’re just trying to “get a better look.” I don’t know you and you’re touching my body.

2. Do not lift up someone’s clothing!

Ahhh! I still can’t believe this happens. And I’m not alone -- every single one of my tattooed girlfriends has horror stories about people grabbing them, touching them, lifting up sleeves, shirts, or even pulling on their waistbands. WTF?!

3. They don’t all have a story.

Actually, most of them do -- but a lot of them are personal or private. If I’ve just met you and you’re grilling me, I’m not going to want to share them with you.

4. Piggybacking on the above -- don’t make a snide comment or insist that I defend them to you.

I’m not going to walk around telling everyone that they should have tattoos or pink hair or mullets or glasses or whatever. It doesn’t bother me that you don’t have tattoos, I don’t see why it should severely offend you that I do. (The “you” here being random stranger, new acquaintance or drunk relative I rarely see).

5. If you’re a medical professional, it is not appropriate to comment on my tattoos unless their presence directly affects your ability to treat me.

Appropriate example: My new allergist says, “Alli, since your arm is heavily covered is it alright with you if I do the prick test on your back? We’ll be able to see it better there since it’s less covered.”

Inappropriate example: A doctor (who I no longer see), right as she’s doing an internal pelvic exam, says, “You’re so covered, you’ve even got ink on your stomach.” Lady, your hand is up my vag -- if we’re not getting sexy, I don’t want to talk about my tattoos.

6. Don’t feel bad for my parents.

Dear friends, and commenters, I know we’ve all heard this before -- for any “questionable” decision we’ve made. “Oh what do your parents say?” or “Oh your poor parents!” Listen, random stranger, my parents may not love that I’m as decorated as I am but they do love that I’m happy, self assured, successful, and independent.

7. Please don’t show me yours.

Drunk dudes seem to sincerely believe that girls with tattoos are going to jump their bones the second we see the faded, scratched, tequila worm or Tasmanian devil they got when they were drunk in college. I have fun talking about my tattoos with fellow collectors, or nice, interesting, earnest people -- I don’t so much enjoy seeing a dude I barely know start to disrobe in the middle of a bar because he wants to show me something. (This seriously happens All. The. Time).

8. Don’t point at me.

I’m sure your mother/third grade teacher/auntie told you that it’s rude. The end.

9. Do feel free to introduce yourself and tell me that you were curious about my tattoos.

If you’re a nice, non-invasive person willing to talk to me like I’m human, sure, I’ll chat with you. Will I lift up my shirt in the middle of the bar like the aforementioned dude-guy? No. But I’ll happily take five minutes to have a polite conversation with you -- all you have to do is treat me like a person.

10. Do feel free to ask me where I got them done.

The people who tattoo me are amazing -- talented, friendly, kind. I’m happy to send you their way.

Any other tattoo dos or don’ts? Etiquette questions? Think I’m a jerk? Reply in the comments.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Just have to share this!

This photo has been all over Facebook and I felt like I just had to share it. It's just too funny!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hot Topic Fail!!!!

For some reason they dont put this up in their actual stores, but on their web page they post this warning under every piece of body jewelry they sell. Now I have yet another reason to bash their body jewelry. Remember guys; It's worth spending a little extra money on something you're wearing inside your body.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Information is great!!!!

It makes me so happy when I see articles like this start showing up. More and more people are realizing the dangers of piercing guns FINALLY! This article was written by a mother who clearly explains why she would never take her daughter to get her ear lobes pierced at one of those mall kiosks. She makes some very valid points. Kudos to this mom for doing her research!

Industrial strength

Some of my friends over at Pangea Piercing made a video recently where they get to visit the Industrial Strength factory to see some of what goes into making quality body jewelry

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Shopping

The holidays are approaching rapidly, and I bet a lot of have already started your shopping. If you're having trouble deciding what to get a friend/significant other/family member; stop by Fatty's Custom Tattooz and check out some of the awesome jewelry we've got in stock right now. Don't know what they would like? We also have gift certificates which can be used for anything at our shop including tattoos, piercings and even Fatty's merchandise. We even have earrings for those of you who dont have stretched ear lobes; so come check us out before you head to the mall for some generic holiday gift set from Bath and Body Works :P

Friday, November 18, 2011

Inkfest Live!

