HOUSTON VOYAGE MAGAZINE : MEET SAMMI MARCHESÉ OF PRESTIGIOUS PIERCING
To visit the original article: http://voyagehouston.com/interview/hidden-gems-meet-sammi-marchese-of-prestigious-piercing/
Hi Sammi, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I believe when you are meant to do something – it will find you whether you are ready or not. When I was around age 12 my grandfather opened a tattoo shop, by 14 my family was begging me to do the family business a solid and learn how to pierce. I was told it was my duty, “it’s easy! You just poke a hole” “this is what family does for each other” they said. Well, I had no idea at the time, but I was being taught a tool of survival. You see, when we thought my dad wasn’t going to make it, I was in high school, and then again in college. I knew that I had a skill set I could take anywhere in the world and if I needed to, I could help support my mother. I had a short, very inadequate apprenticeship. But luckily for me and the people I pierced – I was a natural. However, after a couple months of doing things the way I was taught, I had a feeling. I felt that there is no way it should be this easy! I had to know more, I had to improve and I knew the industry could be elevated. Within 6 months I had improved our cleanliness, my techniques, infection control, bevel theory, and lastly, our jewelry quality. In the beginning, I was practically begging people to use better quality jewelry. I was losing money, but my city finally had good piercings and safe jewelry on the market! After years of perfecting my craft, creating a market that didn’t use to exist, and amassing an amazing clientele, I was ready to open my own studio. When I shared my plans and gave a 1 year notice, I received mostly encouragement, but slowly that turned to animosity. And eventually- I was fired as soon as I signed my new lease. Escorted out of the shop I helped build, the place I thought would always be a welcoming home, I felt betrayal. But little did I know it was the best thing to happen to me.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
In the beginning, I really relied on social media as an educational tool. It still is, don’t get me wrong. Being located in Corpus Christi at the time meant I didn’t have any peers I could learn from, I needed to teach myself via the internet or through personal experience and through medical journals. I would ask questions on education forums, and there was almost never drama. But there were times people were just so mean and instead of offering help – which is what the forum is there for- they would bully. Which, whatever, I have thick skin from years of that. But I remember being 15 years old, online bullied by these 30-year-old piercers from across the country, and I thought to myself, If I put more energy into seeking answers on social media, or wanting approval from my peers, wanting to learn the way THEY did it, I’m going to end up some miserable grown up bully giving some kid a hard time on the internet! lol. My point is, I quickly learned you have to outsource your knowledge sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you have to give the negatives of social media any of your energy! You can improve and be your very best without needing the approval of others. Other than that, just learning to have understanding with a client. Some clients genuinely don’t understand why there’s a difference between “just piercings” and “safe piercings” and other clients, don’t care! Either way, you have to have your heart in the right place and not take it personal if they don’t shop with you. Whether they can’t afford it, don’t want to get it done our way, or just felt overwhelmed because its so different than what they’re used to – that’s not my business, and I would rather be kind and gracious and let them leave knowing they are always welcome back if they need our help after getting it somewhere else. The other hard part that isn’t talked about enough, is finances! Some businesses don’t need a lot of capital to get going. Safe piercing, is not one of those businesses. As soon as I turned 18 I started building and protecting my credit, and thankfully I did! I didn’t have a lot of money saved, and didn’t have anyone in my family with the extra cash to finance a business. I had a plan and an investor but at the last minute that fell through. But I did have credit, and that is what allowed me to finance my business. The next part people struggle with is saving money and paying off debt to keep your profit margins healthy, which is where that business plan comes in handy!
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Prestigious Piercing?
Prestigious Piercing is a luxury piercing experience that specializes in safe piercings and high quality jewelry. We only do piercings, and don’t have any tattoo artists. Beyond safety and gorgeous jewelry, we focus on empowering our clientele and cultivating a safe, creative environment where everyone feels loved, beautiful and welcome, because you do matter. We never take any chances on your health, which why our infection-prevention and aseptic techniques are very strict. And our jewelry never has anything questionable or harmful in it.
Rather than fighting stress, we encourage embracing the tides of life- and maybe get a piercing to cope or celebrate!
At Prestigious Piercing, we also pierce a lot of children! We help teach them early on that their consent needs to be respected, and that this is their body to decide what to do with, and no one should take a choice away from them.
“Now a Business Woman, Sammi views her success as an opportunity to give back to the community that made her. Giving back in a meaningful way continues to be the goal for her as it is what brings her true happiness from her businesses” Prestigious Piercing chooses one charity every month to support, and are working on community programs and educational resources for the people in our community.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
My husband, my dog, the Lord and the Kardashians is all I need. oh, and some Joe Rogan! ha! but really, I also love God Centered Success, Morning Mindset, and Goal Digger are my go-to.