DUBAI: If it seems like over the past couple of years you’ve been seeing more and more people toting a handful of tiny piercings on their earlobes and cartilage — you can likely thank The Piercing Annex for that.
The traveling piercing studio, which offers professional on-site piercings, has been chipping away at the unglamorous stigma of body piercings since being founded by Saudi entrepreneurs and best friends Reema Motib and Lamia Al-Eisa in 2017, when they had their first pop-up in the GCC.
Today, the platform is a go-to for women seeking luxurious, professional and, above all, hygienic piercings — all jewelry is hypo-allergenic and pre-sterilized.
“The moment we realized that women in the region needed to travel in order to receive professional piercings was the moment we realized there was a lack,” shared Motib with Arab News.
“We managed to create an environment that’s luxurious but still unintimidating and welcoming,” she added.
“(Arab women) are so accustomed to jewelry at an early age and we’re more open to investing in beautiful, well-designed pieces. Jewelry isn’t only worn on occasions, it’s an everyday luxury.”
That’s a good way to sum up the business. Back in the 1990s, body piercings were thick, industrial steel rings and barbells — but the ear, nose, lip and navel jewelry found at The Piercing Annex is fine, delicate and comes in white, yellow and rose gold studded with diamonds, opals and other precious stones, from a wide-range of independent jewelry brands, including Pupil hall, BVLA and Shiva and Meenu.
What’s more, Motib revealed that they also offer custom design services where the client sits down with the jewelers to dream up their own piece completely from scratch.
It’s no wonder then that The Piercing Annex is helping to shift the way temporary body modifications are perceived in the region, a shift that Motib attributes to jewelry getting better, not because getting pierced is a new concept.
“Khaleejis are more accepting of piercings than most of the rest of world,” Motib says. “What changed is designers getting creative and pushing the limits of what body jewelry can be. There’s more individuality and customization involved.”