This weekend I am piercing all day at the DC tattoo convention(Inkfest Live) with Fatty's Custom Tattooz. Come show us some love and all piercings will be only $45 including jewelry and aftercare! If you've been wanting to come get pierced by me but have been short on cash this weekend is the time to get pierced. I hope to see you guys there!!! BTW, the convention is being held at the Nationals Stadium. Check the link above for more details on the convention.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


So a TON of stuff has been going on at the shop. Sarah's ear won 5th place in Earmageddon! I feel like considering what short notice I had for this contest I did pretty well. I won $300 towards Industrial Strength's jewelry and Sarah won $100 towards their jewelry. I believe she will also get a t-shirt and I will get a plaque. I am pretty happy, and I cant wait to enter something next year. I will surely be more prepared and plan something epic out.

Fatty's has an awesome video for the web page in the making. In it, we interview all the artists and some of our customers. I was very nervous for the filming. I am much more camera shy then I thought. It took all day and was utterly exhausting. Hopefully they will be able to cut and paste it into something fun to watch for people who are considering coming to our shop. I am very excited to see the finished product.

We will be piercing and tattooing at the DC tattoo convention coming up Nov 18th-20th. This will be my first convention I will be peircing at. I am nervous and excited at the same time. I think working a convention is great advertising and networking, and I plan on gaining a lot of new customers from this experience. I hope to see you all there!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Piercer!

So for a few weeks we will have a new piercer on Tuesday and Wednesday; which means we will now be able to offer piercing 7 days a week from 12-8 o'clock at Fatty's Custom Tattooz. My friend Tony Snow has come all the way from Las Vegas to visit me. He is a very skilled piercer, and so I asked him to work for us while he's in town. He is currently working at a shop called Voodoo Tattoo, which I got to check out while I was at the APP conference a couple months ago. I am very excited for him to be working at Fatty's, and I think he will fit in very well with the crew. He is very nice and friendly so come on in and meet him before he goes back to Vegas.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tons of jewelry!!!

Last night a friend of mine, Maureen, who works for Diablo Organics came over and I bought a ton of awesome new organic jewelry for the shop. If you love wood and bone jewelry you gotta come check out the case :) I love their jewelry, and I bought a few pairs of long feather earrings as well. I've been seeing them more and more and wanted to try them out to see how they sell. I'll post pictures as soon as I find my photo card. Have a great day!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Being Creative

I had a client today who had asked me for an industrial piercing. Upon examining her ear I found she wasn't the best candidate for it. I didn't want her to leave disappointed though, so I had the idea to bend a bar into a staple shape and make two piercings in the flat of her ear cartilage. This would give it the appearance of an industrial, and work out much better with her anatomy. Hopefully I can get a better picture when it is healed, but this will do for now. I love that even though she wasnt able to get exactly what she'd originally wanted, she seemed really pleased when she looked in the mirror. I love making my customers happy!

Monday, August 1, 2011


So I have my entry for Earmageddon, and if you have a facebook it would be super helpful if you could go to Industrial Strength's Facebook and "like" my photo. I am entry #10165! Wish me luck everyone!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New stuff

So we have a TON of new jewelry thanks to the folks at Evolve. I picked out a lot of awesome stone plugs in a variety of sizes and colors. I even got some stones I had never seen before. If you have stretched ear lobes and you feel like you need a change or something new and fancy come check out our jewelry case at Fatty's.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

hey guys!

The weather is amazing and it's a great time to pick out some colorful new jewelry for your piercings! Stop in and check out some of the new stuff we've been getting in.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I accept the challenge

So Industrial Strength body jewelry is holding an ear project challenge and I need customers to let me do something awesome to their ears. If anyone is willing to allow me artistic freedom with their ear they would only have to pay for the jewelry and I promise that you would end up with some awesome looking piercings; as long as I am able to enter them into this contest by august 1st. So who is game?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Whats going on today?

I just love it when customers order fancy jewelry for their piercings I did :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

new jewelry!

