Ear piercing company Studs has raised $3 million in funding. First Round Capital led the round with participation from Lerer Hippeau.
NEW YORK – November 19, 2019 — Today, 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,” said 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 announced $3 million in funding led by First Round Capital with participation from Lerer Hippeau, as well as additional angel investors. Financing will be used for building retail locations, enhancing the ecommerce 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,” said Hayley Barna, Partner at First Round. “I was fortunate to lead Studs’ first funding round and invest in two remarkable founders tackling a large market ready for a new service paradigm and brand voice. This is a unique investment for First Round and we couldn’t be more excited to be breaking into the space with a brand that is so tapped into the mind of today’s consumer and ready to deliver to their high standards and ever-changing needs.”
“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 NYC, Studs is available both online at Studs.com and in-store. Check out the brand’s Nolita shop at 12 Prince St. for ear piercing and jewelry.
Studs is a new ear piercing experience that enables consumers to express themselves through earscaping. The company offers a modern solution to the previously outdated ear piercing industry and cumbersome process surrounding it. For years, there’s been a gap in the market comprised of antiquated mall brands, tattoo parlors and high-end boutiques that are either unsafe, intimidating or drastically overpriced. Studs closes this gap and improves the customer journey by connecting a healthy ear piercing service with trend-driven and accessibly-priced jewelry, available to shop both online and in-store. From personal consultations and safe needle-piercing (never guns) with implant-grade metals, to aftercare check-ins and merchandised earscapes, Studs is the new authority in ear piercing and earrings.