A good friend of mine(and fantastic piercer), Mike Moore, has started his own jewelry company called Thunderdome! He was nice enough to make me these awesome earrings and bring them to me when I saw him at the APP conference in Las Vegas. He works at Eternal Tattoos in Detroit Michigan. Check out him cool web site :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

a blog post about a blog post

Today I was interviewed for this Living Social blog thing. I think a lot of people in dc read it so hopefully it will bring a little business in for me. They quoted me all wrong, but at least I sound funny now?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day!

Hey everyone. Happy Memorial day! Today it's a little bit slow at the shop but I'm still in a great mood becuase a customer with healed piercings came in to have me change her jewelry. I'm always happy when I can see my work has healed up nicely; even if it is "just" an earlobe.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

whats up today!?

It's still memorial weekend and we are just hanging out at the shop. We will be here today and tomorrow until eight so come by for all your piercing/tattoo needs! Here's one of our counter girls, Sarah, holding a new display I ordered for smaller plugs. Come check out all our new jewelry!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Just some cool pictures of what Ive been doing lately.


Hey everyone... I figured it was about time for me to make an update on here. I can't believe it's been so long since my last one. I hope you are all excited for spring. Fatty's will be open through memorial weekend so if you're needing something to do because everywhere else is closed stop by for jewelry or a new piercing :)

June 4th through the 12th I will be absent from the shop. I am attending the 2011 APP piercing expo in Las Vegas and will be coming back with some cool new jewelry for the case! I will also be taking tons of classes and renewing my CPR and Blood born Pathogens certifications. New information is always great!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

piercing funk

Recently I've been noticing a lot of people asking me how they can avoid dreaded "piercing funk". You know, that old cheesy smell you piercing gets every now and then that you get on a healed piercing. For some people this is a daily struggle. The solution is fairly simple my friends; wash your piercings every day when you shower with a mild soap. For some reason a lot of people think once their piercing is healed they never have to touch it again, but just like the rest of your body your piercings collect dirt, dust and dead skin cells. Leave you piercing to collect all this grime causes a very less then pleasant odor. Imagine how bad your feet would smell if you never washed them! Some people may say washing your piercing every day is too much work; but would you say that about washing your hair or brushing your teeth?

My personal favorite soap for cleaning piercings is Dr. Bronners Castile Soap. If you dilute it(which you are supposed to do) it's very gentle and works very well in cleaning your healed piercing without irritating it. You can use any mild soap you'd like, but I would advise against anything anti-bacterial. It's very drying and harsh and many people have bad reactions to it. For some it's enough just to rinse your piercing well in the shower daily. You can try out some different methods and different soaps and see what works best for you; but please guys- wash your piercings!

In other news, you still have time to vote for Fatty's Custom Tattooz for best tattoo shop in dc. You can vote by clicking here. Any help from customers would be much appreciated :)

One more thing: Wood jewelry is still on sale guys. We have some really nice stuff in right now so come check us out! Have a great day and enjoy this beautiful weather!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

hey guys!

In case you didnt know, Fatty's is up for best tattoo shop of DC for 2011. If you like us you can vote here.

Also, don't forget all our wood jewelry is on sale this month so stop in and check out all the cool stuff we have. Have a great day guys!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Spring!

Hey guys! I haven't been posting nearly as much as I'd like to, but that's going to change soon.

My new web site is not 100% complete but it's up here. Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear some input from my clients and peers.

For the entire month of March all wood jewelry is 25% off! If we don't have what you're looking for in stock you can still get a discount on all wood jewelry orders as long as they are placed within this month. Stop in and take a look at what we've got.

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In case you wated to know

1. How did you first get interested in/involved in body modification?

The word modification is very vague. I have always loved changing things about my body, but I assume were talking specifically piercings and tattoos: If I can remember it correctly I was very young; small enough to sit on my dads shoulders. He was carrying me through the shopping mall and I remember seeing a bunch of "goth" kids-one of them was a girl with blue hair and multiple facial piercings. My father put me down, noticed I was staring and said something to me like "You would never do that to yourself right?". I nodded my head but all I could think about was how amazing this girl was. I was so fascinated by her and I wanted so badly to look like her. Even though I was very small it had a very deep impact on me and I knew I wanted something to do with piercing ever since then.

2. What are your thoughts on what “body modification” actually means?

Body modification is doing anything to your body to make it look different then it would on it's own. It's a pretty straight forward term.

3. What is your place/position in the body modification world? ie artist, collector, etc. Please explain I am a body piercer. It's my dream job and I feel lucky that I live somewhere where I can do exactly what I love and support myself doing it. I collect piercings and tattoos from my friends; I like having their work/mark on me. My friends mean everything to me and without a lot of them I would not have had the help to get where I am now.

4. Why is body modification important to you?

Maybe it's becuase I am a girl, and women in general love to edit their looks. We like having control over the way we look and we like changing our appearance. Maybe it is instilled into us from when we are young. I know personally from a very young age I was very aware of my body and there have always been things about it I would like to look different. Even though I am often told otherwise I don't think their is anything necessarily wrong with that either. As we grow as people we want to mark the milestones. Some people mark it differently and for my I guess It's superficial things. I am always changing.

5. What is the WORST negative response you’ve received in regard to your modifications?

To be honest Ive gotten called a lot of names in the past and they hardly phase me anymore. I mostly hate it when I receive poor service at a restaurant or a store becuase It's assumed becuase of the way I look I have no money to spend. That probably pisses me off the most.

6. What do you have to say to people who look at modification and don’t understand it/judge it unfairly/don’t recognize its importance/say it’s “disgusting” and “pointless?”

I try never to get mad, becuase I think a lot of the time it's what people expect. I usually just tell people I think what I do makes me beautiful, and it makes me happy and that's really all that matters. Maybe I am vein but I love looking in the mirror and seeing my piercings and tattoos there. They make me feel good about myself and they remind me of the people who did them and how much I like them.

7. How do you deal with discrimination against your mods? For example, my family and some of my friends are very unaccepting of the few modifications I have, but I try my best to explain to them what modification means to me and get the point across to them. Sometimes I get too upset and just ignore them. How do you handle discrimination I try my best to ignore it. I'm not very close with my family anyways and I feel like my mods alienate me more, but if that's how they want to be then there's really nothing I can do to change their opinion. They are allowed to have it. I'm sure I discriminate against certain people, I think everyone does. It's not right but it's something we cant really change sometimes. It's how our brains are wired.

8. What is your favorite modification(s) that you have?

I love all of my tattoos and piercings. I feel very pulled together. My septum is probably my favorite piercing though, and I would be most reluctant to get rid of that particular mod. I went through a lot of fighting and stress with my parents over it so I'm stubborn about it not being there I guess. I hate when I have to take it out for xrays.

9. What was your first mod?

I started piercing my ears a lot when I was 13, then when I was 14 I had both nipples pierced; obviously behind my parents back.They were less then thrilled when they found out. 10. What do you do in your spare time/hobbies? Explain hobbies both related to and unrelated to body modification.

I love to paint,and I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. I scuba dive occasionally-not nearly as often as id like. I love to swim and have always loved being in the water. Hiking outside is also very fun. I play bass but not nearly as often as id like to.

11. Did you have any jobs prior to entering the body modification world? Do you hold any other jobs currently in addition to this one?

I've had part time jobs when I was younger. I was a lifeguard, a salesgirl at a high end lingerie store, a salesperson at an aquarium store. Those were my favorite jobs; I have had others but I either didn't have them long or didn't like them much. I am a full time piercer now and it's what I love to do.

12. How do you think the body modification world and outsiders’ PERCEPTION of the body modification world has changed? Definitely the fact that it's all over tv has changed it a lot. The industry is always changing really though. In some ways the changes are good becuase I feel like visible tattoos are slightly more accepted. I feel like this questions would take me 3 pages to full answer and I'm not up to that right now.

13. Fun fact(s) that you want to share about yourself.

There are a ton. If you want to find out I would love to meet you! I love to met new people.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Busy Bee

Business has really been picking up here at Fatty's. Ive been ordering a lot of jewelry for customers and doing a lot of cool piercings. The Fatty's Face book page is also up now thanks to yours truly. You can check it out by going here. I will be trying to update it regularly as well as my own work Face book profile.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Facebook

So I've made a Facebook profile specifically for my business. I kept getting friend requested by people I didn't know so I wanted a place where I could add anyone and keep in touch with customers better. Add me if you'd like by going here . Have a great day everyone!!!